Penn State football coach James Franklin revealed Wednesday he was having a tough time dealing with being away from his family as he tries to protect them from the coronavirus during the season.
Franklin said in June he would coach during the 2020 season away from his family in an effort to shield them from the potential of being exposed to the virus. Sitting at 0-3 to start the season, Franklin admitted that being away from them is starting to take a toll.
“Obviously, the direct answer is no. But again, there’s always this fine line when I’m responding to you guys. Again, from what I said earlier, I don’t want it to be misinterpreted what I’m saying, but there’s been a lot of factors in 2020,” he said when asked whether this team has surprised him.
“If you’re not careful, then a lot of those factors can become distractions. I think we have done a really good job of handling a lot of the things away from football, but there was a lot of time and energy spent on those things. I’ll be honest with you. One of the things that I have not done a great job of handling, personally, that I have to be honest with myself and honest with the team and honest with you guys, I have not done a great job of managing my family being gone.
“They’re my fuel. I go home, you know, they’re able to pour into me. And I have not done a great job of that, but at the end of the day, I have to. I have to manage those things. I’ve got to come to work. I’ve got to do a great job. But I guess to your point, it’s all of it. You know, the initial answer is no. I think there’s some things that we’ve done a really good job of, but at the end of the day, this press conference and these questions are about football. Right now, we have not played winning football.”
Franklin said that he was still unsure how he was going to get through another year of possibly going an entire football season without being at home given that a potential coronavirus vaccine may not be available until next year.
Penn State will take on Nebraska on Saturday as they look to put the brakes on their skittish start to the season.