Speaking to Nashville radio station WGFX-FM earlier this week, James Franklin said:
“I’ve been saying it for a long time, I will not hire an assistant until I see his wife. If she looks the part and she’s a D1 recruit, then you got a chance to get hired. That’s part of the deal. There’s a very strong correlation between having the confidence, going up and talking to a women, and being quick on your feet and having some personality and confidence and being articulate and confident, than it is walking into a high school and recruiting a kid and selling him.”
Obviously, that’s not the brightest thing in the world for Vanderbilt’s football coach to say. We didn’t blast him because — to be fair — he could have been hamming it up with the guys at the station. We did, however, point out that he could take some flak for his loose lips.
It didn’t take long for the story to make national headlines. At that point, Franklin took to Twitter to try and put out the fire he’d started:
Franklin’s boss — Vandy vice chancellor David Williams — then tried to put a little distance between the school and Franklin’s comments:
“After being informed of Coach Franklin’s comments, I spoke with him about his remarks. We discussed how inappropriate and offensive his statements were no matter his state of mind or intent. Coach Franklin is clearly aware of his mistake and is sorry for any hurt that resulted from his statements. Clearly his comments do not reflect the values and hiring practices of Vanderbilt University, Vanderbilt Athletics or Vanderbilt Football.”
In other words — “Hey, assistants who weren’t hired, please don’t sue us!”
Were Franklin’s words really, really that offensive? Probably not.
Were they dumb? Without question. And the fact that he and the Vanderbilt administration are backpedaling from them like a cornerback at the NFL combine is proof of that.