By Harvey Hoffman

I have a friend in State College who constantly defends Penn State coach James Franklin:

He’s a great recruiter!

He rescued the school from what Bill O’Brien left when he ran away to the NFL.

And he hoped against hope that the Nits would keep him from the clutches of USC and LSU, both of whom had been rumored to want him back in the day when Penn State looked like a real 2021 title contender.

Well, they are not anymore.

And Franklin looks for all the world like a massively overpaid guy who can’t think on his feet.

Well, at least he changed quarterbacks in time to beat Rutgers.

And yesterday the board gave Franklin a 10-year contract extension to remain as Penn State’s head football coach through the 2031 season:

“We are excited to have James Franklin lead our football program for a long time. We will continue our collective efforts to constantly improve in all aspects of our program,” Penn State athletic director Sandy Barbour said in a statement.

“We have made, and will need to continue to make, significant investment in our football program because we believe we have a very bright future under James. With this contract, we are signaling our sustained commitment to being one of the premier programs in the history of college football.”

Under the new contract, Franklin will make $7.5 million through base salary, supplemental pay and an annual retention bonus. Franklin will also receive an annual loan of $1 million for a life insurance policy through the entirety of the contract.

He will have built-in incentives throughout to add additional income, including $350,000 for winning the Big Ten championship game, $400,000 for making the College Football Playoff and $800,000 for winning a national championship.

Franklin’s buyout will start at $12 million prior to April 1, 2022. It will reduce to $8 million through Dec. 31, 2022, $6 million in 2023, $2 million in 2024 and 2025 and $1 million from calendar year 2026 to 2030.

Franklin is 67-32 as Penn State’s head coach and won the Big Ten championship in 2016, when the team went 10-2 and beat Wisconsin for the conference title.

“Penn State’s future is bright, and I’m honored to continue to serve as your head football coach. Nine weeks ago, the administration approached me about making a long-term investment in our football program,” Franklin said. “This prompted numerous conversations outlining the resources needed to be competitive at a level that matches the expectations and history of Penn State. What’s most evident from those conversations is the importance of our student-athletes’ success both on and off the field.”