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James Franklin says Penn State has right AD, president to achieve great football success

James Franklin says Penn State has right AD, president to achieve great football success

For the first time during head coach James Franklin’s time at Penn State., the university appears to have a stabilized leadership at the university level to allow for the future success of the football program the way Franklin envisions it. Speaking to ESPN at Big Ten media day this week, Franklin praised the university’s hiring of president Neeli Bendapudi and athletics director Pat Kraft and suggested they are leaders that can help Penn State take the next step toward building a championship-caliber program.

“For the first time, the alignment is the way it should be,” Franklin said to ESPN this week. “I mean this in total respect. We’re doing things and making decisions to move past. It’s not all in response, which is what I’ve been living with for eight years. We’re finally at that point, and that’s powerful.”

Franklin has always been vocal about stating what he feels Penn State needs in order to take the next steps in progressing as a football program, and for years he felt he was in a position where he needed to be more vocal about those desires. But now, Franklin appears to feel comfortable knowing there are leaders in place that can help take that pressure off of his hands.

“There’s things that I’m watching my AD say that I used to have to say before,” Franklin said. “Now I don’t have to. I can focus on coaching ball and not be pounding the table.”

During Big Ten media days this week, Kraft spoke to the media about a concern over Penn State having so many Big Ten openers played on the road over the years. Penn State is about to open its third consecutive season with a road game against a Big Ten team (Indiana in 2020, Wisconsin in 2021, and Purdue in 2022).

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