Lord knows I’m no great fan of James Franklin’s behavior and there’s no question that Vanderbilt looks like crap so far this season, but I think John Pennington goes a little too far with this piece. Sure, Franklin made good use of Bobby Johnson’s recruits, most of whom are long gone now, but it’s worth pointing out that Franklin did a better job of recruiting at Vandy than Johnson did. Not only that, but Franklin redshirted almost the entire 2013 class. It’s hard to see how that’s leaving somebody holding the bag.
Pennington is right that it’s too early to judge Mason. But I’m not really sure how it’s any different for judging the talent that Mason’s been left to work with.
Randy Edsall vs. James Franklin: oh, it’s on, bitches.
I could be wrong about this, but I’m guessing the last thing Penn State needs right now is an assertion that its head football coach had contact with an alleged victim of a rape carried out by members of his football team.
Of course, we have no idea because “Vanderbilt and Penn State did not immediately respond to requests for comment.” But it sure don’t look good from here.
Either Penn State conducted the mother of all background checks before it hired Franklin – because the rape case was already out there in the public eye – and feels it has nothing to worry about here, or it just crossed its fingers and hired the guy. If it’s the latter, the school had better hope it’s not jumping off the cliff with its new coach.
No, he’s not breaking any rules, but, man, it’s something else watching James Franklin cannibalize the once proud Vanderbilt recruiting class. The best part of it is the utter shamelessness with which he’s gone about his business.
The better fit for most of the former Commodores commitments apparently has been Franklin himself, with six jumping from Vanderbilt’s commitment list to that of Penn State. Tight end Chance Sorrell of Ohio and defensive end Lloyd Tubman of Kentucky told Rivals.com that they received calls from Franklin just hours after he took over the Nittany Lions.
Those calls contained scholarship offers.
“He didn’t push me or anything,” Tubman told Rivals.com. “I told him that I was with him 100 percent. He was a major reason I committed to Vanderbilt.”
Again, all’s fair and all that. It’s the punchline that kills it for me.
Tubman added that after he committed to the Nittany Lions, Franklin asked him to shut down his recruitment.
Penn State paid for James Franklin’s farewell ad to Vandy fans in The Tennessean.
UPDATE: This is the way to do a farewell. Best of luck to you and your family, Coach O.
Believe it or not, there are other happenings in the world of college football beyond the Pruitt hire.
- Georgia Tech’s AD has a four-hour meeting with Paul Johnson, declares the genius to be “as focused and energized as he has seen him”. As long as you keep him on the job, I’m fine.
- You know how the NCAA keeps vowing to take litigation all the way to the Supreme Court? Well, you can take the litigation to the Court, but that doesn’t mean the Court is going to accept the litigation from you.
- Damon Evans has a new gig.
- James Franklin says kids commit to a coach, not the school. Funny how that works out when a coach leaves the school freely while a player is blocked from transferring.
- Speaking of which, they’re not making that any easier.
- Title IX vs. football: “(A)t most Division I schools, 80 percent of all sports funds go to two men’s sports: football and basketball.”
- John Infante looks at the new NCAA governing proposal designed to give the big schools more autonomy and notes the curious absence of the word “amateurism”.
- Maryland AG counterclaims in the ACC suit, alleging that ESPN provided “counsel and direction” to the conference as it attempted to poach teams from the Big Ten. Pass the popcorn, please.
- Brian VanGorder, on the lessons he learned from Rex Ryan.