James Franklin: PSU Will 'Exhaust Every Opportunity' If Big Ten Cancels Season

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 11, 2020

FILE - This file photo from Oct. 26, 2019 shows Penn State coach James Franklin as he watches the team warm before an NCAA college football game against Michigan State, in East Lansing, Mich. A football player who transferred from Penn State claims in a lawsuit filed Monday, Jan. 13, 2020, against the university, and head coach James Franklin, that other Nittany Lions players hazed him and other younger teammates, including allegations they imitated sexual acts in the shower and invoked Jerry Sandusky's name. (AP Photo/Al Goldis, File)
Al Goldis/Associated Press

Penn State head coach James Franklin reiterated his desire Tuesday to stage college football games this fall as the Big Ten considers canceling the season or postponing it until the spring.

Asked about a possible cancellation of the season, Franklin said on Get Up that the Nittany Lions will "exhaust every opportunity out there." He also mentioned one potential plan in the event football is pushed back until the spring:

Audrey Snyder @audsnyder4

If the B1G doesn't exist this season will PSU do what Nebraska could do? Franklin says they'll "exhaust every opportunity out there." Says he owes it to the players and parents to do that. Spring season? "We could use the domes in Detroit, Minneapolis and Indianapolis."

Mark Wogenrich @MarkWogenrich

On @GetUpESPN, Penn State coach James Franklin suggests holding "Big Ten weekends" in Minneapolis, Indianapolis and Detroit if football is postponed to spring. "Let’s spend the next month coming up with solutions rather than just calling it quits," Franklin said.

Franklin issued a statement Monday night saying the Big Ten should "consider all possibilities to preserve college football this fall."

James Franklin @coachjfranklin

#WeAre https://t.co/dsZEGczZ84

The Mid-American Conference and Mountain West have already announced the cancellation of fall football with the possibility of picking up the season in the spring.

To account for the pandemic, the Big Ten adopted a conference-only scheduling format, rolling out the full schedule last week.

Big Ten Network @BigTenNetwork

🚨 2020 SCHEDULE RELEASE 🚨 Plan accordingly, @B1GFootball fans. The 10-game regular season looks like this: https://t.co/nlh7ET4FOv

The Detroit Free Press' Orion Sang, David Jesse, Chris Solari and Chris Thomas reported Monday the conference was going even further and planning to scrap the fall season entirely.

According to ESPN's Paula Lavigne and Mark Schlabach, at least five athletes from the Big Ten have developed myocarditis, a heart condition linked to COVID-19. Administrators from across the Power Five conferences have been weighing the health risks athletes would face by carrying on with football this fall.

Were the Big Ten to announce a postponement or cancellation, it might see some of its member schools temporarily leave the conference in order to play. Franklin's comments come after Nebraska head coach Scott Frost and Ohio State head coach Ryan Day alluded to potential moves away from the Big Ten.

Husker Sports @HuskerSports

"Our University is committed to playing no matter what, no matter what that looks like and how that looks. We want to play no matter who it is or where it is." #Huskers HC Scott Frost on opponents for 2020. https://t.co/kTPN9znv0v

Albert Breer @AlbertBreer

Ohio State coach Ryan Day was just asked on ESPN about playing in another conference if the Big Ten shuts down: "We need to look at every option. And if that's the only option, we need to explore it and see if that's something we can do." 👀

However, according to CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd, that might not be a viable solution.

Television rights are almost all tied to conferences rather than individual programs. If Nebraska or Ohio State leaves the Big Ten, it would create major logistical issues in terms of broadcasting games and distributing revenue.

Absent setting up a "bubble" location to play in—which could open the door for dismantling amateurism in the NCAA altogether—focusing on the details necessary for a spring season might be the most realistic option on the table for Big Ten schools.