By Andrew Porter

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — James Franklin is on the hot seat at Penn State, many thought.

But apparently the Langhorne, PA native — who is 17-14 overall and 7-11 in the Big Ten as head coach of the Nittany Lions — is safer than people think.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that James is going to be our football coach long term,” Penn State athletic director San Barbour told

Penn State is still dealing with the aftermath of devastating sanctions imposed on the program due to the Jerry Sandusky scandal and Barbour is sensitive to the hurdles Franklin has to overcome.

Related: James Franklin: Penn State Dealing With ‘Negative Recruiting’

“I get there’s a frustration with where we are,” Barbour said via “I’d be worried if there wasn’t. I want Penn State football to stand for excellence. Always has and always will. To some degree, I want our fans to be impatient, but I also want them to understand factual challenges.”

Many Penn State fans have been critical of Franklin, especially his in-game management.

Related: Video: Penn State Players React To New Locker Room

“They need to take it as a body of work,” Barbour told of the fan base. “Are we showing progress? Where are we at the end of the season in terms of our development in a new offensive scheme? Where are we in the development of a really young defense? Where are we with the development of our student-athletes, the identity of the program. Those are the things our fans need to be looking at.”