Doctor Accuses Penn State HC James Franklin Of Wanting To Cut Suicidal Player

This is not a good look for James Franklin

In a recent court testimony, a former Penn State football team doctor, Dr. Pete Seidenberg, accused head coach James Franklin of repeatedly attempting to interfere with medical decisions involving players, including a case involving a player who had attempted suicide. The testimony was part of an ongoing lawsuit against Penn State by Dr. Scott Lynch, who alleges his dismissal from the university’s athletic program was due to his resistance to such interference.

James Franklin

James Franklin Accused of Pressuring Medical Staff

During his time as a team physician, Dr. Seidenberg testified that Franklin, along with then-athletic director Sandy Barbour, exerted pressure on him and Dr. Lynch to medically disqualify a player who was under short-term psychiatric care after a suicide attempt. The player, who had reportedly attempted to jump out of a window, would have lost his scholarship if he had been medically disqualified as Franklin allegedly desired.

Allegations of Medical Interference

Dr. Seidenberg detailed several instances in which Franklin was perceived as trying to influence medical decisions. These instances included urging the medical staff to clear a star player for competition, reducing the number of players listed on the injury report, and advocating for surgeries even when players preferred to pursue less invasive treatments.

Penn State

Defense Challenges Testimony

The defense challenged Seidenberg’s testimony, particularly pointing out that it included hearsay and lacked evidence that Franklin’s alleged pressure ever resulted in changes to medical treatment. The defense emphasized that all medical decisions remained autonomous and were not influenced by external pressures.

TL;DR (too long didn’t read)

  1. Testimony Allegations: Former Penn State football team doctor, Dr. Pete Seidenberg, testified that head coach James Franklin attempted to interfere with medical decisions, including pressuring to disqualify a suicidal player.
  2. Specific Instances: Dr. Seidenberg cited several examples of Franklin’s interference, including pushing for the clearance of injured players and influencing decisions on surgeries versus more conservative treatments.
  3. Defense’s Response: The defense challenged the testimony, arguing there was no evidence that Franklin’s pressure changed medical outcomes and emphasized that medical decisions remained under the control of healthcare professionals.

Legal and Ethical Implications

This case highlights significant ethical and legal challenges in collegiate sports, where the pressures of performance can sometimes lead to conflicts between athletic and medical priorities. The outcome of this lawsuit could have lasting implications for how medical care is managed in athletic programs across the country, emphasizing the need for clear boundaries and protocols to protect player health and well-being.

Written by W.G. Brady

W.G. Brady is a Detroit-based journalist who has been covering the Detroit sports scene for Detroit Sports Nation for several years. He is in his early 30s and has a wealth of experience in the industry. Throughout his career, W.G. has established himself as a respected and knowledgeable journalist known for his in-depth coverage of the teams and athletes in Detroit. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for sports, W.G. has become a go-to source for fans and readers looking for the latest news and analysis on the Detroit sports scene. He has a good reputation in the sports community and is respected for his unbiased coverage of sports events. W.G. is known for his ability to uncover hidden stories and provide unique perspectives on the teams and athletes he covers. He has a good understanding of the city of Detroit and its sports culture, which he uses to inform his reporting and analysis. He continues to be a respected journalist in the Detroit sports industry.

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