Penn State head coach James Franklin opened his weekly media availability Wednesday night by saying he had "all the plans in the world to be here," one day after addressing speculation about the Southern California job while not saying whether he'd be interested in the position.
Reports in the national media have said that the Trojans probably would part ways with current coach Clay Helton if they lose Saturday night to Notre Dame, which would finish a 5-7 season with no bowl game. Franklin has been mentioned as a candidate.
Asked Tuesday about the speculation regarding the USC job, Franklin said, "It's the crazy, mad time of year where these types of things happen." Later on his Big Ten conference call, he did not directly answer a question about whether he'd be at Penn State next season.
However, during his weekly post-practice media availability, he began by calling his statements "an attempt — a failed attempt — to try to keep the focus on Maryland," the Nittany Lions' opponent in Saturday's final game of the regular season.
"That didn't go over very well," he said. "I didn't feel like it was appropriate to talk about another school or another person's job status, so that's why I addressed it the way I did.
"But obviously, [I] have all the plans in the world to be here and to be here for a long time, so I just wanted to address that because it became something that I did not want it to be or intend. So I wanted to put that statement out there and then obviously would love to talk about Maryland and our practice today."
Franklin, who is 44-20 in his fifth season at Penn State, is trying to lead the Lions to a third straight 10-win season and New Year's Six bowl invitation. He is signed as head coach through 2022.