NASHVILLE, Tenn. — James Franklin appears to have a decision to make. Stay at Vanderbilt or take over as coach at Penn State.
Vanderbilt athletic director David Williams said Thursday night he exchanged text messages with his football coach and Franklin “basically said that he is our coach. He hasn’t made a decision.”
CBS.com was first among several media outlets to report Franklin is expected to be Penn State’s replacement for Bill O’Brien, who left for the Houston Texans.
“He just wanted me to know that the things that are being said that he has made a decision to leave are not true,” Williams said
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Penn State had no official comment, but the university did announce that a new compensation committee is scheduled to meet Saturday morning in a closed session to discuss a contract for someone not yet being identified by the school. The school also said there will be a brief public session Saturday morning.
Vanderbilt had only one winning season since 1982 before Williams hired Franklin in December 2010. The Commodores also had only four bowl berths before Franklin arrived, and he now has taken them to three straight bowls.
The Pennsylvania native is 24-15 in his three seasons as Vanderbilt’s coach, matching Dan McGugin for the most wins in school history over a coach’s first three seasons. The Commodores are 16-4 over the past 20 games, second in the SEC only to Alabama.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Looking back, Bobby Petrino said one of his many mistakes in recent years was leaving Louisville, which provided the first of several head-coaching opportunities on the college and professional levels.
Upon returning to the Cardinals after seven years, Petrino promised his second stint would be permanent because this was always his destination — even with collegiate stops at Arkansas and Western Kentucky and a 13-game foray with the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons.
• Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller announced he will return for his senior season. The 6-foot-2, 215-pounder, a two-time Big Ten MVP, had been contemplating jumping into the NFL draft a year early.
• All-America left tackle Cyrus Kouandjio and safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix are leading a contingent of Alabama players leaving early for the NFL. Those two Crimson Tide stars were joined in announcing their departures by linebacker Adrian Hubbard and defensive end Jeoffrey Pagan.
• Florida State defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan, who anchored the line and commanded double teams, is entering the NFL draft.
• Auburn tailback Tre Mason, who helped power the Tigers into the national championship game, is skipping his senior season to enter the NFL draft.
• All-Big Ten running back Ameer Abdullah said he is returning to Nebraska for his senior season.
• Wide receiver DaVaris Daniels is not enrolled at Notre Dame for the spring semester, becoming the third high-profile Fighting Irish athlete in the past year to be suspended from school for academic problems.
• Ty Montgomery of Stanford was named winner of the Jet Award as the top return specialist in college football.
• Former Kansas coach Mark Mangino has returned to the Big 12 as offensive coordinator at Iowa State. He was an assistant last season at Youngstown State.