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Franklin Developing A Reputation For Post-Game Heat

Last November, when Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham was captured giving Florida kick Chas Henry the choke sign before a field goal attempt, there were a lot of folks who came down on Grantham.

We weren’t among them.  Was it a juvenile move from a grown man?  Sure.  But did the act deserve the national attention it drew?  Not in our opinion.

Then came Grantham’s dust-up with Vanderbilt coach James Franklin following the Bulldogs’ win last month in Nashville.  As we noted at the time, Franklin “seemed calm and composed while Grantham appeared to go haywire.”

We also pointed out that Grantham had at that point been caught twice “acting like an overheated, 20-year-old player.”  We wrote that he got “some egg on his face.”

And he did, the national media repeatedly showed the clip of him screaming at Franklin.  Grantham later apologized.

We gave Franklin the benefit of the doubt on that occasion.  His reputation had been pretty good to that point.  Grantham was the known hot-head, not Franklin.  And if — as Franklin claimed after the game — a Georgia player had taunted him and his team, we have no problem with him taking it up with the opposing team’s coach.

But now we’re left to wonder what Franklin said to Grantham that got him so riled up.  You see, it’s been reported that Franklin has now had his second run-in with an opposing coach after a football game.

Saturday night, Tennessee defeated Vanderbilt in overtime.  Vol defensive back Eric Gordon picked off a Jordan Rodgers pass and returned it for the game-winning score.  But an official incorrectly blew a whistle and marked Gordon down.  Though no Vandy players seemed to slow down or stop, technically the play should have been dead right there, it should not have been revieweed — inadvertent whistles aren’t reviewable — and Tennessee should have started it’s own offensive possession.

Instead, the officials reversed the call after a review and got the call “right,” in terms of what actually happened, but they were wrong in how they arrived at their decision (as even SEC coordinator of officials Steve Shaw admitted yesterday).

Franklin was livid over the call and he apparently refused to shake the hands of Tennessee quarterbacks coach Darin Hinshaw and offensive line coach Harry Hiestand after the game.  (Photo at left.)

If true, this is now the second time Franklin has gotten into some sort of postgame altercation with an opposing coach.

Making matters worse, Jimmy Hyams of WNML-AM/FM in Knoxville has reported that a witness heard Franklin shout an obscenity toward the Tennessee student section as he left the field.

And tossing in one other nugget at this point, Vanderbilt is also developing a reputation for delivering late clips.  Vanderbilt center Logan Stewart was given a half-game suspension by the SEC for a blindside, knee-first that hit he put on Georgia’s Kwame Geathers.  On Saturday, the Commodores had a 70-yard pass called back when O-lineman Josh Jelesky delivered a similar clip to a Tennessee defender.

After his team’s game with Georgia, Franklin said, “We are gonna compete with class and we are gonna play with class.  And we’re gonna coach ‘em with class.”

Well, as was the case with Grantham, we start to pay more attention when a pattern begins to develop.  So if — and we stress if — Franklin snubbed a pair of UT coaches and cursed Tennessee’s student section on Saturday, then he might want to rethink that part about coaching ‘em with class.

And if his team continues to be penalized for delivering low, cheap shots game after game, he may have to tweak that part about playing with class, too.

 


74 comments
Gold Standard
Gold Standard

Funny how it's all right with the world as long as little stepchild Vanderbilt just takes their lumps and slinks away. Heaven forbid that Vanderbilt rise up and bite back. Can't have that can we? Just giving what they've gotten over the years. Cheap shots? Part of the game, grow up, ya big babies. Coach a jerk? Haven't seen Bobby Petrino on any Most Popular Coaches ballots lately. CJF may be the Kyle Busch of the SEC but he's OUR jerk and he has Vanderbilt's back and the Commodore fans have his.

JMVandy86
JMVandy86

Everyone is losing their minds. As a Vandy fan and grad, I like Franklin. I don't like the personal fouls and CJF has said he will fix it. As to the UT post-game, much ado about nothing on both sides. The Dooley locker room statements aren't for public consumption but if it gets leaked, CJF will use it. The program is improving. I agree that Franklin has to be careful about developing a reputation. It's his first year as a head coach and he will grow into the role. We need to play clean and win. If you don't like us then - tough.

Randy Freeman
Randy Freeman

Am I the only person who saw Franklin punch Logan Stewart in the gut during the Arkansas game? It could have been Florida, not positive. I am positive what I saw though. Logan Stewart had just committed his 2nd personal foul on the same drive, and Franklin pulled him from the game. As Stewart walks up to Franklin to take his medicine, Franklin punches the kid in the gut!!! It's real fast, and the cameraturns away, or someone walks in front of it. The point is that this guy is nuts! He makes Brian Kelly look like Ward Cleaver!

Vol Guest
Vol Guest

Hey, Vandy - everyone has to admire how Franklin has improved the level of play at Vandy, but you guys are the ONLY ones defending the incresingly bad reputation he is giving himself and now the team. Not only is he looking more and more like a big baby running around the field, but more importantly, it's a bit scary to read through these comments that have the flavor of: "I don't care what people think about our bad reputation - we want everyone to know we're not taking anymore crap." Please understand that makes you sound like (1) you have small-man's syndrome & have been pushed around too much, (2) dirty because you're willing to accept cheap shots for the sake of winning, and (3) willing to sell out on class. Take it from experience - it sounds like what Vol fans were saying about Lane Kiffin when they were giddy at the ridiculous things he was saying to the press. Luckily he left before it got too bad - don't let Franklin run Vandy's good name in the ground.

Rob
Rob

I'm glad to see Vandy finally receiving attention for it's numerous scandals. It may be nothing, but it certainly looks suspicious.

Speaking of late clips, that's a problem that goes back to last season, under Robbie Caldwell. It seems like Vandy normally got away with it last year; probably because the game was usually decided early. I'm still fuming over the dirty hit that ended Greg Child's year, which he still hasn't recovered from fully. Child's was Arkansas best receiver before the injury and has never been the same since then.

I have to disagree with John on Grantham. Taunting opposing college players is deserving of being called out on national TV. As Gary Pinkel made clear today, coaches are supposed to set examples and Grantham wasn't setting a good example. If Grantham didn't know better, then it was time that he did.

PNB
PNB

keep fighting Vandy!!!

TMI74
TMI74

I believe Mr. Pennington's East Tennessee's roots are showing. Remember John, the website is called MR. SEC not MR. UT!

someone whowas there
someone whowas there

SIDE NOTE:
(The handshake: See Dooley's comments and UT's/fans antics, before and after. Franklin knows what goes on behind closed doors, what is said, and what the perception of his program is, as much as he tries to deny it. He isn't going to respect them, or anyone else, if they refuse to have respect for his team.
And honestly, that is the ONLY shot vandy has at changing its perception or doing ANYTHING in the SEC. They've been too soft for years)

someone whowas there
someone whowas there

Who knows if Franklin "directed an obscenity" at the student section... but I can tell you there were several, as well as racial slurs and "same old vandy" thrown his way. Do you blame him for reacting? You really trust the word of a student "witness"?
Logan Stewart is a hot-headed fool (as someone who knows him) whose play isn't indicative of the team. Jelesky made a mistake and was criticized for it. Unrelated.
Please stop trying to make mountains out of molehills. It's quite aggravating.

ingold
ingold

About the supposed cheap shots. Vanderbilt has had 3 fouls of this nature called on them. 3. Hardly a pattern.

They might have been late, they might have been questionable, but cheap shots? In every case the play had not been whistled dead and the blocker was trying to hit from the front. There is no lineman that "tried" to hurt anyone or take them from behind. The one that looks the worst was the Logan Stewart chop block that got all the attention but if you want to be objective then go back and look at the whole play and see that they were simply trying to take out the legs......from the front and every OL coach in the country teaches chop blocking. Did they look bad, yes at first glance but go back and take a good look in slow motion. All this bunk about Vanderbilt being dirty is hilarious and only shows the excuses people are making because Vanderbilt is getting better and their coach has finally said "We are also going to fight, I wanna make sure everybody understands that! We are not going to sit back and take stuff from anybody.....anybody......no one. Those days are long gone.....and they are never coming back! Ever"

All the SEC bulling is over for Vanderbilt. The only cheap shot here is the ones being taken at Vanderbilt.

gatorfan6651
gatorfan6651

Well at the risk of putting myself in a bad light the way I see it this is actually helping vandy. Look at how many responses this article has gotten. In this day and age its difficult to actually have "bad press" unless its something REALLY bad ie Penn State. Honestly with articles like this the fact vandy lost starts to fade into obscurity. Now will things like this win football games? Absolutely not BUT you have Vanderbilt's name in your mind and mouth and that can be a very helpful tool IF used correctly even if it's considered bad or good press.

Bando
Bando

Interesting how people that did not see the Jelesky cheap shot are making comments that he was in front of the defender. The TV replay (shown several times) was very clear the hit was a cheap shot to the players' knees from behind with the purposeful intent to injure. It is also interesting that Coach Franklin had a few choice words for Jelesky (not the official) when he came off the field. The unfortunate thing for Vandy is the ball was in the air 30 yards down the field when Jelesky made his run for the defender's knees. His action had no bearing on the play. A pitiful and stupid play (oh I forgot, Vandy is the smart school).

Joshua30
Joshua30

Jonathan - what did Coach Dooley say that was incorrect?

HVL Dawg
HVL Dawg

There's no question from top to bottom Vanderbilt graduates are top notch people- as a whole I'd say the best in our league. They won't let Franklin drag down their reputations for the sake of a few football wins.

Franklin's reputation is a work in process and it's already smelling.

ggg
ggg

Too late the reputation is out there; but is it true that is the question? What I hope members of the press do is to go to the source and review plays with their own eyes instead of just passing along someone elses' view. Vandy fans heard completely opposite stories to what folks from UT and other schools are saying. We were complaining Dooley left the field to do an interview while Franklin was looking to shake his hand. So which is it? We heard that Franklin said that we would be back (McArthur!) but others are reporting something else. Vandy fans have been furious with players doing illegal hits. btw, the TV announcers said Jelesky has had problems with bad blocks all year - not true - the announcers confused him with Stewart. But becasue it was said on TV everyone will think he was him. Interestingly, someone told me that someone in the press reviewed the hit and said it is clear that Jelesky moved around to get infront of player and that hit was infront with helmet and pads above knee. Player fell around on tummy so Jelesky was at his ankle but it was after the play so a late hit but not a chop. Can someone impartial please take a look? (that is you John!) If it still is a chop then VAndy fans will remain mad, but if not, then maybe everyone needs to know that. While you are looking at that take a look at the 2nd field goal. apparently Vol Nation Network called it good and Vandy and UTfans in endzone reacted as it was good. Please do not take this as truth (I heard from several people in the endzone)- but that is my point - take an impartial look to see if true. Franklin apologized for the UGA thing and Richt aplogized for his player so I think those two are cool. I am also sure the young man learned from that game. I am also sure that none of you have any idea about what I am talking about! And that is also to my point, we need impartial press to report everything that happens - not just the few snippets that get picked up and passed on forever - maybe out of context or maybe false or maybe leaving out 90%of the situation. Please investigate stories and tape John with your own eyes. thx.

Jimmy
Jimmy

I apologize, 1:48:49 is the exact moment.

@Anchor_Down
@Anchor_Down

Local Fox affiliates in Nashvegas have video of Franklin and Dooley shaking hands post-game. Further, most opposing HCs do not shake hands of anyone on staff but HCs, unless there's a pre-existing relationship. Did DD shake any of our assistants' hands? Anyone griping about that? Damn facts, getting in the way of hyperbole and overreaction.

The photo above was taken after CJF and CDD shook hands. CJF was still pissed at the abortion at the end of the game and was looking for the head referree, who never explained the call to CJF (it came from the official on the Vanderbilt sideline). Name another coach in that situation who would not have been pissed and looking for the Ref for an explanation?

Jimmy
Jimmy

Maybe he learned his lesson about talking to assistants from that same Grantham, which is why he's avoiding contact with anyone but Dooley. And there was video on Fox in Nashville showing the two (Franklin and Dooley) shaking hands post-game.

The "clipping" call on Jelesky during the 70 yard Rodgers-Boyd hookup was phantom, as well. Watching the replay (1:49:40 on ESPN3.com), the player came around the defensive lineman and hit the lineman from the front, above the waist.

"ARTICLE 1. a. Clipping is a block against an opponent in which the force of the initial contact is from behind and at or below the waist (Rule 9-1-5)."

Stephen
Stephen

Karl,
I am glad you were at the game,saw the entire incident, and can verify this is what actually happened.
thanks

Karl
Karl

The photo shows a Tenn coach seperating the two men after Franklin refused the handshake and a verbal altercation began. Franklin is a jerk and if he thinks he can't make Vandy tough by teaching them to destroy the knees of 20 year old kids, then he deserves a hell worse than coaching Vandy.

Jonathan
Jonathan

wow, what a craptastic article? i thought this site was supposed to be "legit" and not a propaganda machine...

Franklin was visibly upset, and I believe he shook Dooley's hand.. He complimented the UT team in the press conference.. what the heck is he suposed to do after such a painful loss... Anybody who watched the game from Vandy's perspective wouldn't have been surprised...

Love the other SEC fans, trying to ruin the reputation of a coach and school on two illegal blocks, bad but isolated incidents.

Why don't you mention Derek Dooley saying to his team in the locker room, "One thing Tennessee always does is kick the $H!T out of Vanderbilt"".. and then the team singing "we don't give a damn about the whole school of vanderbilt...." etc..

U wanna talk about class? In this short post of mine, I have more evidence than ur entire pathetic article.

gimme a break, Mr. SEC

SecFan
SecFan

I'm a Bama fan and have noticed a pattern with Vandy's players taking cheap shots. There was an incident in the Vandy game in which Courtney Upshaw was targeted by a Vandy player after the play. Uncharacteristically for him, Upshaw retaliated. The officials did not see it so no penalty was called on either player. Saban sat Upshaw out for the first half of the next game but the point is the SEC needs to look at all Vandy game film. After seeing them do the same thing in other games, it's clear they are deliberately taking cheap shots to provoke a reponse.

Stephen
Stephen

I must be missing something in the picture you have posted above. Are you saying that the picture is showing Vanderbilt's coach refusing to shake the hand of Tennessee Assistant Coach/Coaches? You are much better than I am at looking at one still photo and telling me what has proceeded and followed the still snapshot. This is a serious accusation to make. One could look at the photo and see an individual wearing a Tennessee hat with his right hand planted on the Vanderbilt coach's left arm. Was the Vanderbilt coach focused on something and/or someone else and the man with the Tennessee hat grabbing the coach's arm to get his attention? ( I am assuming by what you have reported that you were either on the field and saw what transpired yourself or you interviewed the assistant coach for Tennessee and he stated what had occurred on the field. I hope one or both is the case).

WOW
WOW

O.K.b but you don't have to fight them long before they cry.

Old School
Old School

Pennington's from Kentucky. Please don't lump him in with us. GO VOLS!

WOW
WOW

Seriously? The race card? Wow. You guys really ARE crybabies. Good luck with changing that perception.

ingold
ingold

According to DC of the Tennessean in an article listed today he simply said "we will be back".

All this stuff shows how stupid fans and the media can be. When they start to pile on there is no whistle and no matter how false or inaccurate there is no flag.

face the truth
face the truth

Dude - obviously you haven't watched the replay of that cheap shot. Mo Couch was clipped from behind the right knee, several yards behind the ball carrier. There's no other way to describe it other than a cheap, dirty hit. And if you don't think 3 of the same type hits are a pattern, name another team that has been penalized this year for 3 of the same hits, so much so that every team they play is waiting for it to happen to them.

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

ggg...

I did see the play that was flagged and I thought it was dozens of yards behind the play. Hard to give a guy the benefit of the doubt as to whether or not he tried to get in front of his man. They were behind the play and the only reason to deliver the hit was just to... deliver the hit.

I also saw the tape from ESPN of Franklin storming past two Tennessee coaches who attempted to shake his hand.

I am impartial. That's why I defended Franklin in the Georgia situation... Grantham had a "prior history" for hot-headedness and Franklin didn't. Now this is two issues for Franklin. It caused a stir in the media after the game. So I discussed it here.

Not sure how much more impartial I could be. I could give a flip if Vandy or Tennessee wins or loses a game.

John

John
John

You must be joking. Whether technically dirty or not, anyone who has ever played football know that was a BS move. It was twenty yards behind the play. And that's why they'll always be Vanderbilt.

GeoffDawg
GeoffDawg

Have you ever extended a handshake just to have someone walk by you like you're garbage? That's exactly what Franklin did. Do you really think the level of coach is relevent?

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

@Anchor_Down...

Did a Vandy assistant attempt to shake Dooley's hand? If so -- and if he was caught on camera blowing past them -- we'll write about it.

John

Bando
Bando

from the front and above the waist???? must have a degree in anatomy from Vandy,

Undisclosed
Undisclosed

I was there on the field and can verify exactly what Karl stated above.

Reality
Reality

If you think that anything Franklin said was complimentary of the Vols and not a sarcastic, crybaby fit, you need to buy this neat little bridge in London that I have up for sale.

john
john

i can tell you never put the pads on in your life, what dooley said was 'locker room' talk. Shouldve never gotten out.
I am darn sure Mr Franklin had some nice things to say about UT.

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

Jonathan...

Who is it we're a propaganda machine for? Do you forget that we've talked up Franklin all season long? I think the bias is with you, my friend.

We're simply pointing out that it appears he's not the squeaky clean guy that we first believed. Doesn't mean he's a devil... or an angel. Just pointing out a controversy that came up after Saturday's game.

As for your points:

* What is Franklin supposed to do after a painful loss? Shake hands with opposing coaches... like 99.9% of other losing coaches.

* The incidents involving Vandy are not isolated either. They are being flagged for those hits because they've gotten a reputation for delivering them. Even Franklin has stated that people are watching Stewart closely.

* I didn't mention Derek Dooley's locker room comments because unlike some other sites, I don't think there was anything out of the ordinary in Dooley's locker room statements. Coaches say that kind of stuff before and after every game... including Franklin, I assure you. And about half the schools in the country sing the song you speak of -- "We don't give a damn about (fill in the blank)." If you took offense to that then you don't have a very deep knowledge of college football.

U had a nice post though. Ur parents should be very proud.

John

Nick
Nick

Bama also cheers "we just beat the hell out of you" after beating Tennessee.

And what Dooley did was in the locker room. He didn't even know a cell phone camera was going on. It was behind closed doors with his team. I am sure Franklin had lovely things to say about Tennessee with his team. Give me a break. He failed to show class. Bottom line.

GeoffDawg
GeoffDawg

Yeah, I echo the sentiments of bvkv09. You're pretty much a tool Jonathan.

bvkv09
bvkv09

wow what a "craptastic" post. Where is the evidence that you claim to point to in the article? Surely you aren't referencing the fact that "you believe" Dooley and Franklin shook hands.

It has been reported by several sources that they most certainly did not. Including the aforementioned Jimmy Hyams. Who has over 30 years covering SEC sports.

There have been at least 2 other posts on the fact that Vandy payers have committed similar dangerous plays this year. I guess the fact that it has happened twice is of little importance to you.

James Johnson
James Johnson

Taking up for your team and being a jackass is two different things.

Bryan
Bryan

That snap shot looks like a still shot from the TV feed. It was clear after the game that Franklin was truly ticked off. The camera followed him across the field and you saw several Tennessee players, coaches, etc.., attempting to reach out to him and shake hands. Frankln never made any attempt from what I saw to return the favor. I'd be ticked off to lose like that as well, but showing some sort of class should come into play.

Art
Art

No the picture is of the Vols O-Line coach seperating the two of them... Everyone in the Stadium saw it along with him addressing the students with his middle fingers... ALL CLASS

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

Stephen...

Really? A "serious accusation to make?" I think murder, would be a serious accusation to make.

As for the handshake incident, numerous outlets have mentioned it -- including ESPN. I went back and watched the clip via DVR and it was clear that Franklin blew right by the Tennessee coaches without shaking their hands.

John

Nick
Nick

I watched the whole game and the events that transpired. He totally dismissed the attempt of the UT coaches at a handshake. He blew them off. Bottom line.

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

ingold...

I don't really care what David Climer wrote in a family newspaper, but I was told Franklin said, "We'll be back, ______ ______"

And I have no idea what you're trying to say in your last line.

John

ggg
ggg

John - that was the point I was trying to make that you ARE impartial and is the way the professional press is subposed to be. You cover all the SEC and not from the point of one of the teams. I thought I was pointing that folks from each school can get distorted stories from local blogs and news. I was trying to show that I look at all the stories and try to figure out what really happened, even from my own team's point of view. I was very clear that I did not know if the stories I heard were true, that is why I was asking for your opinion. I was pointing out conflicting articles and asking you to be the impartial truthteller. I was giving you a compliment and I thought that any response I got would be, "hey it is nice to see an openminded sports fan who wants to know what really happened" . I thought I was telling folks to always see if they are getting the full story and to always ask questions. I am a bit concerned that my post drew such an opposite response from what I expected. As an older woman, I don't comment on things very often, but I'm feeling a little bit gun shy now that what I thought I said was interpreted the opposite way.

Alex
Alex

is this serious? a coach can do whatever he wants in a locker room. Grow up and learn some basics man.

John
John

Tennessee DOES always beat the @#$% out of Vandy.

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

blahblahblah...

Ah. Since all of his other posts have been about Vandy and Tennessee... when I saw "they" I thought he had jumped back to referring to the "call" at the end of the game.

Thanks for the "clarification."

So "does" reacting in "a" snide manner "make" YOU "foolish?"

(Love the quotation marks.)
John

blahblahblah
blahblahblah

...really? i'm disappointed. as a journalist, you can figure that one out. it's called a "metaphor". it's used in higher level "literature" and "writing forums"... commonly taught about in "high school".
big words, but stay with me.
it's tough when people don't agree with you... but reacting in a snide manner only makes you foolish.

blahblahblah
blahblahblah

he is saying when media and fans gang up and make claims about X coach, Y players, or Z team, they have a tendency to overreact / spin things one way or another / read into something that's not there... media speculation sells, but if / when they cross the line, no one stops them, and regardless of how egregious their comments may be, no one apologizes or thinks twice about them

AllTideUp
AllTideUp

Come on. If you think there isn't smack talk from coaches and players in the privacy of a locker room then you probably haven't played football and probably don't know anyone who has. Nobody would have a problem with Franklin doing the same with his own team.

This is apples and oranges.

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