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James Franklin would lock the country down amid coronavirus pandemic

Penn State head coach James Franklin held a spring press conference on Wednesday afternoon. That’s not too out of the ordinary. This is about the time of year when Franklin and other college football coaches begin meeting with the media as spring football practices are in full swing. Of course, this year is different with no spring football to be held amid the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the nation. So Franklin’s press conference on Wednesday was not held in a full media room in Beaver Stadium. Instead, Franklin sat in front of a desktop computer and hopped in a Zoom conference call and met with the members of the Penn State media, because everyone seems to be hopping on Zoom these days.

Naturally, how Penn State is operating its football program at this time was one of the major topics of conversation, to which Franklin noted there are more Zoom calls ongoing with coaches and players to keep the communication going during this bizarre spring.

“Not having spring practice is the focus for our players, but the magnitude of this is much more significant,” Franklin said when discussing the current state of affairs in Happy Valley. “This is much bigger than sports & something that the entire world is dealing with. Sports take a back seat to that.”

Franklin made his point fairly clear. If it were up to him, the entire country would be shut down until the virus is under control.

Like many other states, Pennsylvania has been on a shutdown for non-life-essential businesses since last Friday, with some exceptions sprinkled throughout the state. The Big Ten has also shut down all spring athletic activities, and the NCAA shut down all recruiting activities. All of this leaves Franklin with plenty of time to sit in front of a computer.

Franklin noted he is unsure just when he will be able to see his team in person once again, but the discussions are underway to determine how much time may be needed in order to prepare for the new season.

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