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James Franklin talks with Vandy AD, relays no definite Penn State plans

James Franklin told the Vanderbilt AD that he hadn't accepted the Penn State job. (USATSI)
James Franklin told the Vanderbilt AD that he hadn't accepted the Penn State job. (USATSI)

More Franklin: Doyel: Good move for Nittany Lions | Dodd: Bad call for PSU

James Franklin talked to Vanderbilt athletic director David Williams on Thursday and told him he hadn't accepted the Penn State job but that he would talk with Williams later, the Commodores AD told CBSSports.com Thursday afternoon.

"He just called to let me know that the reports that he had accepted the job were not true," Williams said. "I think it was a call to say, 'I know what's being said,' and as I've said, he'll be our football coach until he tells me he's not. I'm hoping that will remain. He will be the one to let me know. He's just having to make a decision."

CBSSports.com's Bruce Feldman first reported that Franklin -- who led the Commodores to a 16-4 record in the last 20 games -- was expected to be Penn State's next coach. Feldman points out there are still many details to be hashed out in the next 48 hours.

For a comparison, a 24-hour cycle passed between reports surfacing of Charlie Strong taking the Texas job and Strong actually delivering the news to Louisville athletic director Ton Jurich that he was leaving. Negotiations take time.

When asked about the slow-bleeding nature of coaching moves, where negotiations eventually turn into new jobs, Williams said, "I understand that, but I talked to him an hour-and-a-half ago."

Franklin has known for awhile where Vandy sits in the sweepstakes; they've fought to keep him. The Commodores restructured his contract for two consecutive years and are ready to do so again if necessary.

"He knows what our capabilities are and what our intent is and who we are, and I think we've demonstrated that," Williams said. "I have all belief that when we open up against Temple next year that James Franklin will be on the sidelines and he won't be coaching Temple."

Williams says if he has to hire a new coach, that Vandy is in a better place than three years ago when Franklin left Maryland, where he was a coach-in-waiting. "It's not the same program," he said.

As of now, he's not entertaining a potential list of candidates.

"I don't have a short list. I have a coach," Williams said.


Jeremy Fowler is a national college football insider with CBSSports.com. Fowler joined CBS in 2012 after covering the Minnesota Vikings for the St. Paul Pioneer Press for two seasons and covering the Florida Gators for the Orlando Sentinel for two years. Fowler is also a contributor to the CBS Sports Network.
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