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Sports Terps Tracking the Terps

Penn State coach James Franklin explains comments about Maryland recruiting

CHICAGO — In May, new Penn State coach James Franklin drew the ire of Maryland coach Randy Edsall and fans of Terps football when he voiced his plans to consistently land the top recruits from the Maryland and Washington, D.C., area.

Franklin, a former Maryland assistant, said at the time that he considers Maryland “in-state.” He said the same about New Jersey. He went as far as to say: “I know there are other schools around here, but you might as well shut them down.”

He explained those comments Monday at the Big Ten media days.

“Things like that sell newspapers and get hits on websites,” Franklin said. “I understand everybody wants a rivalry. Everybody wants to create drama and controversy. I didn’t mean to do that. I was just trying to have some fun. I come to things like this, and I don’t want to be this boring, standard coach that gives these really dry answers. I want to have fun.

“I look at that in everything we do. We’re going to work really hard. But if we’re going to work for 16 hours, I want to have fun for 16 hours. I come to media day, I want to have fun at media day. If I’m going to go do a 17-stop caravan, I’m going to try to find a way to have fun on all 17 stops. From time to time, that gets me in trouble. I don’t want to lose that aspect of kind of who I am.”

mzenitz@tribune.com

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