Comments about coaches' wives draw attention to VU's Franklin

Thursday, May 31, 2012 at 3:32pm
Staff reports

Vanderbilt football coach James Franklin has drawn national attention for remarks he made on a local radio station on Wednesday regarding the physical appearance of assistant coaches’ wives.

While at the Southeastern Conference’s annual meetings in Destin, Fla., Franklin told 104.5 The Zone (WGFX-FM) that there is a connection between an assistant coach’s wife and the ability of that coach to recruit high school athletes.

“I’ve been saying it for a long time I will not hire an assistant coach until I’ve seen his wife,” Franklin said. “If his wife, she looks the part and she is a D-I recruit then you got a chance to get hired. That is part of the deal. There is a very strong correlation between having the confidence of going up and talking to a woman and being quick on your feet and having some personality and confidence and being fun and articulate than it is walking into a high school and recruiting a kid and selling him.”

One of the show’s hosts, Clay Travis, referenced a line from the movie Moneyball — “Ugly girlfriend means no confidence at the plate,” to which Franklin responded, “Correct.”

Earlier in the interview, Franklin was asked about his non-stop lifestyle.

“This is just who I am. I’m a psycho,” he said.

Numerous national outlets, including and Yahoo, have referenced the comments in online reports.

The City Paper contacted Franklin on Thursday afternoon, but he refused to talk without a prearranged interview scheduled through the Vanderbilt sports information department.

Media spokesperson Larry Leathers said Franklin had no comment on the matter and referred to Franklin's Twitter account.

"My foot doesn't taste good, I hope I did not offend any1, I love & respect ALL,have a great day, enjoy the fam & don't forget 2 #AnchorDown," Franklin tweeted on Thursday.

On 104.5 Thursday afternoon, Vanderbilt's Vice Chancellor for University Affairs and Athletics David Williams backtracked from Franklin's comments.

"I've had a discussion with James about that and that's not how we hire at Vanderbilt," he said. "I understand that James felt it was joking, but we do have a lot of people out there who get offended by things. That was an inappropriate thing for him to say."

19 Comments on this post:

By: BigPapa on 5/31/12 at 1:54

You say something that juicy it's gonna fly alllll over the place. Ive seen this all over the net the past hour.

And.. this is why 3HL is on the drive time slot. Plaz and Willie's show just got got old and stale.

By: Bellevue on 5/31/12 at 3:12

So, unless a man's wife is attractive, he will not be hired as an assistant football coach.

Suppose Vanderbilt had told him that the school would not hire him as head coach because he is black.

Franklin's pompous and brash arrogance will cost him one day. Perhaps sooner than later. A caucasian would have been fired immediately.

By: sharko20 on 5/31/12 at 4:08

Wow!!! Vanderbilt and Vice Chancellor Wiliams must be furious right now. Those statements and that sentiment are waaaaaaay out of line. That would get a lot of people fired and maybe it should get Coach Franklin fired and I'm a big fan of the coach, but that is unacceptable. I am actually amazed that he would make these comments. I thought he was smarter than to do something so stupid.

By: puddycat on 5/31/12 at 5:07

I suppose all of the current assistant coaches must be flattered knowing their wives "passed" Franklin's scrutiny ... or are they and their wives also embarrassed. And what about the potential assistants who got passed over because of - coaching? or their wives? Franklin's fast becoming Vandy's version of Lane Kiffin - brings plenty of publicity to the university but the wrong kind. With recruit tampering and wife probing etc, I can't wait to see what's next.

By: KaeWor on 5/31/12 at 7:07

I was listening to 3HL when this happened -- just good radio I thought at the time. I just realized it went national when I read this today. It was all said tongue-in-cheek, but with the point that a guy needs to be confident and charismatic to be a good recruiter. I agree with this, Moneyball agrees with this and Clay Travis agrees with this.
I'm glad so many people are getting their underwear in a bunch over this; if you're not offending someone, you're not trying hard enough. If they can't take a joke, [forget] 'em.

By: tn.native on 5/31/12 at 8:39

...and all along I thought recruitment was just a game of boring old football rules, performance. and team building. Uh, wanna go run a few laps big boy, while I talk to your wife~

By: MetalMan on 6/3/12 at 4:51

Well stated Bellevue - you are exactly right!

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