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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended July 23, 2000
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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church
Sent on Mormon-News: 22Jul00

Summarized by Kent Larsen

LDS Rookie Football Player Quits Before First Practice
Philadelphia PA Daily News 19Jul00 S2
By Marcus Hayes: Daily News Sports Writer

BETHLEHEM, PENNSYLVANIA -- John Frank, picked by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 6th round of the NFL draft, quit Sunday, returning a $63,000 signing bonus and voiding a $300,000 per year 3 year contract. Frank's action shocked the Eagles, who were already surprised at his failure to show for practice, just hours after attending the team's Saturday night rookie meeting.

The team is at a loss to understand Frank's decision. "All of us are trying to figure out how we could have seen that," said Tom Modrak, the Eagles' football operations director. "We looked back immediately at the [scouting] reports, who visited with him, and everything was very positive. Sometimes, things change. . . It's better to know now than later, [like] in the middle of the fourth quarter sometime." Frank is safe, according to his father, Alan, but his reasons for quitting remain unclear. "He's just had some mixed emotions is all," Alan Frank refused to disclose his son's location to the press.

The University of Utah's defensive coordinator Kyle Whittingham, who coached Frank on Utah's football team, is also perplexed by the move. "I'm just as in the dark as anyone. I'm told he wasn't real fired up about his position coach. Apparently, he didn't feel he wanted to go on." Whittingham says he doesn't know any possible reason for Frank's change of heart, which comes just one week after Frank signed a contract to play for the Eagles. "He's a very stable guy. There was nothing that I know of that would create a huge problem for (the Eagles). It's surprising to us." But Whittingham admits that Frank is sometimes unpredictable, saying he "marches to his own beat."


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