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Ron Cook: James Franklin Bracing for ‘Heartache’ of College Football Season


James Franklin is Pennsylvania’s highest-paid state employee. He agreed to a six-year contract extension last winter that will pay him $35.4 million through 2025. He doesn’t expect any sympathy because of a personal sacrifice he will make to coach Penn State this season, if there is a college football season. He doesn’t need sympathy. He doesn’t want it.

But that doesn’t change the fact that this fall will be especially difficult for Franklin.

“A lot of heartache over it,” Franklin told HBO’s “Real Sports” last week.

The younger of Franklin’s two daughters, Addison, has Sickle cell disease. To protect her from being exposed to the coronavirus, Franklin and his wife, Fumi, have made a tough decision. He will spend the season with his team. His wife will stay at the family home in Destin, Fla., with Addison, who turned 12 in March, and their other daughter, Shola. 

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