Michigan's Harbaugh: Penn State's Franklin 'ringleader' in scuffle

The Associated Press

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said Penn State coach James Franklin acted as a “ringleader” when the No. 4 Wolverines and No. 13 Nittany Lions clashed nearly two weeks ago, dismissing Franklin's claim that a policy change was needed to keep things orderly beneath Michigan Stadium.

Harbaugh said Monday it wasn’t the lack of a policy that caused a problem between the teams.

A lot of heated words were exchanged and Michigan players reportedly said Penn State players threw peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at them as the teams headed to the locker room at halftime of a close game that the Wolverines won in a 41-17 rout on Oct. 15.

Penn State head coach James Franklin watches against Michigan in the first half of an NCAA college football game in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

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“Like you saw, pretty clearly, that (Penn State players) completely stopped. They weren’t letting us get up the tunnel,” Harbaugh said. “And it just seemed like such a sophomoric ploy to try to keep us out of our locker rooms. And (Franklin) looked like he was the ringleader of the whole thing.”

Franklin said there should be a policy in place to prevent teams heading to the locker rooms at the same time and suggested the need for some sort of buffer to separate the teams.

“All there has to be is a two-minute or minute buffer in between the two teams,” Franklin said. “We’re not the first team that’s had issues like that. To me, under the current structure, we won’t be the last.”

There were no reports of any physical confrontations.