While Vanderbilt athletic director David Williams continues to insist that James Franklin is still Vanderbilt's head coach, there's still a chance he could be Big Ten bound on Saturday.
A source told ESPN's Brett McMurphy that a contract for Franklin to become Penn State's next head coach should be finalized and approved at a meeting of the school's newly formed compensation committee on Saturday morning. On Thursday, ESPN reported that Franklin had agreed to accept an offer to become Penn State's coach.
While Franklin is still Vandy's coach, it sounds like money is the last step in the process of luring Franklin away from Vandy after three very successful years in Nashville.
Williams continues to hold out hope that Franklin will remain the Commodores' coach, but it was always going to be hard for him to keep Franklin around there for the long haul. Franklin clearly has a tremendous amount of love for Vandy, and I'm sure a decision to leave would be gut-wrenching for him, but you just have to wonder how much he could truly grow at Vanderbilt.
He has too much upside and is too young in his coaching career not to take a shot at a bigger job. What he has done at Vanderbilt has been nothing short of remarkable, but now he's a hot coaching name with the opportunity not only to go back home but join a bigger program with more resources and a bigger reach nationally.
Nothing is totally official just yet, and at least one huge Vandy fan is still trying to keep Franklin in black and gold. Professional golfer and Vandy grad Brandt Snedeker went to Twitter (@BrandtSnedeker) to lobby for Franklin to stay by offering him free golf lessons for life. He then upped the offer late Thursday by tweeting:
Still holding out hope, offer extends to family as well @jamesfranklinvu !! Hoping your daughters and wife like golf!!! #hailmary