The difference between understanding and sympathy

James Franklin tweeted this:  “No 1 can offer combination of attributes we can,no 1,best of both worlds,if u want 2 settle in life this probably isn’t place 4 u anyway!”

Now I get that this is really little more than puffery for the product he’s selling, so I can’t say I’m offended.  But I can’t say I feel too bad about how he got treated by a radio host for the comment, either.

Host: “Do you believe if a player you are recruiting decides to go elsewhere that they are settling in life by not going to play for Vanderbilt?”

Franklin with a laugh: “You’re a beauty. What I found funny about that whole thing is that’s really been a consistent theme with us about having the ability to come to Vanderbilt and chase all your dreams at the highest level. If you look at the graduation rate, I think they speak for themselves. People can try to create this into a story. The graduation rates speak volumes when you look at what these schools are doing, other schools.”

Franklin sidestepped the question pretty well, so the host asked him again, and this was Franklin’s response:

“You’re real interesting (Franklin laughing). What I’m telling you is Vanderbilt is an unbelievable opportunity and if you look at graduation rates — people should be ashamed of themselves when they look at graduation rates what’s going on in this country. And Vanderbilt can give you an opportunity like very few places can. That’s what I’m saying. You can put words — you can say whatever you want. That’s what I’m saying.”

The subject was brought up again and Franklin got defensive again and asked the host to “relax” before saying that he “didn’t realize I was coming on this show to get jumped and try to create problems.”

I’m not sure what the version of “lie down with pigs, get up smelling like garbage” is for dickheads, but when you’re the overly aggressive type and claim your behavior is necessary in defense of your school, you shouldn’t be surprised when the audience assumes the worst about anything you put out there.


Filed under James Franklin Is Ready To Rumble

29 responses to “The difference between understanding and sympathy

  1. Krautdawg

    Please, please tell me the host faded into & out of commercial breaks with this song:

  2. D.N. Nation

    “Yeah, but….academics! Graduation rates!” Those constant dulcet tones of the naive and/or the hypocrite.

  3. Dog in Fla

    “No 1 can offer combination of attributes we can,no 1,best of both worlds,if u want 2 settle in life this probably isn’t place 4 u anyway!”

    It’s a matter of numerical proof that the only way the interview could have ended in peace with honor is

    “And its 1,2,3 what are we fighting for?”

  4. BMan

    James Franklin tweets like Prince writes lyrics. Favorite songs must be “I Will Die 4 U” and “Nothing Compares 2 U.”

    It will be interesting to see how he rationalizes his own “settling” when he accepts another job offer in a couple of years.

  5. siskey

    This is Franklin’s third year at Vanderbilt. Can he really take credit for the school’s graduation rate?

  6. WarD Eagle

    I’ll say this, if I’d received an offer from Vandy, I would’ve taken it.

    But Franklin is a chicken for not sticking to his guns. I would much rather have heard him say, “Yes. No other school can give you as valuable a degree with the opportunity to compete in the best conference in college football.”

    • Gravidy

      +1. I dislike Franklin as much as the next non-Vandy fan, but I don’t see the problem with his tweet. Furthermore, I don’t know why he didn’t own it during the interview. What possible downside could there be? By dodging the question three times, he came off as the spineless weasel he’s repeatedly demonstrated himself to be.

    • AthensHomerDawg

      Shouldn’t your field of study drive where you attend college? Granted Vandy is highly regarded but they are hardly the end all to all studies in the SEC. A Georgia degree is not to be sneered at by any Vandy grad or Auburn grad. The most successful friend I have graduated with a UGa journalism degree and pushed his career through photography. Ended up in California and went through the state vocational program to learn “carpentry”. California once had a vo-tech program that rivaled Germany. Anyhow, he runs a company that builds sets for movie companies and has worked for Disney. I don’t know if he could have gotten into Vandy. Probably. His lawyer did.

  7. uglydawg

    I’m probably asking for it here (to draw other’s ire), but what do you expect him to say? “We’re Vandy and we know our place on or near the bottom of the SEC”? All coaches hype their schools and programs. He’s trying to (and it looks like he’s accomplished) bring Vandy up a rung or two on the football ladder. He is an emotional guy, and that’s a big part of his success. When you have a little less talent than the other guys, you try to make it up with emotion. JF’s working the “we’ve arrived, how do you like us now, we’re not stepping back for anybody” angle as hard as he can. Like GT, he can’t really sell the program, or the facilities or the crowds…so he sells what he has…a lofty academic opportunity for potential recruits, complimented by very recent success on the field. This time he just got caught with a persistent interviewer who insisted he make perfect sense out of coach-speak rhetoric. Imagine that interview with PJ.

    • Dawg in Beaumont

      I think you’re spot on that his tweet isn’t a big deal or hugely offensive. What is pathetic is how he wouldn’t just own the damn thing he said. Dude is wanting to make brash statements and then get touchy when someone questions them. Can’t have it both ways IMO.

    • AthensHomerDawg

      Sounds like your point is that in spite of his dickish behavior in 2011 we should somehow commend him for trying to “make do” with what he has at Harvard of the SEC? I’m just not feeling it. He is in the East and and we will spank him again in his backyard and I won’t feel bad about it. He will plateau with where he can take the Commodores and will cashier that into a spot in the Big ten and move on to another pay day. Don’t make this into some altruistic motive for him. This is about Franklin…. not Vanderbilt.

      • uglydawg

        Go back and read my first sentence. What DO you expect…maybe he should just stay in his office and never have an opinion. He’s Vandy.
        I’m not interested in “commending” him for anything. I hope Georgia beats him like a drum…I’m just saying..he’s only doing his job and got caught up in some awkward comment. He has taken Vandy further than anyone else that I can remember…and he keeps it up his success will take him to other places….so what? Two Vandy an academically elite school? Have JF’s teams been increasingly successful and competitive?
        I don’t have to like the guy to be honest about his accomlishments. If he falls on his face this year, I’ll acknowledge that also. Yeah, this probably is about Franklin, but he has to sell Vandy to help himself..that’s just life.

        • AthensHomerDawg

          “Have JF’s teams been increasingly successful and competitive?”
          6-7 and 9-4 …. don’t know if I am ready to call it a trend just yet. I’m sure he appreciates the love. I think it is too soon to tell. That run will run our fairly quick. (Mullen). But then I am no JF apologist.

        • Dawg in Beaumont

          Here’s what I expect: make your brash comments, go for broke, etc.

          Just stand behind your comments.

  8. uglydawg

    So, AHD, I suppose you’re saying I’m a JF apologist. Sorry, didn’t mean to get into a name calling argument. I broke one of my own personal rules.

    • AthensHomerDawg

      Color me unimpressed with your confession of remorse per name calling. I sense that you slipped that backhandedly into your post. No worries. From the orchestrated chop block followed by Frankies’ engagement with our player and coaches post game you seem a bit naive of his intentions. But yeah …. Vandy has a very good academic record. So does Florida and so does Georgia.

  9. Smitty

    I’m glad I will be in attendance at this fall’s game to see his ass handed to him like in 2012.

  10. Cojones

    We all give too much credit to the degree earned from a school that ,on the average, admits students of a higher IQ score (not always Vandy) than competing SEC schools and splatter that good peanut butter of a requirement onto the recruitment of a 4-star player who, upon admittance, lowers the IQ average by 3 pts : – if that kid commits, do you think that Franklin would turn him down because “Vandy is not the place 4 U”?

    If that recruit gets a degree without the brains necessary for such a high IQ school, what does that say about their graduation rate? Don’t get me wrong, some players of every team spend their time wisely (i.e., Murray) and have the IQ level to sustain the course to graduation at their school of choice and most times the IQ of student athletes are reflective of the Student Body IQ.

    But JF’s tweet of enticement for obtaining a degree from a higher avg IQ student body with the added prestige he affixes to it , given to a lesser “prestige” IQ CFB, is empty Pome ‘d Rue. And that affects the graduation rate plus the value of the “prestige” that goes with the degree. He can’t have it both ways.

    Vandy is a more expensive school, but that doesn’t translate into brain transplants for those who don’t qualify (and will be accepted by JF) as far as sustaining a course to a degree. JF was best to have skipped a repeat of such unsustainable nonsensical Tweets by thrice denial of his “beliefs”. Now where have I heard that before? ( except in this case the perp’s name is a synonym of a Peter.)

  11. 1. Franklin is a douche.
    2. He should have answered the question: “You bet.”
    3. He’s selling what he’s got with the tweet. He should, as said above, own it.
    4. He’s trading on a reputation. And when he calls out his industry about graduation rates, he should keep in mind that Vandy has gut majors for its marginal admits as well. Not every legacy admit raises the average SAT score, after all.
    5. Franklin is a douche.
    6. Vandy has been wildly successful under him. But is that a zero-sum game with the trainwreck that is Tennessee Football? (I prefer it this way).
    7. He’s at Vandy one or two more years tops.
    8. He seems like a good fit for North Avenue.
    9. He’s a douche.