James Franklin is the master of “fine for thee, but not for me”, but he may have topped himself today.
Former Vanderbilt University head football coach James Franklin lied to his team about seeing video from the night of an alleged rape that occurred in an on-campus dorm room in June 2013, testimony revealed Wednesday.
Appearing via Skype, Franklin told the courtroom he has not seen any videos but admitted that during a team meeting held shortly after the alleged rape, he told players he had seen a video because he didn’t want to “water down” his message.
Buuuttt… you can guess what’s coming, right?
After the meeting, Franklin said “the young gentlemen” involved came into his office to “plead their case.” He said specifics weren’t discussed, but he advised his players to tell their parents and to be honest because “you’re going to be dealing with this the rest of your life.”
“All I said to them was I can’t talk to you about the case, you better take this very seriously, you should tell you parents, and you better be honest because you’re going to be dealing with consequences to this for the rest of your life. And that was it,” he said. [Emphasis added.]
Basically, unless he’s under oath, you probably ought to be careful taking anything that comes out of his mouth at face value.
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.