Report: Contract extension for Penn State's James Franklin could come on Friday

(Wilkes-Barre) Times-Leader (TNS)
  • Penn State may announce a contract extension for James Franklin on Friday.
  • Franklin still has three years left on a contract that pays him $4.5 million annually.
  • Franklin led PSU to a Big Ten title and a Rose Bowl berth last season.

Penn State announced Tuesday that a special meeting of the university’s Committee on Compensation will be held on Friday.

If the name of that group sounds familiar to Nittany Lions fans, it’s because it’s the same one that formally approved James Franklin’s hiring 3 1/2 years ago.

Penn State head coach James Franklin holds the trophy after Penn State won the Big Ten championship last season. The Nittany Lions are ranked No. 6 the preseason Coaches Poll.

According to Sports Illustrated’s Bruce Feldman, the discussion will be about the coach’s long-awaited contract extension.

Penn State has posted that the purpose of the meeting, which will be held via teleconference, will be to “consider and take action on a personnel matter.”

A closed executive session will take place at 11:30 a.m. with the public session available open to listeners at at 11:45 a.m.

The same protocol was followed when Franklin originally arrived back in January 2014, with the school officially announcing his hiring immediately after the meeting.

Franklin — who still has three years remaining on that original deal, which pays him $4.5 million annually — has been in negotiations with Penn State since last season, even before he led the Lions to a Big Ten championship and the Rose Bowl.

“We’ve been talking about this for a while, and I feel good about it,” Franklin said earlier this month at Penn State’s media day. I don’t have any concerns, but my focus is on our team and the 2017 season completely. … Once the season starts, it changes a little bit for me. I kind of put the blinders on and jump in the submarine. To me, everything that we do and I do is about getting the team ready to be successful.

“I feel good about where we’re at. I don’t have any concerns, but my focus is completely on the season.”

Penn State's deep roster ready for national spotlight

His accomplishments earned him bonuses that pushed him above $5 million for 2016. According to USA Today’s salary database, Franklin was the 10th-highest paid college football coach nationally, tied for third in the Big Ten with Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz and behind Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh and Ohio State’s Urban Meyer.

“I can guarantee you this,” Penn State athletic director Sandy Barbour said last month at Big Ten media days. “We’re 100 percent committed to James and James is 100 percent committed to Penn State. So we’re trying to get to the right place. Sometimes it can be complicated, but I have no concern about us getting there. It’s probably going to take longer than any of us thought.”