Franklin contract in discussion

YORK — A potential contract extension for coach James Franklin was the hot topic on the first day of the Penn State coaches caravan Monday.

“Stay tuned. It’s moving along,” PSU athletic director Sandy Barbour said. “There’s no pressure or hurry from either Penn State or from Coach Franklin, so I think it’s happening as it’s happening.”

Franklin, hired in 2014, has three years left on his initial contract, which pays him more than $4 million a year, plus incentives. With the Nittany Lions winning the Big Ten title in 2016, and including all other incentives, Franklin was paid $5.4 million.

Franklin was asked about the escalating salaries among college football coaches during a caravan stop Monday in York and said, “It’s all crazy.”

“I’m kind of an old-school guy,” Franklin said. “I believe in the true student-athlete and what this is all about. I’ve never made decisions off of (money). But I guess it’s no different from any other industry. The market really demands it. I don’t think any coach got into this for that. But it is crazy, there’s no doubt it.”

Penn State is expected to be a College Football Playoff contender this year, which could be a reason for the school to sign Franklin to a contract extension before the season. If the school waits and the Lions have a big year, he could demand a higher salary. Then again, if PSU struggles this fall, Franklin’s bargaining leverage could drop a bit.

Franklin and the coaches caravan will visit Altoona on Thursday.

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