Penn State, James Franklin affirm commitment after Texas A&M reports


Franklin, in his fourth season at PSU, is coming off a Big Ten championship in 2016 and has the Nittany Lions ranked No. 3 this year, so it makes sense that A&M would be interested in his services.

Penn State coach James Franklin and the school denied reports that Franklin would be being considered as a potential replacement for Sumlin at Texas A&M. The report, written by Dennis Dodd (who visited State College this week) can basically be translated to this: Penn State believes Texas A&M may go after Franklin and is doing what it can to prepare for that possible pursuit.

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Yes, Sumlin still has his job at the moment, but the pressure continues to mount for the A&M leader.

Franklin, 45, is 31-15 in three-plus seasons with the Nittany Lions. Things are pretty cushy for Franklin in Happy Valley. His buyout is $2 million.

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This past summer Franklin signed a three-year contract extension worth almost $20 million that would keep him in Happy Valley through 2022.

"My family and I are very thankful to be a part of the Penn State community", Franklin said in a written statement after the contract announcement. "I look forward to diligently working with President Barron and Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour on implementing a plan that puts our University and our student-athletes in the best position to compete on the field and in life".

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Again, all this might be moot, as Sumlin isn't exactly a bottom-of-the-barrel coach. There's no guarantee that he gets fired-he's 48-23 in five-plus seasons in College Station-but still, A&M has finished 8-5 for three straight seasons, so if Sumlin can't get past eight wins, he could well get the axe.