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James Franklin Gets Paid

Six Year Extension Worth $5.8 Million Per Year

NCAA Football: Penn State Blue-White Game Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Rumor has it that Penn State Nittany Lions football coach James Franklin got the extension we expected…but the numbers are surprising.

Per Greg Pickel at, it’s a six-year deal that will average $5.8 million per year. It has a $2 million buyout clause this year.

That puts him at the fifth highest paid collegiate coach, between Urban Meyer and Bob Stoops. He’s well behind the top spot. Michigan pays Screamin’ Jim Harbaugh a whopping $9 million per year.

There is some justification of that pay. Harbaugh came in and won 10 games in both seasons he’s coached. He ramped up recruiting quality. He had the 50th class in the country his first year. Then he’s had the fourth best class two years running. That’s great.

Urban Meyer’s Buckeyes brought in the second and third ranked classes in 2017 and 2016, respectively. While there is a long way to go in the 2018 recruiting class, right now Penn State is first and Ohio State is third.

While that’s good football, it isn’t why James Franklin got the extension with the big money.

The rumor circulating in State College the past few years is that the powers that be would be fine with a middle of the road football team. They saw the football culture at Penn State as a problem. (Spoiler…it isn’t).

It’s because Keegan Michael Key looks just like him...

Just kidding...(not really).

The powers in the University want to make sure that the football coach isn’t the most powerful person on campus. The problem is that the football program brings in an inordinate amount of cash. The more successful, the more cash comes in.

Some schools cater to that cash. The hire big names /cough Harbaugh cough/. They make ethical sacrifices…you see it all the time. A guy runs a successful program, but gets run out of town for putting kids at risk or cheating. He’s out for a while, but gets another shot. Guys like Chip Kelly, Gary Barnett, Pete Carroll, Hugh Freeze…the list is long and infamous.

That’s what Penn State wanted to avoid at all costs. The University was running scared after Bill O’Brien left for the NFL. They wanted a button-down collar type. A squeaky clean, play the right way – win or lose – kind of guy. And the found that in Franklin, a relative unknown at the time. He was rehabilitating the SEC version of Purdue when the call from Penn State came.

If you don’t know him, meet James Franklin:

Franklin was the perfect guy for that job, from the University’s point of view. He’s humble. He’s got a young family. He embraced Penn State and its culture:

And until last year happened, the upper echelons at University Park were happy as could be with seven wins. The program was healthy, the alumni got to go to bowl games, and the bad old sanctions days were fading in the distance.

The fans weren’t happy…until we saw Trace Unleashed. Now everybody’s happy.

Franklin got the extension because he’s the kind of guy the University wants to run the football program. He is a solid manager that will keep his nose clean. Most importantly, he isn’t Jim Harbaugh or Chip Kelly…because nobody at Penn State wants a(nother) king.

Your Friend,



James Franklin’s Extension...

This poll is closed

  • 15%
    Will end in tears as PSU craters this year
    (32 votes)
  • 23%
    Is too much money for his skillset
    (50 votes)
  • 2%
    Won’t matter because he heads to the NFL in 2018
    (6 votes)
  • 12%
    Just pisses me off because I hate Penn State
    (26 votes)
  • 46%
    Was good for the school and the B1G because it keeps a top recruiter here, rather than the SEC
    (99 votes)
213 votes total Vote Now