James Franklin to Isolate from Family During 2020 CFB Season to Protect Daughter

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorJune 25, 2020

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - DECEMBER 28: Head coach James Franklin of the Penn State Nittany Lions leads his team against the Memphis Tigers in the second half of the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic at AT&T Stadium on December 28, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Penn State head football coach James Franklin plans to isolate from the rest of his family during the 2020 season in order to protect his youngest daughter's health amid the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Per ESPN's Andrea Adelson, Franklin's daughter has sickle cell disease, which the Center for Disease Control and Prevention describes as a "group of inherited red blood cell disorders."

Franklin made his comments on HBO's Real Sports in an episode that aired Tuesday, per Adelson.

"There was a lot of tears," he said. "There was a lot of emotion having this conversation with my daughters. So a lot of heartache over it."

The 48-year-old also said it was "the right thing to do for my daughter."

The American Society of Hematology reported on the increased adverse effect COVID-19 may have on a person with sickle cell disease:

"Patients with SCD often have underlying cardiopulmonary co-morbidities that may predispose them to poor outcomes if they become infected with SARS-CoV-2. Data are being collected by the international COVID-19 sickle cell disease registry and by the ASH Registry, and providers are encouraged to report their SCD patients with COVID-19."

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Franklin's wife, Fumi, will stay in Florida with their two daughters while Franklin coaches the Nittany Lions in State College, Pennsylvania.

The family has been quarantining together with the offseason currently in progress and in-person workouts canceled from March through May due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the NCAA allowed teams to welcome student-athletes back for voluntary workouts starting June 1. Penn State's workouts are underway, per Adelson.

The Nittany Lions' opening game is scheduled for Sept. 5 against Kent State. Their final regular-season matchup is slated for Nov. 28 against Rutgers.

Penn State's season may run as long as Jan. 11, 2021, when the College Football Playoff National Championship Game is scheduled to be held in Miami.

The Nittany Lions routinely rank in the top 10 of early preseason top-25 polls, including fifth for ESPN's Mark Schlabach and ninth for Pro Football Focus' Eric Eager.

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