The Penn Stater Daily — Jan. 10, 2014
Not yet. Maybe soon: While there’s still no official confirmation from Penn State, Vanderbilt, or the coach himself, the media consensus is clear that James Franklin will be the Nittany Lions’ next football coach. Various outlets are reporting it as essentially a done deal, while Fox Sports has gone so far as to say Franklin has “agreed to terms” to take the job. The buzz among most Penn State fans seems to be that Franklin, who has turned a moribund Vandy program into a solid SEC program over the past few years, would be a great fit. But some observers, both nationally and closer to home, argue that potential off-field issues make Franklin a risky hire. If the reports are true, he’ll have a chance to answer any doubts soon enough.
Murph on the big screen: Lone Survivor opens today, giving a national audience the chance to get a sense of the heroism and sacrifice of Navy SEAL and Medal of Honor recipient Michael Murphy ’98. The New York Daily News recently ran a cool feature on actor Taylor Kitsch, who plays Murphy, in which he talks about the challenge and responsibility of portraying a real-life hero, and the accountability he felt toward Murphy’s family. (There are also plenty of great photos, so it’s worth a click.) Kitsch covers similar turf in a video interview, which you can watch here.
It’s in our nature: Penn State researchers are at the forefront of a number of big environmental stories. Margaret Brittingham, professor of wildlife resources in the College of Agricultural Sciences, adds her expertise to this NPR story on the effects of natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania’s state forests. (Worth noting: Rob Boulware ’86, spokesman for gas driller Seneca Resources, features prominently in the story, as well.) And Penn State is one of three universities splitting a half million in grants from the EPA to reduce pesticide use and lower the risks to honeybees, which are vital to agriculture across the continent.
Ryan Jones, senior editor