CHICAGO -- The Big Ten Football Media Days usually serve as opportunities for Penn State and other conference teams to talk about their prospects for the upcoming season.

But the cloud that has followed the Nittany Lions to this annual event since 2012, when the NCAA issued harsh sanctions against the football program in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal, appeared once again.

Instead of football, talk prevailed of negative recruiting in relation to the latest revelations of who at Penn State knew what and when about Sandusky.

Coach James Franklin talked about it on Monday, saying that some unidentified coaches are coming close to "crossing the line" in disparaging remarks to high school recruits. Athletic director Sandy Barbour picked up the ball on Tuesday, denouncing those who "make stuff up" about the chances of Penn State being placed on probation once again.

Meanwhile, in the Q-and-A sessions with coaches Tuesday, one reporter brought up an interview with Franklin last month in the Reading Eagle to ask coaches Urban Meyer of Ohio State and Mark Dantonio of Michigan State whether they used negative recruiting against the Nittany Lions.

Meyer and Dantonio denied using any such tactics. Contacted later by Fox Sports, Franklin denied that those schools were "the ones doing the negative recruiting against us. They're not.

"There is one other particular school," he added, "but I didn't name who that was."

The negativity may have escalated in recent weeks after the release earlier this month of previously confidential filings. Testimony from four alleged victims of Sandusky revealed that university officials or employees, including head coach Joe Paterno and members of his staff, may have known about assaults as far back as the 1970s and did nothing.

The allegations were never proven in court. Penn State has agreed to pay out nearly $93 million to a total of more than 30 accusers of Sandusky.

Barbour said in hearing from recruits, comments from coaches about what has happened have "been taken to a new level.

"There are taking facts and making sure that, instead of espousing your positives, espouse someone else's negatives," she said. "What I was particularly referring to last week was making stuff up and things that are not factual and using those. That's a fact.

"Given some of the new Sandusky news _ which frankly is not new _ what's being used is given the new Sandusky news, Penn State is going to put on probation again. That's flat-out untrue. The NCAA is very pleased with how we've handled this. We have done everything they've asked us to do, and both the Big Ten and the NCAA consider the matter closed."

In a one-on-one interview last month with the Reading Eagle, Franklin discussed the disadvantages in going up against Big Ten East powers and Notre Dame in recruiting.

"The people we're competing with _ Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame _ this is just not something they have to deal with," he told the Eagle. "Although we want to move on, those other schools are not letting us move on."

Franklin later said those schools do not have "to deal with some of the things that we're dealing with and working through, which magnifies it. Those programs as well as others know that and use that against us."

A reporter asked Meyer and Dantonio about those statements on Tuesday.

Meyer called it "a pretty strong allegation" that he would address with Franklin. Dantonio denied saying anything negative against Penn State "and hopefully our coaches have not as well.  ...  That's not our M.O."