FRANKLIN’S MED INTERFERENCE? PENN STATE STILL LOOKING

By Kathy Burke

An internal review by Penn State in 2019 found evidence of “friction” between football coach James Franklin and a now-former team doctor, but it could not determine whether Franklin violated NCAA bylaws or Big Ten standards by interfering with medical decisions.

The 15-page document from Penn State’s office of ethics and compliance, dated June 3, 2019, was obtained by the Associated Press last week, the day after a Pennsylvania jury awarded $5.25 million to Dr. Scott Lynch for winning a wrongful termination lawsuit against the hospital that employs him.

The report left undetermined whether Franklin or anyone else at Penn State broke any rules. It acknowledged the athletic department’s desire to make a change came after periods of friction between Lynch and senior leadership in the department. The report also recommend further inquiry.

Penn State said in a statement to the Associated Press it was extremely disappointed in the jury’s ruling last week. The school said its medical decisions regarding the care of athletes and whether they can compete adhere to NCAA rules and Big Ten standards.

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