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VU’s Franklin Backtracks From “Men Of Honor” Comments

After signing day last week, Vanderbilt coach James Franklin told a group of Commodore backers that those players who decommitted from Vandy were “not men of honor” and “not men of integrity.”  He did not mention anyone by name, but most assumed that he was referring to defensive end Josh Dawson who decided on the eve of signing day to stay in his home state and attend Georgia rather than VU.

As a result of his words, Franklin took some heat.  Now, he’s backtracking a bit… and blaming the media (of course):


“First of all, it really wasn’t written the way it was delivered. I think the biggest thing is when a kid commits to Vanderbilt, I go into great detail and make sure they understand what they’re doing – that they understand ‘commitment’ and ‘what commitment means.’ That I’d say if five other schools come in and offer you, would you change your mind? We make sure everybody is on the same page: the kid, the parents, and the high school coach. We explain it in real detail. I would just rather a kid not commit to us than commit and not be completely sure what he’s going to do. When you lose a kid, it hurts your heart. You feel bad, like all college coaches do, because you feel like your institution is the best possible place for that kid. So when you lose them, it hurts.

I think I probably would’ve worded some things differently [that I said that day]. And I think it would’ve probably been reported a little differently than it was intended. But it is what it is. I have great respect for all the young men that committed to us. I have great respect for some of the men that changed their minds and went in another direction. They thought it was in the best interest for them and their family. But it hurts when you lose a guy when you’ve been recruiting him for a year.”


So Franklin wishes he’d said things differently.  And clearly he still thinks those players who decommitted from Vandy don’t understand “what commitment means.”

Then how exactly is any of this the fault of Jeff Lockridge of The Tennessean who initially tweeted the coach’s exact words?  Franklin tries to blame the press for not putting his words in context but he admits he chose the words poorly and that the context — turns out — looks pretty dead-on correct.

Michael Carvell of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution asked several coaches about Franklin’s “not men of honor” comments and Vandy’s coach didn’t get a lot of support.  Especially from new North Carolina coach Larry Fedora who lost quarterback Patton Robinette to Franklin at the last possible moment (Robinette actually left orientation at UNC to sign with Vandy):


“What does [Franklin] say about the kids that were committed elsewhere and de-committed from their places to go to his place? That’s my comment. What is his comment on those people? He’s got someone in his recruiting class that did that very thing. He’s saying those guys are not men of honor? Basically, he’s saying he has got kids in his own recruiting class that are not men of honor. He said that, and I didn’t.”


We pointed out as much last week when writing of Franklin’s clear double-standard.  The AJC asked the coach if he saw his stance as being a double-standard:


“I think you get frustrated, and you get upset because kids commit to you.  But you’re exactly right. It was like the year before, when we got in here at the last minute and only had a month left for recruiting, we got kids to de-commit to us. I think that’s a very, very valid point.”


At least he admits that his comments post-signing day were out of line.  And in this instance he doesn’t try to blame the evil press for twisting his words.



Franklin is Lane Kiffin redux. The only difference being he's at Vandy, so no one outside of the state is paying attention. But UT fans have seen this movie, and we know how it ends. Mock me all you want, Dores, but when he leaves for his "dream job" in a couple years just as the NCAA is setting up camp on the West End, don't say you weren't warned.

Dynamite fan
Dynamite fan

MrSEC would not be the same without The weekly "I hate James Franklin" article. Franklin must frequent this site to hate the media as much as you claim. All he said was " it really wasn’t written the way it was delivered" I hardly call that blaming the evil media. I understand Volnation hates the guy and JP has a personal agenda against VU. Please remove Vanderbilt from the top of the heading and quit writing about them if you are not going to be fair. I can't wait until VU is snubbed on selection Sunday. Just to read the Vandy should have won more games article!!

Next week don't miss the James Franklin kills puppies article followed but Kevin Stallings stole some kids candy and Tim Corbin worships Satan


Les Miles is also the worst guy too. Lets pile on him too. How about Wisconsin's or Michigan State's coach?

Face it dude you crapped the bed. Man up and move on like James did.


"At least he admits that his comments post-signing day were out of line. And in this instance he doesn’t try to blame the evil press for twisting his words."

It's never good enough for you is it? Why not just say he admitted his mistake? What's the at least part? That he didn't blow the AJC guy or you . too? What BS


Umm sorry to contradict you but I was there and what Lockridge tweeted was paraphrasing while adding names that Franklin did not mention. Not even close to the exact words


Glad you can predict the future. Thank you man. Can you see UT's future and how your program has drug problems, attitude problems, and coaching problems. At least Franklin can get the most out of his players. Dooley cant even get half out of his players.

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator


Lockridge tweeted the following:

-- "Franklin tells crowd at VU student center that commits who decommitted (i.e. Josh Dawson) were "not men of honor" and "not men of integrity" --

That "i.e. Josh Dawson" clearly was not an attempt to put words in Franklin's mouth. He quoted his statements about decommits in general -- and Franklin admits making them -- and then he attempted to explain who Franklin was talking about. And there's no doubt in anyone's mind that Dawson was who he was talking about. There were only two decommits.

Read your coach's words. He admits he was wrong to use those words and he admits that he was using a double-standard.

Umm sorry.



@John at MrSEC You forgot to report somewhere in the article that Dan Mullen was evil...and he says evil things. Just saying...


  1. [...] coach, James Franklin, is becoming pretty good for a soundbite, isn’t he? If he’s not calling out kids for their lack of honor, letting SEC coaches know how ready his team is to take on all comers, or instituting rules about [...]

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