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Trace McSorley: ‘I Never Once Felt Pressured To Go Back In The Game By Coach Franklin’ After Iowa Knee Injury

Trace McSorley is the latest former Penn State football star to speak out in support of his head coach, who’s one of several defendants in a lawsuit filed by former team doctor Scott Lynch.

“When I injured my knee against Iowa, I never once felt pressured to go back in the game by Coach Franklin,” McSorley said. “He continually checked on me and how I felt, even telling me not to push it. That message continued throughout the week as we prepared for our next game.”

McSorley, who was the starting quarterback at Penn State for three seasons, also used the Citrus Bowl as an example of how Franklin handled injuries. The head coach told his three-year starter that he wouldn’t check back into the game because of concerns over his foot during the Nittany Lions’ 27-24 defeat to Kentucky in Orlando. On both occasions, McSorley made the decision to re-enter the action.

No. 9 is one of several former Nittany Lions who have expressed their support for Franklin since news of the lawsuit broke on Monday. Saquon Barkley, Adam Breneman, Nick Scott, and Jason Cabinda all reiterated the fact that Franklin’s top priority has always been the safety and well-being of his players.

Additionally, the mothers of Cabinda and Penn State defensive end Shane Simmons, who’s battled his fair share of injuries throughout his college career, both vehemently denied Dr. Lynch’s claims and defended the head coach. Former Vanderbilt quarterback Austyn Carta Samuels said that Franklin kept him out of the starting lineup against Florida even though he was medically cleared to play following a torn ACL.

Dr. Lynch was Penn State’s Director of Athletic Medicine from 2014-2019. In the lawsuit, he accuses Franklin of trying to “interfere with the plaintiff’s autonomous authority to determine medical management and return-to-play decisions.” He also claims that Penn State’s head coach “created a culture and climate which, at a minimum, obstructed full compliance with the aforementioned standards and rules implemented to safeguard the medical management of student-athletes.”

Penn State Health released a statement on the matter on Monday afternoon:

“In February 2019, Penn State Health administrators decided to change leadership for athletic medicine and the delivery of care for Intercollegiate Athletics. This transition was completed with the best interests of student-athletes in mind, given the increasing complexity and growing demands of sports medicine, as well as health care in general. While we reject Dr. Lynch’s claims and will vigorously defend our program and its representatives, we remain grateful to him for his five years as director of athletic medicine for Intercollegiate Athletics and for his continued association with Penn State Health.”

Penn State Health

Franklin himself opened his pre-Idaho press conference by reiterating Penn State Health’s statement and adding that his players’ health and well-being is his top priority.

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About the Author

Mikey Mandarino

In the most upsetting turn of events, Mikey graduated from Penn State with a digital & print journalism degree in the spring of 2020. He covered Penn State football and served as an editor for Onward State from 2018 until his graduation. Mikey is from Bedminster, New Jersey, so naturally, he spends lots of time yelling about all the best things his home state has to offer. Mikey also loves to play golf, but he sucks at it because golf is really hard. If you, for some reason, feel compelled to see what Mikey has to say on the internet, follow him on Twitter @Mikey_Mandarino. You can also get in touch with Mikey via his big-boy email address: [email protected]

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