Frank(lin)ly speaking

If you want to get a look at the train wreck that was Auburn football last year, Tony Franklin is more than willing to pull back the curtain. (h/t

According to Franklin, the main problem was a healthy dose of paranoia.

“It was the most unusual place I’ve ever been,” Franklin said of the Auburn program. “No one liked anybody else. There was this deep distrust of everybody. The coaches didn’t trust the administration, the administration didn’t trust each other or the coaches. It was very strange and very unnerving. You would walk down the halls and there would be tension you could just feel.

“No one would speak to you or even look at you. The coaches were all paranoid and didn’t trust anyone in the administration. They all felt like the administration was out to get them and they stressed out over everything that happened. “

That in turn put a huge amount of pressure on Tuberville.

“I told Tommy several times that I was simply astounded by the success that he and those coaches had there given the environment around that program,” Franklin said. “There were so many people putting so much stress on Tommy that I don’t know how they did it.

“Whenever you’re the leader of a team or a company or whatever and you’ve got people putting as much pressure on you as what was placed on Tommy, it trickles down to everyone else. And you could see it in that staff.”

Which may explain this:

Franklin was also troubled by the constant talk about religion within the athletic department. From Tuberville to Jacobs to most of the assistants, the talk of God and prayer never ended.”That’s all they do is pray — and talk about praying and religion,” Franklin said. “It’s a constant thing with them, and it’s just overwhelming at times. A lot of people use religion as a crutch, and I think that’s the case there. Every word coming out of their mouths is something about religion, and most of it is just a joke.

“I don’t want to come off as anti-religion or that I’m not a Christian, but the best people in the world — the ones who do truly great things — they just do good things for people. You don’t know most of the time if they’re Muslim or Christian or anything else, because they never talk about it. But it was constant with them, and it was uncomfortable sometimes. When you talk about your religion so much, it comes off as fake or phony. That’s the way I think of several of those people (at Auburn) as fake.”

Fun times, in other words.  For such a smart guy, Franklin’s decision to take the job comes off as a pretty dumb one in hindsight, as even he admits.

In fact, Franklin is angrier with himself, saying he was seduced by the money and allowed his ego to get the best of him instead of “using common sense.” He also downplayed the way he was treated and the effect it had on him.

“It just wasn’t the right move for any of us — it was a mistake by all of us,” Franklin said…

I wonder how much things have changed with the new staff.


UPDATE: Will Collier yawns.


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Tony Franklin - Misunderstood Genius

4 responses to “Frank(lin)ly speaking

  1. Hobnail_Boot

    Franklin summed up what it’s like sometimes in the South if you’re Christian but not Southern Baptist.


  2. Mike In Valdosta

    Granted, I am a pathetic excuse for a Southern Baptist, but I am not going to pile on regarding the religion talk considering CMR is a man of great faith and incorporates that faith into everything he does.

    I will say, having grown up closer to West Opelika than to Athens, I take great glee in the problems on the plains! I certainly hope Coach Cheese Whiz can replicate the great things he accomplished in Aimes.


  3. ceph

    When he talked about religion he was describing Richt in a nutshell! This same thing is happening at UGA. Frankly, no one want’s to hear about your religious beliefs and it is a sign of insecurity when you have to talk about it constantly. What people want to hear from Richt is how is he going to beat Florida. He was hired to win football games not PREACH!!!!!!!!


  4. sUGArdaddy


    You obviously don’t get CMR. He’s the real deal. And he actually cares about being holy. His faith is his life, and he can’t help but have it affect every part of his life. In fact, that’s what he wants.

    The good nugget in that for all Dawgs is many-fold. Namely, he cares for our guys more than just about any man outside their father and grandfather ever has, sometimes moreso. Furthermore, there is no greater motivation for excellence then Richt’s desire to please God in all he does.

    What you said about Richt is, frankly, un-Dawgly. He has never done anything to embarrass our program and represents us with a class that is simply unmatched among BCS schools. He doesn’t push his faith because he doesn’t have to. It oozes from his life and people ask him about it. And don’t worry, he’s won his fair share…more than anyone in the last 8 years. So, looks like the preaching/coaching gig is working out alright for him.