Penn State or Vanderbilt for Franklin?

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 9, 2014 at 7:47 pm •  Published: January 9, 2014
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — James Franklin appears to have a decision to make. Stay at Vanderbilt or take over as coach at Penn State.

Vanderbilt athletic director David Williams said Thursday night he exchanged text messages with his football coach and Franklin "basically said that he is our coach. He hasn't made a decision."

Williams would not confirm Franklin has an offer from Penn State, but has indicated Nittany Lions officials have been in contact with the coach.

CBS.com was first among several media outlets to report Franklin is expected to be Penn State's replacement for Bill O'Brien, who left for the Houston Texans.

"He just wanted me to know that the things that are being said that he has made a decision to leave are not true," Williams said

Penn State had no official comment, but the university did announce Thursday night that a new compensation committee is scheduled to meet Saturday morning in a closed session to discuss a contract for someone not yet being identified by the school. The school also said there will be a brief public session Saturday morning.

Earlier in the day Williams said Franklin had called "to let me know the reports that he had accepted another job were inaccurate. And I didn't ask anything more than that nor did he volunteer anything more than that."

Williams said he met with Franklin on Tuesday night and spoke with him Wednesday, too.

Penn State interim coach Larry Johnson said Thursday night he hasn't been told anything about his future.

"I'm still the interim coach until a new coach is named," Johnson said. "As of right now, I'm continuing to do my part."

Vanderbilt had only one winning season since 1982 before Williams hired Franklin in December 2010. The Commodores also had only four bowl berths before Franklin arrived, and he now has taken them to three straight bowls.



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