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Vandy A.D. Williams: “We’re Prepared To Do What We Need To Do” To Keep Franklin

Vanderbilt athletic director David Williams says his school won’t go down without a fight if someone tries to lure James Franklin away from the Commodore football program.  Vandy is currently bowl eligible for the second straight year under the fiery, young coach and if the Dores finish 7-5 or 8-4, you can bet he’s going to be a sought-after commodity.

Williams says he’s prepared for such a situation:


“Whether it is an extension, whether it is changing terms, whether it is ripping [the contract] up and giving a new one, we’re prepared to do what we need to do for James Franklin to be the football coach…

James and I meet every week, including this morning, and I think we’re both on the same page that we expect next year when we kick off in the opening game against Mississippi that James Franklin will still be at the helm of Vanderbilt football. I have every expectation of that…

I think he has had a great season — and it’s not over.  In my 13 years [at Vanderbilt] we’ve been eligible for bowls three times. This is the first time in my 13 years that we’ve been bowl-eligible with still two games to play… Last year was a good year, he got rewarded. It looks like this is a better year.”


As we told you yesterday, NC State and athletic director Debbie Yow — who named Franklin as coach-in-waiting at Maryland before leaving for Raleigh — might exit Tom O’Brien and then chase Franklin.

If he’s given a choice to move, money probably won’t be Franklin’s sole motivation.  His career goals and his family’s happiness will also weigh into the equation.  Some coaches have left “high academic” schools for greener pastures only to realize that they could have stayed put and been a hero for life at a program with lesser expectations.  Franklin might want to call Gary Barnett or Gerry DiNardo if he has any job offers to mull over this offseason.

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Women’s Soccer Star Trying Out For LSU Football Team

Get ready.  The SEC’s all-boys club might just have to put in a ladies room.

LSU soccer star Mo Isom is going to try to land a placekicking role in Baton Rouge this spring.  She began a walk-on tryout yesterday.  If she makes the Tiger team, she’ll be the first female kicker at an FBS school since Katie Hnida nailed two extra points for New Mexico back in 2003.  Hnida also had an extra point blocked by UCLA in the Las Vegas Bowl that season.

Les Miles claims he would have no problem using Isom in a game if she’s the best person for the job:

“No I would have no reservations playing her.  If she gave us an opportunity and an advantage, and I mean add an advantage, then certainly we would consider that.  The good thing about it is she’s an athlete.  She’s been through team before.  She understands the commitment.  I would have much less reservation with her than I would any number of other people that frankly didn’t know what they were getting into.  But the real interesting thing is it has to be an advantage obtained.”

In other words, Isom has some work to do.  She’s got to be better than the guys kicking against her, not just as good.

Let’s face it, whether people want to say it, admit it, or hear it, adding a woman to a football team is tricky business.  Ask ex-Colorado coach Gary Barnett.  He’ll remember Hnida, the female kicker mentioned above.

She initially walked on at Colorado before transferring to New Mexico.  In 2004 she told Sports Illustrated that she had been sexually molested and verbally abused by some of her teammates at Colorado.  She claimed to have been raped by one of them.  Barnett claimed there wasn’t “a shred of evidence” to back up her allegations.  He also made the mistake of saying, “She was awful… Katie was not only a girl, she was terrible.”

Hnida is now a public speaker and author.  Barnett — thanks in part to his comments about a woman who might have been a rape victim — was nuked from the coaching profession in 2005 when a recruiting scandal also popped up at CU.

Adding a female to the team adds an unknown variable into a male-dominated, testosterone-fueled lockerroom.  We’re not saying Isom doesn’t deserve a shot.  But we do agree with what Miles appears to be saying: To go through the trouble of adding a woman and to take on the risk of problems, Isom had better be able to kick the pigskin better than the any male walk-ons. 

As for the former LSU goalkeeper, she says this is not for show.

“People’s first presumption about this is that it’s a media stunt or some attempt for attention and glory,” Isom said.  “That could be any farther from the truth.  I feel it was a goal God placed in my heart.  It’s just something I want to do.”

Miles said yesterday’s conditions made it “a bad day for anybody to kick because the wind was just so strong.”  Isom said she landed “some great kickoffs between the 5-yard-line and the goal line.”  Miles admitted, “obviously she’s got ball skills… she’s been around it.”

According to The Shreveport Times, last August Isom connected on a 51-yard field goal attempt while working out with LSU’s kickers.

She was also named LSU’s homecoming queen last fall.

Last September she took part in a skills competition with the Honey Badger himself, Tyrann Mathieu:

And she also once scored a goal from 90 yards out during an LSU soccer match:

Finally, she’s posted a thanks on Facebook to all of those supporting her.  “There is so much power in prayer, please know that I truly appreciate every single one of you!”

She closes with a quote from Phillipians.

Athlete.  Christian.  Good-looking.  Somebody get Tim Tebow Isom’s number.

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