Sunday Sports Mailbag

Penn State football plight: It’s stuck with Franklin

This entire Penn State coaching staff lacks accountability, starting with our overpaid head coach.

Excuses galore but no results. Where do we (re)start?

Coaches: I know we are now stuck with James Franklin until he demands another raise, but is it too much to ask for him to actually coach?

The top coaches (Saban, Smart, Swinney, Fisher, Day and even Schiano) are much more engaged in the game than Franklin.

His M.O. seems to be good recruiter, below average coach. His trick plays don’t fool anyone.

I will give Franklin credit for getting a raise and extension with a .500 record the past two years.

I believe he caught Penn State in a vulnerable state (new president), with a new, well-respected agent, and the appearance that other teams were willing to be stupid with their money in paying this guy.

However, why did we not actually negotiate this deal (similar to Jim Harbaugh) where it would be incentive-based and would kick in when he actually won? Too bad we did not have a viable alternative (like a Matt Rhule) to take a different approach with Franklin.

Also, were Yurcich and Trautwein the achievers we thought they were? Keep in mind, we fired the previous coaches to select these two. How long before we show them the door?

Players: I love the guts of Clifford, but honestly, do Franklin and Yurcich think that he is our best QB to win?

I’m disappointed that Christian Veilleux did not get equal snaps in basically an exhibition game.

The Blue-White game may show some shining light with our newcomers, but maybe it will be the same old.

Kirk Gadebusch

Marietta, Georgia

Once-proud program ‘black hole’ with no sign of recovery

For the past two years and today, it has been “Groundhog Day” for this once proud Penn State football program.

It keeps sliding into a black hole with no recovery in sight.

The Outback Bowl was like day and night. Arkansas made adjustments, and Penn State made none.

In short, Penn State was outplayed, outcoached, outexecuted and outeverythinged in a 24-10 loss.

Personally, I think James Franklin is responsible for all of it.

He is not the same person going back to 2019 when the team was 10-2 and won the Cotton Bowl.

He is not worth $85 million for the next 10 years. This program will not right itself until Franklin leaves the program voluntarily or is bought out.

I have lost all respect for his leadership and that of the administration.

Les Hart


Outback Bowl performance an ominous sign for future

Sitting in Raymond James Stadium watching a team that did not look ready to play, we got skunked.

Had it not been blown coverage by Arkansas on our only TD and the Arkansas coaching staff taking a delay of game and a knee at end of game, the score would have been worse.

We are never going to be an elite team, but our coach rakes in a salary that Happy Valley fans continue to question.

I’m afraid what next season will be like.

Randy Sibert


Problems will take longer than one season to fix

I write this as the Outback Bowl is ending, and it occurs to me that I am less optimistic about PSU football at the end of this season than at any time during the sanction years.

The problems affecting this squad are all too well known by even casual fans to bother mentioning. They will not be fixed in one season.

James Franklin’s lucrative, long-term contract extension during such a disappointing season says more about his abilities as a marketer and negotiator than anything else.

Perhaps a little tough love as Michigan did with Jim Harbaugh was in order. Franklin letting his name come up for different jobs again last year would have made for an easy call for many athletic directors.

Tony Kibelbek


Players opting out of bowls should be disclosed sooner

We know how James Franklin handles players who are not going to play in regular-season games (unless they are out for the year). He doesn’t say a thing, and we find out at game time.

We may not like it but have to respect the way he runs his program. The problem I now have is the way he handles players not playing in bowl games.

A few issues come up. When should we as fans know? Fans are paying thousands of dollars for tickets, travel and lodging.

They want to see the Dotsons and Briskers. Shouldn’t they know as soon as possible when the game is announced?

And if Franklin or Penn State knows they are not playing and withhold telling everyone until a few days before, shame on them. You can even call it a form of bait and switch.

How do the sponsors feel? Will this be a bigger issue down the road?

What happens in two years if Bryce Young opts out of a bowl game, and no one knows until a few days before?

If Penn State were in the playoffs. would these players still have opted out?

And, finally, if I sound bitter, look no further than how the entire fan base and alumni association supported this program the past 10 years.

Richard Goldfarb



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