Yesterday, Former Vanderbilt quarterback Jordan Rodgers attacked his alma mater with an extremely long Twitter-based rant. Whether Rodgers is right or wrong about the way former Vandy football players are treated after their careers end, he’s made new Commodore coach Derek Mason’s job even more difficult in the run-up to signing day.
Recently, Rodgers was not allowed in the Vanderbilt football facilities. He was told he would have to pay a fee to use the school’s new indoor fields.
Now, we could post Rodgers’ rant tweet by tweet but, to be honest, it’s a bit tedious to read that way. So here’s a link to his feed and here is what he tweeted last evening:
“It’s a shame but Vanderbilt will continue to be a stepping stone for coaches, a second rate program in the SEC and stuck in mediocrity b/c..
..of how the institution views athletics and treats their current and former players. As a leader and starting QB during the emergence..
..and transformation of Vanderbilt into a contending and respectable program in the SEC I am ashamed at the treatment of some former players
..As I return to Nashville after my rookie year in the NFL I was excited to train at Vanderbilt with current players as well as pro day…
..and combine prep players. I have been throwing with current Vandy QBs and receivers and a receiver prepping for pro day. However, it has..
been a constant problem gaining access to the new “football” indoor facility during times it is “open use” I was turned away from the..
..indoor facility all together several times (even though the field was empty). After inquiring about the use of hte facility by active..
NFL alums and pro day players not currently enrolled. I was told I CAN’T use it unless I purchase a membership to the rec center!!!!..
..Vanderbilt and David Williams have “changed the culture”. NO. The players (recruited by Bobby Johnson) and coach Franklin changed the..
..culture at Vanderbilt. WE build that indoor by winning like no team in the history of VU. Now I have to pay to use it?! Pay to help..
..mentor and train with current players and alum trying to stick with a team in the NFL. WE built this program not some chancellor. This..
..is an embarrassment and only a reflection of the future of this program if it continues to put football and the success and treatment ..
..of its players as an after thought. I will choose to train somewhere else if VU has this little respect for its alumni who sacrificed so..
..much for this program. This is an embarrassment and a shame. I love this school and program but it obviously is done with my services.
Let me reiterate: I would rightfully pay to use weight room, exercise classes, bball courts @ rec.I’m talking about 30 min/day on fball field
It’s not a me thing. There are 5+ ex VU players now in or continuing to pursue the NFL and a handful of recent grads trying for pro day
@VUNation @VandySportscom we didn’t request to drop in whenever. We gave a specific time window during open access hours to field.
It’s not about the $. It’s the fact that recent grads training for pro day in march and current NFL als can’t sue field without paying.”
Yikes. Not surprisingly, Rodgers was quickly lit up on Twitter forcing him to post these follow-ups:
“Relax ppl and fans. I love you and Vandy! Just pointing out something that is disappointing for guys trying to make a name for themselves/VU
Twitter is a fickle thing. Love VU. What I said was truth. I will continue to search for resolution in house. Twitter can be taken out of..
..Context unfortunately. I am responsible for my actions and love my school. It will be better. It will be fixed.”
Twitter can be blown out of proportion, but it’s hard to see where anything Rodgers wrote last evening was taken “out of context.” He ripped his alma mater, called the football program “second rate” and said it would be “stuck in mediocrity” before blasting the “culture,” the athletic director and the chancellor on a medium viewed by, well, everybody.
He didn’t put his foot in his mouth. That would have gone unnoticed. No, he put two feet on his keyboard. And then things blew up for him.
In addition to ripping Vanderbilt’s program a week before National Signing Day, Rodgers also aligned himself with James Franklin who’s not exactly the most popular man in Nashville at the moment. (Some people are trying to get his image erased from a local mural due to the fact that he left the Commodores and took half their recruiting class with him.)
Getting to the crux of Rodgers’ case, he’s actually in the right. It’s foolish for schools not to welcome back alums. Former players now in the NFL — or trying to reach the NFL — serve as good motivation for current players and can help lure recruits. Unfortunately, Rodgers chose to take his argument to the people, did so with a hot head, and undercut the legitimate point he was trying to make.
Best of luck to Mason as he tries to cobble together a signing class in a two-week period while an ex-VU quarterback strafes his program with Twitter bombs.