Doctor Sues James Franklin, PSU; Says He Was Pressured to Clear Injured Players

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 26, 2019

CHICAGO, IL - JUL 19: Penn State Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin is seen at Big Ten football media days on July 19, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Former Penn State team doctor Dr. Scott A. Lynch has filed a lawsuit against the university and head football coach James Franklin after claiming he was pressured to clear injured football players to return to games, according to Matt Miller of Penn Live.

Franklin reportedly "repeatedly tried to influence his decisions regarding whether hurt players were fit to play."

Lynch believes his complaints about the coach led to his removal as orthopedic physician for the football team and director of athletic medicine for the university, and he is suing the school for more than $50,000 in damages.

Other defendants named in the lawsuit are PSU Athletic Director Sandy Barbour, Senior Associate Athletic Director Charmelle Green, the chair of orthopedics and rehabilitation Dr. Kevin P. Black and the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

Lynch believes his termination violated Pennsylvania's Whistleblower Law as well as NCAA and Big Ten regulations.

Penn State Health issued a statement denying the allegations while claiming the decision to make a change in February was made "with the best interests of student-athletes in mind, given the increasing complexity and growing demands of sports medicine, as well as health care in general."

Franklin is heading into his sixth year with Penn State after spending three years as a head coach at Vanderbilt.