Penn State’s James Franklin: “I will take no matter vaccine you can provide me.”

James Franklin will not insist that his Penn State football players be vaccinated against the coronavirus.

“I don’t think you can ever give a mandate,” he said on a conference call with reporters on Wednesday. “We learned that in our country. This will be difficult for you. ”

But he will encourage, and not just his players. He wants to send the message through the state of Pennsylvania. Maybe getting his family out of the room above his garage and back into the house will help.

Franklin continues to be separated from his family – he did last year – because his daughter Addison has sickle cell disease, which puts her at higher risk if she gets Covid-19.

“I think you can find out why it makes sense (to get vaccinated). That’s the approach we’ve taken with our team, ”he said.

Franklin volunteered for public announcements that featured a crowd of more than 100,000 at Beaver Stadium. “Show lightning bolts from the Beaver Stadium (and say), ‘If you want to get back to this asap, this is the step that will help us.’

“It’s not just at Beaver Stadium. That’s in Philadelphia. That’s in Pittsburgh and Heinz Field and all these different places. ”

Franklin also suggested that Pittsburgh Steelers trainer Mike Tomlin and Pitt trainer Pat Narduzzi could make similar pressure sensitive adhesives.

“If we want to get back to a normal routine and celebrate and enjoy our professional sports and college athletics, this could help.

“Personally, I’ll get any vaccine you can give me. I will take the Moderna. I’ll take the Johnson & Johnson. I’ll take them all if it helps us get back to normal and be with my family again. ”

A bit of normality Franklin enjoys is the ability to do spring training this year after all 2020 sessions have been canceled. But he doesn’t want to sound like he’s apologizing for Penn State’s 4-5 record, the Nittany Lions’ first losing season since 2004.

“I’m always careful when I get questions like this,” he said.

Yet he recognizes the reality.

“If I sit here and say that I don’t have a spring ball and that I cut camp, it has nothing to do with chemistry and other things, then I wouldn’t be honest. It did. ”

Franklin said he treated it like a life lesson.

“No matter what, you have to find a way to be flexible and get it done,” he said. “The only thing we can guarantee is change.”

Jerry DiPaola is a contributor to Tribune Review. You can contact Jerry by email at or on Twitter.

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