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VU’s Franklin Backtracks On Wife Comments; Vandy Bosses, Too

Speaking to Nashville radio station WGFX-FM earlier this week, James Franklin said:


“I’ve been saying it for a long time, I will not hire an assistant until I see his wife.  If she looks the part and she’s a D1 recruit, then you got a chance to get hired.  That’s part of the deal.  There’s a very strong correlation between having the confidence, going up and talking to a women, and being quick on your feet and having some personality and confidence and being articulate and confident, than it is walking into a high school and recruiting a kid and selling him.” 


Obviously, that’s not the brightest thing in the world for Vanderbilt’s football coach to say.  We didn’t blast him because — to be fair — he could have been hamming it up with the guys at the station.  We did, however, point out that he could take some flak for his loose lips.

It didn’t take long for the story to make national headlines.  At that point, Franklin took to Twitter to try and put out the fire he’d started:
























Franklin’s boss — Vandy vice chancellor David Williams — then tried to put a little distance between the school and Franklin’s comments:


“After being informed of Coach Franklin’s comments, I spoke with him about his remarks. We discussed how inappropriate and offensive his statements were no matter his state of mind or intent. Coach Franklin is clearly aware of his mistake and is sorry for any hurt that resulted from his statements. Clearly his comments do not reflect the values and hiring practices of Vanderbilt University, Vanderbilt Athletics or Vanderbilt Football.”


In other words — “Hey, assistants who weren’t hired, please don’t sue us!”

Were Franklin’s words really, really that offensive?  Probably not.

Were they dumb?  Without question.  And the fact that he and the Vanderbilt administration are backpedaling from them like a cornerback at the NFL combine is proof of that.

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Vandy Finishes Probe Into Tampering In O’Brien Case

Earlier this year, when former Maryland quarterback Danny O’Brien announced that he would transfer from the school, head coach Randy Edsall told him and two other departing Terrapins that they could not go to Vanderbilt.  The court of public opinion weighed in and the coach backtracked.

But after giving the players the green light to go wherever they liked, Edsall and Maryland filed an official complaint against Vanderbilt and ex-Terp offensive coordinator James Franklin for tampering.  The complaint went to the ACC which then filed it with the SEC.  VU officials were instructed to dig into the matter.

This afternoon, Vandy vice chancellor David Williams released a statement saying that the school had finished its internal investigation:

“We did a thorough review.  We looked closely at months of phone and email records, and Twitter accounts.  We interviewed all of our coaches with University of Maryland backgrounds and we also interviewed the student-athlete (O’Brien).”

And?  And? 

Vandy would not say if the report — which has been forwarded to the SEC office — revealed that tampering had taken place or not.  That said, I think we can all guess what Vanderbilt’s verdict would be.

“Our reputation is our primary concern,” Williams said.  “We have a long and proud history of playing by the letter and the spirit of the rules.  Coach Franklin feels the same way.  He and his staff were most cooperative.”

If Vandy found no tampering and the SEC finds no tampering, then it’s doubtful that the NCAA will dig further to determine if a secondary violation — and that’s what it would be — has taken place.

If/when O’Brien transfers to Vandy, he will have two years of eligibility remaining.

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SEC Looks Into Grantham / Franklin Mess; UGA Assistant Meets With A.D.

The SEC has asked both Georgia and Vanderbilt officials to file reports with the league regarding the postgame flap between VU’s James Franklin and Georgia’s Todd Grantham.  SEC associate commissioner Charles Bloom said today that it’s “too early for any decisions yet” as the league continues to gather information.  The league could reach a decision by sometime tomorrow.

Here’s a quick breakdown on the latest:

* Franklin was asked about the mess today at his weekly presser.  He said that he spoke with Mark Richt “man to man” yesterday.  Asked if he regretted his own behavior at game’s end, Franklin said:

“I’m not a guy who really has a whole lot of regrets.  I’m pretty calculated and pretty well thought out for the most part with the things I do.  I am an emotional guy, as you guys now.”

* Grantham told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today that he regrets his actions:

“First of all, I love my players and appreciate their hard work and investment in our program.  I feel a responsibility and loyalty to protect and stand up for them.  However, I feel it’s important to educate them in all areas of life.  While my intentions were genuine, I feel it was unfortunate that things escalated to a confrontation.  However, I’ll use it as a learning experience for myself as well as my players so that we all become better men.”

* Meanwhile, Georgia AD Greg McGarity has gotten involved.  He spoke with Richt by telephone yesterday and then met with Grantham in person today.  Of those conversations, McGarity would say little:

“There were lessons to be learned here.  Obviously the conduct that was displayed was not representative of how we want to conduct ourselves after a hard-fought game.”

* McGarity spoke with the Touchdown Club in Atlanta today and had the following to say to that group:

“I think the whole story will come out at some point in time.  Right now both institutions are basically filing a report to the Southeastern Conference office on really what happened from Todd’s standpoint and, I’m sure, from Coach Franklin’s standpoint…

I won’t get into specifics, but I think if you ask Todd if he had to do it over again, I think he definitely would do some things differently.  I think that’s not the way you want to represent your institution on either side.  At the end of the day, I think you’ll see that.  But I know Todd is in the process of making a statement.  We want to get ahead of this and deal with it up front to where there’s nothing out there that we need to be worrying about the rest of the week…

So it’s something we’re really not proud of, and we’ll deal with it and learn from it and also teach our student-athletes on the positives and negatives of situations like that.”

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Vanderbilt Introduces James Franklin As New Head Coach

Vanderbilt introduced former Maryland offensive coordinator James Franklin as its new head coach on Friday.

Vanderbilt issued the following statement from Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos:

“The hiring of Coach Franklin represents a new day for Vanderbilt football. He has my full support and commitment that we will help him create an environment where the successes on the field equal the university’s extraordinary successes off the field. Coach Franklin will have an immediate and positive impact on our students, alumni, faculty, staff and broader Vanderbilt community, and I welcome him to Vanderbilt.”

Franklin spent the last three seasons as Maryland’s offensive coordinator. The Terrapins went 18-19 during those three seasons, including an 8-4 record this season that helped Maryland earn a trip to the Military Bowl on Dec. 29.

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