PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — As soon as Penn State University made it official, callers began lighting up the phone lines this morning on 93-7 The Fan, ready to give their opinions on the new head coach of the Nittany Lions.
“I just want to comment, I do think it’s pretty questionable hiring Franklin with the case still pending at Vanderbilt,” said one caller.
Penn State hired James Franklin even though four of his former players at Vanderbilt University are facing charges for an alleged gang rape on campus last year.
“I don’t care. I went there, I root for Penn State, I love Penn State,” added another caller. “I care about wins.”
“It’s despicable what he would say about not caring, it’s all about winning,” one caller said. “What if that were his son or grandson in the Sandusky situation?
The prosecutor in Nashville said there was no evidence that Franklin tried to cover up the crime.
Some fans believe Penn State did its homework.
“If they vetted him right and found that he had nothing to do with it… and he kicked the players out of Vanderbilt, they’re not even allowed on the campus, he handled it how he should,” said Chris Parisi, a Penn State fan.
But after the Jerry Sandusky scandal, others wonder if Franklin is the right man for the job.
“If you Google ‘James Franklin,’ one of the first things that comes up is the Vanderbilt rape situation; and if you are trying to get over the baggage with Joe Paterno, it’s going to be hard with this hanging over your heads,” Adam Crowley, another Penn State fan, said.
Franklin is now the 16th head football coach at Penn State. On the field, he’s known as a winner and a great recruiter.
“Best thing to happen,” said John Demoss, another Penn State fan. “Let’s get the new coach in, let’s get Coach Franklin in job, on the job as fast as possible.”
Fans will get to see Franklin on the sideline for the first time during the blue-white game April 12.