Penn State

James Franklin will pay for ads thanking Vanderbilt in Tennessee newspapers

New Penn State coach James Franklin said thank you to his former school in advertisements published in two Tennessee newspapers this week.

The ads, which ran in the Nashville paper The Tennessean and the Vanderbilt Hustler, the student paper at the university, had the following message in capital letters:

“Thank you, Vanderbilt. It was a wonderful experience. I am forever grateful. Anchor down.”

Penn State football spokesman Jeff Nelson said the athletic department handled the ads and payment because of Franklin’s busy schedule during his first week on the job.

Franklin will pay the university for the ads once the university gets the invoices, Nelson said. It was always the coach's intention to do so, Nelson said.

Franklin was named Nittany Lion football coach on Saturday.

Franklin spent the past three seasons as the head coach at Vanderbilt and was responsible for turning around the moribund Commodore football program. He went 24-15 and was 9-4 this past season.

His contract with Penn State is worth up to $4.5 million a year.