September 18, 2012
A Man of Conviction
On campuses across the country, reporters gather every Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday to talk to college football players about a variety of things. The zone read, blitz packages, upcoming opponents, a big play or a big mistake in the game gone by. Most of the answers resemble each other fairly closely. Most coaches, and a good percentage of athletes, have been indoctrinated to saying what they want to say in an interview, not necessarily what the interviewer wants to hear...or even what he asked.
Not James Franklin.
"If I'm asked a question, I just try to do my best to answer it," the Missouri junior quarterback said on Monday.
"Maybe it is (different)," said Tiger receiver T.J. Moe, who can turn the coachspeak on and off pretty much on demand. "He's gonna be open and honest. He probably feels like he's not being honest if he's not telling you exactly what you asked."
And so, there was Franklin, surrounded by reporters for approximately 20 minutes on Monday, filling them in on his belief system. It all stemmed from last week, when Franklin sat out the Tigers' game against Arizona State with soreness in his shoulder.
Franklin went through pre-game warmups. He decided he couldn't play. Earlier in the week, Mizzou's medical staff had discussed the possibility of a pain-killing injection that would mask the pain and likely allow Franklin to play in the game. Franklin wasn't even sure exactly what the medication was.
"I wasn't really sure, I just knew I didn't want to take it," he said.
The decision goes to Franklin's core. It's who he is.
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