VandySports.com Editor Chris Lee (who you need to be following if you're invested in this coaching search in any way) believes that James Franklin has already agreed to terms with Penn State. In fact, the notion that he hasn't made up his mind about a decision is "a farce."
That's what Lee told WNSR - Nashville Sports Radio - on Friday morning after hearing multiple sources confirm to him that the Vanderbilt head coach had already taken the PSU job. It's widely believed that Franklin will be announced as the new Nittany Lion coach after the Board of Trustees approves his contract on Saturday morning. The notice for that meeting was Tweeted out by ESPN's Josh Moyer earlier today:
Here's the ad in PSU's local paper today, advertising Saturday's meeting for a "personnel matter." pic.twitter.com/wJxse0SLuu— Josh Moyer (@ESPNJoshMoyer) January 10, 2014
Lee believes that Franklin agreed to a contract with Penn State "sometime between Wednesday night and Thursday morning," but then left Vandy and PSU fans in the lurch as they awaited confirmation.
He's been playing Vanderbilt and David Williams ever since, just to help his own image. Vanderbilt needs to cut bait from this guy and move on. He's not going to be their coach.
Lee was also optimistic that Vandy would be able to hire a strong leader to take Franklin's place on the throne, intimating that the Commodores have already reached out to a number of high profile assistants. You can hear Lee's interview below.
Lee also said that rumors that Franklin's buyout includes funding for the program's new athletic facility are not true. Recent speculation had suggested that Penn State would be on the hook for paying for the university's new indoor practice field as part of their compensation package for luring Vandy's coach. There are no details on what Franklin's buyout will bring to campus.
There are still no confirmations from either side that a deal has been reached, so Franklin is still technically the coach of the Vanderbilt Commodores as of 11:51 on January 10th. We'll have more details as they arise.
UPDATE: Franklin is expected to earn up to $4.5m/year with his PSU contract, per ESPN.
James Franklin expected to receive contract worth up to $4.5M/year at Penn State, source told @ESPN. Bill O'Brien made $3.82M— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) January 10, 2014