Penn State professor starts petition against James Franklin’s hiring

Penn State’s hiring of James Franklin appears to be only an official announcement away. But with the door not yet fully closed, there’s at least one individual firmly opposed to his employment.

Michelle Rodino-Colocino, a professor and affiliate faculty member with Penn State, has started a petition on against the hiring of Franklin. Her reasoning: while coaching at Vanderbilt, James Franklin allegedly covered up a gang rape by some of his Commodore players.

Following is the letter Rodino-Colocino posted to

Penn State Board of Trustees and Football Coach Selection Committee
Dave Joyner, Athletic Director
Linda Caldwell, PSU Football Coach Selection Committee
Paul Silvis, PSU Board of Trustees
Mark Dambly, PSU Board of Trustees
Kathleen Casey, PSU Board of Trustees
Linda Strumpf, PSU Board of Trustees
Tom Poole, Penn State– VP for Administration
Bob Warming, Penn State
Karen Peetz, PSU Board of Trustees
Wally, Richardson

Dear Penn State Football Coach Search Committee:

We find it appalling that, if reports are true, you are considering naming Vanderbilt Coach James Franklin as our new head football coach here at Penn State. Are you aware that his players are being investigated for gang raping another Vanderbilt student this past June and that James Franklin is suspected of covering up the attacks? Just google “James Franklin” and “rape” and see for yourselves. When you do that search you will find major news outlets including CBS and USA Today coming out and opposing Franklin because of his alleged involvement in these rape cases. USC passed on Franklin because of these allegations. It hardly needs saying that Penn State does not need a football coach on staff who covers up rape. Nor do we need one who is alleged of a cover up. Right?

Do the right thing. Do not hire James Franklin.


Michelle Rodino-Colocino
Associate Professor of Film, Video, and Media Studies; affiliate faculty in Women’s Studies

[Thanks to Sports Man Cave for the hat tip]