PSU's James Franklin Disagrees with Process and Timing of Big Ten Postponement

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistAugust 19, 2020

Penn State head coach James Franklin talks with reporters following an NCAA college football game against Idaho in State College, Pa., on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019. (AP Photo/Barry Reeger)
Barry Reeger/Associated Press

Penn State head football coach James Franklin understands the Big Ten's decision to postpone fall sports, but he's frustrated by the conference's process.

Speaking to reporters Wednesday, Franklin explained his frustration with the way the Big Ten went about things.

"I don't necessarily have an issue with the decision, but I have an issue with the process, and I've got an issue with the timing. It was challenging to keep getting up in front of my team and getting up in front of my parents and not having answers to their questions," he said.

The Big Ten announced Aug. 11 it was postponing all fall sports because of the coronavirus pandemic and left open the possibility of shifting those sports to the spring.

Conference commissioner Kevin Warren said, "It became abundantly clear that there was too much uncertainty regarding potential medical risks to allow our student-athletes to compete this fall."

Six days before postponing the season, the Big Ten released a revised football schedule in which each team played 10 conference games running from Sept. 3 through Nov. 21. The Big Ten Championship Game was scheduled to take place Dec. 5 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Many people have expressed frustration in the wake of the Big Ten's decision.

Parents of football players from Penn State, Ohio State, Iowa, Nebraska and other schools recently sent Warren a letter asking for clarity on why the season was postponed, per ESPN's Adam Rittenberg.

As well, Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields started an online petition Sunday to ask the Big Ten to immediately reinstate the fall season. It has received more than 280,000 signatures.