James Franklin to Penn State is supposed to become official tomorrow, but not everyone in Happy Valley is thrilled with this choice for Bill O’Brien’s successor.
Michelle Rodino-Colocino, who is an Associate Professor of Film, Video, and Media Studies at Penn State, created a petition on Change.org against the hiring of Franklin. As of 4:25 today it had been signed by 256 supporters.
In a letter attached to the petition, Rodino-Colocino asks Penn State officials to rethink the hire in lieu of the 2012 Vanderbilt football rape case that involved four Commodore football players:
We find it appalling that, if reports are true, you are considering naming Vanderbilt Coach James Franklin as our new head football coach here at Penn State. Are you aware that his players are being investigated for gang raping another Vanderbilt student this past June and that James Franklin is suspected of covering up the attacks?… It hardly needs saying that Penn State does not need a football coach on staff who covers up rape. Nor do we need one who is alleged of a cover up. Right? Do the right thing. Do not hire James Franklin.
Franklin has never been cited as having any involvement with the issue, and quickly removed the players from the Vanderbilt team, but many national writers feel the same way as Rodino-Colocino when it comes to Penn State’s selection of Franklin. CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd and USA Today’s Christine Brennan have each penned very strong columns railing against the decision. Brennan calls Penn State’s leadership “tone deaf” in response to the reported hire.