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Podcast: Franklin and the Penn State parse

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Today’s TribLIVE Radio podcast began with a rant on James Franklin and what appears to be yet another fine mess for Penn State.

Here’s video of that segment …

Hope you can check the full podcast with that first link up there, as it also includes a talk with Trib baseball writer Rob Biertempfel and, of course, the latest installment from @SuckMeter.

Thanks to all who listened, called and emailed!

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

Dejan Kovacevic, a lifelong Pittsburgher, is an award-winning sports columnist for Trib Total Media covering the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, Pitt and, recently, his fourth Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also appears on WPXI-TV's 'Subway Final Word’ and hosts a weekly show on TribLIVE Radio. For 2011, he was named one of the country's top four columnists by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the country's top three columnists by the National Headliners. For 2013, he was named the state's top columnist by the Keystone Press Awards and top columnist in Western Pennsylvania by the Golden Quills.


  1. Jim S. says:


    Your opening to the podcast was brilliant, in my opinion. I tried to make a lot of the same points on your blog this morning, albeit not as eloquently.

    Franklin may be innocent here, and I certainly hope that is the case. I am not presuming anything in that regard. As you said, this is all alleged.

    But, his actions and judgment have to at least be questioned if any of this is true. If he actually contacted that young woman 4 days after what she aleges several of his players did to her, then at the very least his judgment was awful. As a father of daughters, I can say that one of the absolute last people I would want contacting my daughter at that point would be the football coach of the young men who assaulted her. There is no way I would trust his motives at that point. Since Mr. Franklin is himself a father of daughters, how he could not see this is beyond me. And, how University officials or his lawyer would allow him to contact her at that point is also a head scratcher.

    As for Franklin supposedly asking her to form a team of 15 pretty girls to help with recruiting and saying that all the schools are doing it … well, I highly doubt all the schools are doing such questionable things, although I don’t doubt some schools use such tactics. That seems like a pretty creepy thing to ask a young lady to begin with, but when you couple it with his comment about how he wants his assistant coaches to have hot wives, this guy’s character and judgment are both very suspect to me.

    If there is nothing there, then he should certainly be cleared. But, I think he is quickly losing the presumption that he did nothing wrong in all of this.

  2. Thanks for listening, Jim, first off. The point you raise is one I haven’t heard much in the past 24 hours: Whether or not Franklin had any bad intentions in contacting the alleged rape victim, man, use some common sense. The mere contact can come across as intimidation.

  3. Here’s a thoughtful take on Franklin by Harrisburg Patriot-News columnist David Jones:

  4. Milo Hamilton says:

    Very well said Dejan.

    Joe Starkey will be writing on the subject in tomorrow’s paper. He’s talked to two of the defense attorneys & they say they have proof of Franklin’s contact with the woman.

  5. Milo Hamilton says:

    The glowing endorsement from Deb Yow alone would have made me run screaming the other way. She alienated Maryland’s popular football coach & alum Ralph Friedgen by hiring Franklin as an assistant & naming him coach in waiting without Friedgen’s approval. Franklin rewarded her confidence by bolting for Vandy before ever coaching a game at Maryland. Friedgen “retrired” under pressure leaving Maryland in a hole they are still digging out of.

    Then there’s National Championship coach and Maryland alum Gary Williams. His relationship with Yow was so strained they didn’t speak for his last 2 or 3 years at the school. He finally had enough & also retired.

  6. Wild Bill says:

    At the risk of sounding defensive of Franklin, the Tennesean quoted two brief pieces of information about actions they claim James Franklin took near the time of the alleged sexual assault. The brief in which these pieces were contained was 24 pages in length. It was a filing to the court claiming that the prosecution has not been fair with the defense in the sharing of information with them. From reporting I have heard 95 percent of this brief has nothing at all to do with James Franklin, and such briefs are common when defense attorneys would like to fine a way for charges to be dismissed or reduced against their clients.

    Having said this, I hope that Franklin and PSU will be as transparent as possible about what he did, when he did it, and why. I am desperately hopeful that the search committee was aware of this situation and is not hearing about this for the first time in these reports in the media. When more detail is known, my opinion of this situation will firm up. If what comes is ugly, then the ones I’ll be angriest at are the A.D. and the search group.

  7. JohninOshkosh says:

    I worked in the criminal justice corporation (that’s what I call it instead of system) for years. I never came across an alleged victim of a gang rape that was lying even one time. Zero. Never. Not saying that it never happens anywhere, but I never saw it. I came to conclude that it simply wasn’t the type of thing a woman would lie about, especially when it would become public.

    The worst thing that could happen would be authority figures associated with the perpetrators talking to the victim. Stories got changed and recants were made, even if there was no overt intimidation involved.

    A public figure has other avenues to contact someone, even if only to comfort. Letters, sometimes subject to FOIA requests and discovery, keep things in the light of day. Or, he could have simply contacted her in the accompaniment of law enforcement. Best move was not to contact her at all. At that point, she was probably at her most vulnerable in her young life.

    This is incredibly poor judgment at best.

    Good show, Dejan.

  8. Skip says:

    Apparently the criminal justice “corporation” for which you worked wasn’t involved in the Duke lacrosse scandal. That’s an example of a “victim” lying.

    And I’m not commenting on the situation regarding Coach Franklin. I’m merely replying to your comment about never coming across an alleged gang rape victim who lied.

  9. JohninOshkosh says:

    I knew someone would bring that up. That’s why I limited my comment to my experience and qualified it by saying that I wasn’t saying it never happens. I did not have any association with that Duke case.

  10. Leo Walter says:

    Read William Cohane’s new book about the Duke case Skip and see if it influences your opinion of what happened there.

  11. Leo Walter says:

    Sorry for inadvertently adding an ” e ” to William Cohan’s name.And,the title of the book is ” The Price Of Silence “.

  12. Skip says:

    Since I don’t have the book in front of me, how about a synopsis?

  13. JohninOshkosh says:

    No score at MSG after one period.

    Also sounds like the Brewers are close to giving up on Rule 5’er, Wang.

  14. Skip says:

    I’m glad to see you acknowledge that alleged rape victims have been known to lie, even though you didn’t personally witness that in your previous life.

  15. Dom says:

    1-0 good guys.

  16. Milo Hamilton says:

    1-0 Rangers. The team that’s scored 1st has won the last 16 Game 7’s.

  17. TJA says:

    Will these people at Penn State never learn? this is palace of higher education…is it not?

  18. chethejet1 says:

    Anyway one cuts it, Franklin left Vanderbilt while a investigation was underway that in fact did involve his players, and some suspect behavior now being shown to be questionable as the head coach. Keep in mind this “hot” property was not able to interview for the USC coaching position as they had zero interest in doing so.

  19. TJA says:

    Lol…said “palace” and meant to say “place”. But now that I say that….

  20. TJA says:

    Chet…have family that are grads of USC…still dealing with their own mess there. But, your points are well spoken.

  21. Andrew says:

    Flyer’s defense is a joke, they need PP production if they want to win.

  22. Thundercrack says:

    “We’re talking about” “It was entered in a court of law” “That doesn’t mean it is the gospel truth”

    Right. And this guy may be guilty of a lot of stuff.

    But a lot of people seem to jumping to conclusions and convicting the guy…even though they will deny that they are doing that.

  23. Dom says:

    2-0 Good guys.

  24. zorro says:

    Wow. Rangers looked good in that 2nd period. If fleury was in net they may have scored 5 goals instead of 2

  25. BIGGYKEV says:

    I love how some in media just love to jump to conclusions. Hey Dejan, I like reading a ton, but you should offer an apology to Franklin and PSU.

  26. Milo Hamilton says:

    If Fleury was in net I hope we got Couturier for him.

  27. Dom says:

    Uh oh.

    2-1 Good guys.

    Rangers getting over played.

  28. Dom says:

    That’s so mean.

  29. Andrew says:

    Fleury, better career Sv% than Mason.

  30. Stuart says:

    I suppose we should be rooting for triple OT, but I’d just like the Rangers to win it in regulation.

    The Flyersbare coming on. They’re ahead territorially.

    BTW can anyone remember the last “one-admission” doubleheader?


  31. OK, I’ll bite: What would the apology say?

  32. BIGGYKEV says:

    I think you have been a bit unfair to PSU the entire scandal, just my opinion. I never liked Paterno or PSU all that much but I did have family that are big fans. I think the media likes to jump the gun without know the facts. Several years later, we still don’t know what role PSU Football had with a cover-up in the Sandusky scandal. I also little from the media asking questions of the Second Mile program or the PSU BOT. Why did the BOT pay for a report that was so one sided and based in little facts?? I think there is a helluva a story there if inquiring mind really wanted to look for the truth.

    Lastly, if Franklin did something wrong, lets let it be proven and then we can trash him and PSU and I will be behind you 100%. I’m just tired of the presumption of guilt disguised by media with terms such as: “nobody knows what happened, BUT……..” or “We still aren’t sure if…. is involved with…….., BUT”.

  33. Jandy says:

    Pens will face the Rags round 2

  34. Dom says:

    Rangers win. We’ll have a chance next round after all.

  35. JohninOshkosh says:

    Pirates and Nats played a true DH in DC three or four years ago. I think it was on or near the fourth of July, that is why I somewhat remember it.

  36. Radio Wave will be happy.

    And we get to face Lungfish?

  37. JohninOshkosh says:

    Best Canadian professional team not in Quebec are the Raptors.

  38. Jandy says:

    Likely so lol

  39. Andrew says:

    Cardinal Pirates last year was one admission, it wasn’t scheduled, it was a make up like tomorrow.

  40. Brandie says:

    I might just have to dance a happy dance…no more Flyers. Although, no way you take the Rags as candy coated fluff that is easily bypassed.

  41. Brandie says:

    Henrik Lungfish? I like it.

    At least the typo was not Lutefisk.

  42. There is no official day or time for the Pens/Rangers opening playoff game at the Consol Center although it’s thought that they might play on Sunday night. Now hopefully, since the Rangers likely won’t get into the Pens’ head like the Flyers would’ve, there’s a somewhat better chance that the Pens will reach the finals. We can only hope at this point.

  43. Also, hopefully, the Pirates and Orioles will get in their doubleheader tomorrow at 4:05pm since the rains and storms are expected to clear out enough by then.

  44. Jandy says:

    well said sistah!

  45. Jandy says:

    Someone called him Lungfish this morning Brandecita…no typo there ;)

    I call him Luckqvist

  46. Hopefully his luck has run out.


  47. chethejet1 says:

    Not to put to fine a point on things here, but the hiring of Franklin while still involved in a criminal investigation of his players alleged raping a student and hiring him with out a final outcome was not smart. Top that off with the same nitwits hiring the FSU main man that again is now seen to have not been as interested in finding the truth about his star QB. Not the most positive image for nitland.

  48. Milo Hamilton says:

    Major League Baseball says that’s a goal.

  49. JohninOshkosh says:


  50. Bizrow says:

    Well, at least we’re not dissing each other ;-)

  51. JohninOshkosh says:

    Another tie in Denver!

  52. Milo Hamilton says:

    I need Colorado & LA to go 8-0 in my bracket.

  53. JohninOshkosh says:

    Avs up again. When I was 18, I could barely function. Mackinnon….

    Not even Jan at Toyota can cheer me up.

  54. Milo Hamilton says:

    Hey, they haven’t been able to hold a lead yet. Uh oh, here comes Bryz.

  55. Milo Hamilton says:


  56. JohninOshkosh says:

    Hell yeah! Four answers in a row!

  57. M.L. says:

    DK posting pics of last Flyers Stanley Cup win to provoke Flyers fans and suck up to his fellow Pen-fanboys…but he’s an “objective journalist”…not a fanboy…okay, I’ll bite. TROLLOL ;)

  58. Milo Hamilton says:

    Todd McLellan’s agent better start making phone calls.

  59. Milo Hamilton says:

    They had cameras back then ?

  60. JohninOshkosh says:

    Below is a picture of last time Minnesota franchise hoisted the Stanley Cup:

  61. Milo Hamilton says:

    Bracket busted.

  62. JohninOshkosh says:

    Now, I can go to sleep. Goodnight, Patrick Roy.

  63. Yeah, he has “fun” occasionally because he “enjoys” his “job.” If you “interpret” fun tweets as being reflective of whether he’s an “objective journalists,” feel free to follow someone else. Because he’s going to keep having “fun.” ;)

  64. Jandy says:


    (That should have been in BOLD case, Dejan) ;)

  65. david says:

    Jim S. You said it all. Great post.

  66. Jim S. says:

    John limited his comments to “his experiences.” I thought he made that clear, Skip.

  67. Jim S. says:

    Hey, I’m that someone!

  68. Jandy says:

    Thanks Someone, I forgot who it was ;)

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