Maryland coach Randy Edsall isn’t going to allow three ex-players to transfer to Vanderbilt because — he’s hinted — ex-Maryland assistant James Franklin has been in contact with the players. Franklin says that’s not the case, sort of:
“I don’t like innuendos and comments being made about tampering and things like that. You guys know me. I’m the type of guy, I’m going to have relationships with my players. I hope to have relationships with the guys that play for me for the rest of my life.
But the fact that people would make accusations that we tampered or did this or did that, again, I’m just going to defend our program and defend our character and how we do things. But I think it’s ridiculous to think that I’m not going to have relationships with these kids after I leave places.”
So Franklin, speaking to Nashville radio station WGFX-FM, said that he doesn’t like innuendos and that he defends his program. He did not say that he hadn’t been in contact with the players, including quarterback Danny O’Brien. In fact, Franklin suggested that he talks to a lot of ex-players:
“When I left (Kansas) State for Maryland I talked to (quarterback) Josh Freeman every week. I still talk to Josh. Josh flew in for (Franklin’s 40th) birthday party. I’m the type of guy, I’m going to have relationships with my players.”
Vanderbilt de facto AD David Williams cited NCAA rules and said that he is “pretty certain that our coaching staff has not reached out and had that type of (recruiting) contact” with the Maryland players looking to transfer.
Now, let’s face facts. If Franklin admits that he talks to ex-players and did not specifically deny speaking to O’Brien or others this time around, it’s no wonder Edsall believes he tampered. Heck, he probably did. And that’s no knock on Franklin for that kind of stuff happens.
However, after popping off about kids not being “men of honor” and “men of integrity” for decommitting from Vanderbilt, Franklin hardly holds the moral high ground on this front. And having seen his temper and his willingness to shoot from the hip this past year — a trait Commodore fans love him for — it’s safe to assume Franklin would be the one complaining if some other school’s coach had maintained communication with one of his Vandy players.
And for the record, O’Brien’s high school coach has said that he expects the quarterback’s family will appeal Edsall’s ruling so their son can indeed transfer to Vanderbilt to play for his old Maryland coordinator. The one who continues to have relationships with his ex-players.