PSU interest cools in Vanderbilt's Franklin
Miami coach Al Golden spent Saturday interviewing with members of the Penn State search committee charged with finding the university's next football coach, a source told the Tribune-Review.
Meanwhile, interest in Vanderbilt coach James Franklin, whose name has surfaced in connection with multiple job openings, appears to be waning, the source said.
Vanderbilt capped its season with a 41-24 victory against Houston on Saturday in the Compass Bowl. Last summer, authorities charged five Vanderbilt players for their alleged roles in a rape of an unconscious 21-year-old student at a campus dormitory.
All five later were dismissed from the team. Four remain charged with rape but have pleaded not guilty. The fifth pleaded guilty to trying to cover up the alleged rape.
ESPN reported Saturday that the Cleveland Browns and Washington Redskins requested permission from Vanderbilt to interview Franklin for their vacant coaching positions.
Bill O'Brien left Penn State last week to become head coach of the NFL's Houston Texans after just two seasons in University Park.
The Penn State search committee, chaired by athletic director Dave Joyner, traveled to an undisclosed location to interview Golden, a former Nittany Lions captain and assistant coach.
Golden, 44, who completed his third season at Miami with a loss in the Russell Athletic Bowl on Dec. 28, also coached at Temple for five seasons. He played tight end for the Lions from 1989-91 and was their linebackers coach in 2000.
Also on Saturday, the Tennessee Titans fired former Penn State offensive lineman Mike Munchak, who just completed his third season as head coach. A Pro Football Hall of Famer who has no college coaching experience, Munchak could land an interview with Penn State, the source said.
Golden has been mum since being linked to the Penn State job. Golden's Pennsylvania-based agent, Brett Senior, did not return phone messages Saturday.
Miami athletic director Blake James told the Sun Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., that he and Golden “are in regular communication.”
“He is our football coach, and I believe he will be our coach going forward,” James told the Sentinel.