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PSU's James Franklin on Claims of Faked Injuries vs. Iowa: 'We Don't Coach It'

Doric SamOctober 14, 2021

Matthew Holst/Getty Images

Penn State head coach James Franklin is firing back at Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz.

After Ferentz defended Iowa fans for booing injured Penn State players during the Hawkeyes' Week 6 win over the Nittany Lions, Franklin is not happy with the implication that his players were faking their injuries. He expressed his displeasure Wednesday in a prepared statement.

"We don’t coach it, we don’t teach it. … 70 percent of these guys were out for the rest of the game," he told reporters.

Franklin announced Wednesday that senior defensive tackle PJ Mustipher is out for the remainder of the season. Mustipher left the game against the Hawkeyes after the first drive and was seen using crutches while he stood on the sidelines.

The Nittany Lions also lost starting quarterback Sean Clifford after he suffered an apparent arm injury in the second quarter. He emerged from the locker room after halftime without his uniform on and a wrap on his right arm. Franklin said Wednesday there's no update on Clifford's status.

Ferentz told reporters Tuesday that he felt bad for the players who suffered legitimate injuries, but he indicated that he believed some players went down to stop the momentum of the Hawkeyes offense. In his defense of fans who booed the injured players, Ferentz said they "aren't stupid" and "they smelled a rat."

Franklin disputed those claims because he said Iowa doesn't run a high-tempo offense where faking injuries would be a necessary strategy. He took particular issue with the lack of regard for the players' health.

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"Put yourselves in the shoes of a parent," he said. "Your son is down on the field for an injury, and the stadium is booing them."

"I just told you PJ Mustipher is done for the year and we're booing," he added. "Is that good for college football?"

Penn State will have extra time to heal up as the Nittany Lions are off this week and will return Oct. 23 against Illinois.

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