A second former Penn State doctor has testified that James Franklin interfered with the team’s medical decisions while he was the head coach.

According to John Luciew of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Dr. Pete Seidenberg, who was Penn State’s primary care physician at the start of Franklin’s tenure, testified on Tuesday in a trial related to Dr. Scott Lynch’s lawsuit against Franklin and school administrators. Lynch was Penn State’s director of athletic medicine and orthopedic consultant to the football team until he was fired in March 2019.

In his testimony, Seidenberg described an incident where Franklin and then-Penn State athletic director Sandy Barbour wanted a player who attempted suicide to be medically disqualified while he received short-term psychiatric care. This disqualification would have caused the player to lose his scholarship, allowing Franklin to offer the spot to another player the following offseason. Seidenberg and Lynch refused to comply with Franklin and Barbour’s request.

Providing support to individuals dealing with mental health issues is critically important. Franklin’s actions could have been incredibly dangerous, as pushing for a player to be disqualified and lose his scholarship during a vulnerable time could have had severe consequences on the player’s mental and emotional well-being.

Seidenberg also described “numerous meetings where he said Franklin pressured him, Lynch, and the chief athletic trainer to change their medical decisions and the treatment advice given to players,” Luciew reported. Seidenberg repeatedly stated that Franklin’s actions were an “attempt to influence medical decisions.”

According to Luciew, Lynch’s lawsuit claims he was fired because he would not let a coach interfere with his medical treatment and decisions about when players could return to play. Lynch reported Franklin’s actions to the Penn State athletic department and Penn State Health, including his immediate supervisor David Black, who is also named in the lawsuit.

Lynch, who was a national champion wrestler for Penn State in 1984, is seeking compensatory and punitive damages in the lawsuit.

These actions could provide Penn State officials with the necessary grounds to remove Franklin as the Nittany Lions head coach if they choose to. Franklin has an overall record of 88-39 during his ten years in Happy Valley, with only one conference championship, which was earned in 2016.