Not many programs have endured the same transfer situation that Penn State has dealt with this offseason. As soon as the 2018 campaign came to end, several Nittany Lions entered their names in the transfer portal.
More than a dozen players entered their name in the transfer portal and a handful of others declared for the NFL Draft. The mass exit forced many to wonder “what’s wrong in Happy Valley?”
In a recent interview with The Philadelphia Inquirer, Franklin was asked why Penn State saw so many players decide to enter the portal. He called it a “perfect storm.”
“We had a number of young players that started, and that can create some challenges within your locker room when you’ve got a bunch of young players coming in and earning starting job,” Franklin said in the interview. “So it kind of was a perfect storm of a new rule going in place, and a bunch of young players starting.”
Already, 10 players from Penn State’s 2018 roster have found new destinations, including former quarterback Tommy Stevens, who was expected to be the starter this fall, replacing Trace McSorley. Instead, the dual-threat quarterback transferred to Mississippi State due to uncertainty with his future at the position in Happy Valley.
While Franklin says he understands why players might explore other opportunities, he’s not sure the transfer portal is the best thing for college athletics.
“I get it from both perspectives,” he said. “But one of the things that I worry about a little but is I do think college athletics, and specifically football, have a very important role in our society of teaching how to overcome adversity, mental toughness, physical toughness.”
After a year in which the NCAA saw a massive of players enter their name in the transfer portal, the organization is reportedly buckling down on the number of immediate eligibility waivers that will be granted in the future. That could slow down the number of transfer students dramatically.
Franklin may not have to worry about that kind of turnover again if the NCAA enacts its new guidelines.