'I felt like it should've been the families' and young men's decision': Penn State's James Franklin talks B1G reinstatement
James Franklin was one of the biggest advocates for the B1G to provide transparency and open the lines of communication in regards to its decision-making process with the 2020 football season. Though it took longer than he would’ve liked, the conference finally decided to reinstate a fall season in 2020.
The Penn State head coach made an appearance on Big Ten Network on Wednesday, discussing the league’s decision to reinstate the season. From the beginning, Franklin said he thought players shouldn’t been the ones to make the decision on whether or not to play this fall.
“I was very comfortable with the plan and the model our medical professionals put in place here at Penn State,” Franklin said. “I was very comfortable with what the B1G was doing. But at the end of the day, I thought the NCAA’s decision to allow student-athletes the option to opt out, if them and their families weren’t comfortable — at that point I really felt like it should’ve been the families’ and young men’s decision. That’s kinda what I was fighting for. My parents and my players wanted to play based on all the health and welfare policies that we had put in place.”
Franklin has been an advocate for — at the very least — receiving answers from the B1G. He mentioned multiple times since the B1G’s decision on Aug. 11 that he didn’t have any answers for the student-athletes or their parents.
It was extremely frustrating for the B1G head coach.
“As I’ve stated before, I wasn’t always necessarily aligned with the timing and how we went about the process, but the decision? I think the B1G should’ve been credited for that,” Franklin said. “Who gets the credit [for helping restore the season]? Doesn’t matter. It’s about our players.”
Below is the full interview from Big Ten Network: