On Saturday, the Penn State Nittany Lions are set to hold a special announcement where they are expected to announce that James Franklin will be leaving the Vanderbilt Commodores to become the new head coach in State College.
While most people are applauding the imminent move, there are hundreds of fans that are signing an online petition for the Nittany Lions to NOT hire Franklin.
The concerns surrounding the Franklin hiring stem from the rape scandal that rocked Vanderbilt this past season, which may not sit well with a number of fans as Penn State is trying desperately to put their own scandal behind them.
The petitionwas started by Michelle Rodino-Colocino, an associate professor in the Department of Film-Video and Media Studies
“We at Penn State do not want a football coach who has allegedly covered up his players’ gang rape of another student at Vanderbilt,” the petition states. “Our university needs to stand up for human rights.”
“In response to some comments that allegations of a cover up [at Vanderbilt] have not been proven, it is important to remember that there has not yet been a trial,” the petition continues. “Media has reported that defendants’ lawyers may subpoena Franklin to testify about his role, if any, in a cover up of the alleged attacks by his players. If this happens, Penn State will then be embroiled in another set of rape cases.”
You can see the obvious concerns, but it is a bit unfair for the fans to assume Franklin had a direct role in covering up the scandal.
As is always the case, as long as Franklin wins, people will forgive and forget.