New Penn State head coach James Franklin gave a candid and impassioned press conference at a Pennsylvania shopping mall Tuesday, lobbying as he has all offseason for an upgrade of the Nittany Lions' football facilities.
Here is a short video of Franklin's statement:
"To put it in a little bit of perspective for you, when I was at Vanderbilt, we had the last-place facilities in the SEC," said Franklin, according to Mark Brennan of FightOnState.com. "It wasn't even close. And our facilities at Vanderbilt (were) better than what they are at Penn State right now, which is probably a little shocking to people."
Shocking, indeed. Penn State is a much bigger football program than Vanderbilt and some of the other, lesser SEC schools. It has national championships in its history and boosters who defray the program.
According to Forbes.com, even though Penn State is not as profitable as it used to be before the Jerry Sandusky scandal, it was still the 15th-most valuable college football program in 2013.
The team was valued at $71 million, generated $59 million in revenue and made a profit of $30 million.
Regardless of comparison with Vanderbilt—or any other SEC school, for that matter—this seems like enough money for Penn State to reasonably upgrade its football facilities. Especially as it pertains to recruiting, doing so would have many benefits.
But it's not that cut and dried. Franklin also touched on the school's financial situation, saying in the video above:
We have some financial challenges right now and issues that everyone is aware of. It's going to be getting people to support that vision (of better facilities) and jump on board with us through fundraising, and those types of things.
Franklin mentioned branding, technology and carpeting—repeatedly on all three fronts—as things that need to be improved in the Nittany Lions' facilities. Doing so gives off an air of confidence from the program to recruits, makes the situation feel more homey.
PSU leads the nation with 16 commitments in the 2015 class and places second behind Alabama in the 247Sports team rankings. Franklin thinks those numbers could go up with renovations.
"We've got the No. 2 recruiting class in the country," said the first-year head coach. "Where are we going to be able to go once we get some of these things updated?"
Follow Brian Leigh on Twitter: @BLeighDAT.