Franklin Addresses Vanderbilt Controversy

Franklin Addresses Vanderbilt Controversy

Penn State's first-year coach said he wants to be "as open and transparent as I possibly can." He has consistently denied any wrongdoing in the matter.


First year Penn State football coach James Franklin held a press conference at Pegula Ice Arena here Thursday that was meant to help kick off the university's promotional "Coaches Caravan."

But is also marked his first media availability since a report surfaced earlier in the week that he attempted to contact a woman who had accused four Vanderbilt football players of rape. Franklin was the head coach of the Commodores when the alleged incident took place.

Franklin has always denied any wrongdoing in the handling of the case, and prosecutors in Nashville have consistently backed him on that front. Earlier Thursday, Nashville deputy district attorney Tom Thurman told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "there is no indication that Coach Franklin did anything inappropriate in this investigation."

Franklin also denied any wrongdoing in a prepared statement earlier in the week, saying, "The allegations that I did something wrong simply are not true." The first question he fielded Thursday was about the Vanderbilt controversy.

"I addressed this matter (in a prepared statement) Tuesday, and during my initial press conference (at Penn State) Jan. 11," Franklin said. "Cooperated fully with the authorities. This matter was thoroughly investigated by the authorities and also by Vanderbilt's internal and external council. This is a legal matter and that's really about all I can say. I want to be as open and transparent as I possibly can and have been all along, but with this being a legal matter that's all I can say.

Franklin also said he understands why the matter may be of particular concern to Penn State fans, who have seen the program have to deal with the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal and its significant fallout.

"I'm very sensitive to this situation that I went through and that we went though at the previous institution," he said. "(I'm) very, very sensitive to what happened here (at Penn State), and I'm very, very sensitive to society in general. As a father of two daughters, I take this stuff real serious like everyone else does."

You can see all of Franklin's comments on the situation in the video above.

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