James Franklin says Penn State will 'vigorously defend' itself against ex-doctor's lawsuit

(Allentown) Morning Call (TNS)
James Franklin

Penn State coach James Franklin said that the program will “vigorously defend" itself against a lawsuit filed by a former team doctor alleging that he was pressured to clear injured players and fired for reporting the issue.

“We’ll continue to vigorously defend our program and all its participants in this matter,” Franklin said Tuesday at his first weekly press conference of the season. “As always, the health and well being of our student-athletes is of the utmost importance to us. But after that, we’ll have no further comment.”

Dr. Scott Lynch, Penn State’s former director of athletic medicine and football team doctor, filed a whistleblower lawsuit Friday in Dauphin County Court against multiple Penn State defendants, including the university, Penn State Health, Franklin and Athletic Dirctor Sandy Barbour.

Lawsuit: PSU coach James Franklin pressured team doctor to clear players to return to play

In the lawsuit, Lynch alleged that Franklin attempted to interfere with medical management and “return-to-play" decisions involving players. Lynch also alleged that, upon informing Penn State’s athletic administration, he was removed from his position as director of athletic medicine and team physician.

Lynch’s suit seeks “in excess” of $50,000 in damages.