Penn State Football

Penn State football: Franklin to speak at annual foundation banquet

Penn State football coach James Franklin will be the featured speaker at the 17th Annual Scholar-Athletes’ Awards banquet, sponsored by the Central Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame.

The event is set for 1:30 p.m. March 23 at the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel.

Nearly 50 scholastic student-athletes will be recognized, with many receiving $1,000 scholarships. The banquet honors scholastic athletic and academic achievements at high schools in Centre and 19 other counties in the central region of the state.

“We appreciate Coach Franklin’s enthusiastic response to our invitation to speak at the banquet,” chapter President Al Glennon said in a news release. “Although it is a busy time with spring practice and preparing for the 2014 football season, he has scheduled this event to honor student-athletes and award recipients, and to build a relationship with area coaches and fans.”

Tickets are $25 and can be ordered through chapter Treasurer Bill Nichol, 467 Nimitz Ave., State College, PA 16801. Make checks payable to Central Pennsylvania Chapter NFF/CHF.

The deadline to order tickets is March 5.

Franklin was hired Jan. 11 to succeed Bill O’Brien with the Nittany Lions. He previously coached at Vanderbilt.

The banquet also will feature awards for high school coaches, game officials, trainers and players from 10 area colleges and universities, including Bloomsburg, Bucknell, Clarion, Indiana, Juniata, Lock Haven, Lycoming, Penn State, St. Francis and Susquehanna.

The event was started in 1997-98. Since then, the Central Pennsylvania chapter has presented $175,000 in scholarship money and has honored 562 student-athletes, according to the release.