James Franklin seems ready to move on from Iowa fans booing Penn State injuries

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Penn State head coach James Franklin seemingly closed the book on a days-long topic of conversation on Wednesday by giving a passionate response to the latest talking points regarding Iowa fans booing injuries suffered by Penn State last weekend. Franklin’s passionate reaction came after Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz defended Iowa fans for booing what Hawkeye fans believed to be Penn State faking injuries.

“[In] our six years of playing [Iowa], six years straight, 4-2 as our record, has that ever shown up? Has anybody seen that in my eight years as a head coach has that showed up at Penn State,” Franklin openly asked, regarding Penn state’s previous success against Iowa. “[In] my 12 years as a head coach has that showed up? It has not shown up.”

Franklin made many good points that should knock down any suggestion Penn State was looking for an advantage in slowing down the Iowa offense. Franklin ran through the long list of players that were injured to one degree or another and suggested it would be crazy to believe Penn State would voluntarily remove those players for any amount of time on the field.

The following transcription was reported by Lions 247;

Now, again from a strategy standpoint, would it be, would it be strategic, for us to tell PJ Mustipher to go down and fake an injury, one of our best players, one of our starters, one of our captains. Does that make sense? If you’re gonna do it, you wouldn’t do it with your starter, your captain. Alright, let’s talk about his backup D’Von Ellies who also got booed. So when it makes sense for the backup DT to send him out for a play? I don’t think so.

“AK (Arnold Ebiketie) may be our best defensive player, and his probably looked the worst. He went down. Maybe it’s because he plays so hard and he was cramping. But am I gonna tell AK to go down and not play a play on defense. Does that make any sense? Jaquan Brisker, he went down twice against Wisconsin, they did not boo him. Sean Clifford, did we want him to go down and not returning to the game? Devyn Ford, our starting tailback in the game went down and did not return in the game. Did we want that to happen? John Lovett went down, did not return in the game. Jonathan Sutherland our captain. Our captain went down and did not return in the game. Are you kidding me?

Franklin’s extended thoughts and response to this ongoing saga seemed like a fitting closing argument for one of college football’s worst storylines. At this point, despite Franklin’s plea for fans to take off their Penn State or Iowa hats on this subject for a moment, fans of either school are probably going to believe whatever they want to believe. But Franklin is right in defending his program and combat the notion Penn State was looking for any advantage by faking injuries.

And with this final word from Franklin, it is time to officially begin turning the page on this entire saga for better or worse. The idea of players faking injuries in football will, unfortunately, continue to pop up from time to time, maybe even this coming weekend around the country. And there is little that can be done to combat it from a rules perspective as injuries of all kinds should be dealt with responsibly even if they are minor.

For now, Franklin and Penn State have more important things to spend their time on. That starts with getting players rest and back on the field as quickly as they can before the second half of the schedule kicks off. Penn State has a bye week this weekend and the Nittany Lions continue their season next week with a home game against Illinois.

For now, it is unknown whether or not Sean Clifford will be available for the homecoming game against the Illini. At least Clifford didn’t have to hear Iowa fans boo him.

OK, now I’m turning the page on this topic.

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