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James Franklin signs 6-year contract at Penn State

There’s been plenty of chatter out there that Penn State is sick of James Franklin and James Franklin is sick of Penn State. Who knows how true any of that is, but, if so, both sides are about to get a lot sicker of each other. The Nittany Lions announced on Friday that the coach has signed a new 6-year contract to remain in Happy Valley through the 2025 season.

“We are thrilled to have James as the head of our football program. We wanted to make a strong pledge to James and this program with this new contract,” said AD Sandy Barbour. “James came to Penn State with a very clear vision and we have seen that grow and prosper. What he has done to bring success to our program, both on and off the field, has been nothing short of spectacular.

“James is a true Penn Stater with a commitment to the complete experience for our students by developing them academically, socially and on the field. Even more, he has embraced and been a pillar of the Happy Valley community since his arrival. James has won many games at Penn State and will continue to win many more, but what is more impressive is the number of lives he has impacted in our program and in our community.”

Franklin accompanied the statement with this announcement:

franklin-statement.jpeg

If the Franklin-Penn State marriage is one of convenience, it’s been awfully convenient for both sides. Taking over a program that was still emerging from Paterno-era NCAA sanctions and Bill O’Brien‘s NFL departure, Franklin went 7-6 in his first two campaigns and has gone 41-11 since. The Nittany Lions won the Big Ten in 2016 and with some luck this weekend will reach its third New Year’s Six bowl in four seasons. A win in their bowl game gives Penn State its third AP top-10 finish over that same span.

The real proof of just how committed Franklin and Penn State are to each other lies in the buyout figures on both sides, and those details have not been released, though Penn State says it will provide them “in the near future.”