College football recruiting is a harsh business, and everyone seems to try and find an edge. When it comes to the Penn State Nittany Lions, the easy edge is to talk about the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky scandal.
On the second day of Big Ten media days, one of the biggest headlines came with questions regarding comments made by Penn State head coach James Franklin in regards to negative recruiting by competitors on the recruiting trail and the reaction by some of those coaches whom he indirectly accused of such things.
Last month, Franklin made a pretty strong allegation against three Big Ten East rivals and others.
“The people we’re competing with – Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame – this is just not something they have to deal with,” said Franklin in a Q&A with the Reading Eagle. “Although we want to move on, those other schools are not letting us move on.”
We’d be naive to think teams don’t talk about other programs while on the recruiting trail, but the complaining by Franklin certainly seems like a ploy to get people to sympathize with the program at a time when the NCAA sanctions are truly behind them.
Penn State is back up to a full complement of scholarships for the 2016 season and beyond, there is no postseason ban nor a decrease in contact on the recruiting trail. So, other than someone trying to say something about the past at Penn State, what exactly could
For their parts, Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio and Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer denounced the notion that they have been negatively recruiting against Penn State.
“I know we have a lot of reporters here,” said Dantonio . “Everybody’s got a pen. But from my standpoint, I have not said anything negative about Penn State. And hopefully our coaches have not as well.
“So I was surprised to read that. I don’t know what happens out there on the road completely. But it’s not our MO. And that’s not how we do business.”
However, the strongest denunciation came from Meyer when asked about the situation at the podium in front of the national media. The Ohio State head coach said that is something he doesn’t believe in and hadn’t heard about that, while also noting he would address the issue personally with Franklin and considered the matter a “strong allegation.”
Franklin for his part believes he was misquoted and was never accusing anyone of negative recruiting.
I just spoke to James Franklin. Said separate quotes were taken out of context & he never accused MSU, OhioSt or Mich of negative recruiting
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) July 26, 2016
There’s just one problem with that, the quote and the issue at hand comes from a direct Q&A and not from an article that could have easily spliced together quotes.
Perhaps those in glass houses shouldn’t be throwing stones? It isn’t as if Penn State doesn’t talk negatively about other programs on the recruiting trail either. It happens with every school in every conference across the country.
Crying foul over something like this just drips of desperation for attention.