James Franklin on pilfering former Vandy recruits: Players commit to coach, not school

Penn State athletic director David Joyner, left, walks with new head football coach James Franklin, center, as they make their way to a news conference, Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014, in State College, Pa. Franklin was formerly the head coach at Vanderbilt University. He replaces Bill O'Brien who left Penn State after two seasons to become head coach of the Houston Texans. (AP Photo/PennLive.com, Joe Hermitt)

Penn State athletic director David Joyner, left, walks with new head football coach James Franklin, center, as they make their way to a news conference, Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014, in State College, Pa. Franklin was formerly the head coach at Vanderbilt University. He replaces Bill O'Brien who left Penn State after two seasons to become head coach of the Houston Texans. (AP Photo/PennLive.com, Joe Hermitt)

NASHVILLE — Former Vanderbilt football coach James Franklin had a message for national radio audiences on Tuesday.

He said people might think recruits should commit to a school but the reality is they commit to the coach.

Franklin, who was introduced as Penn State’s new coach Saturday, went on The Dan Patrick Show and ESPN’s SVP & Russillo Show and was asked about trying to get Vanderbilt commitments to follow him.

“I don’t know what the (unwritten) rules are there,” Franklin said on The Dan Patrick Show. “I know that I’ve been sitting in living rooms with families and kids, and selling them on a dream and selling them on a vision and our relationship. And I think a lot of people say kids should commit to a school, not a coach. But the reality is they do. Families and kids, they want to make sure their son is going to be taken care of, and it’s about the relationship aspect.

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Comments » 24

pingkr62 writes:

BASS AKWARDS!

snowpeapod#263184 writes:

What else could an ego maniac say?

slb1zellwood#1421797 writes:

I hate to agree with this guy but he is right on. Just look at us. The majority of the kids committed to Butch not Tenn. The only thing is the kids should initiate the change on their own not with assistance or encouragement from the coach. If that happens that truly shows the lack of integrity and respect of the coach. My opinion.

johndavid writes:

Can he not get better recruits now that he is at Penn State? Isn't that why he went there?

TommyJack writes:

He won't survive at PS on Vanderbush talent.

wallyhunt writes:

Excellent rationalization - he was being paid (expenses and salary) by Vandy to recruit for the Vandy football program. But now as Penn State coach he uses relationships built on Vandy's time and dime for the Penn State FB program without regard for the damage done to Vandy FB.

Exactly what I thought about Kitten and O.

BrassMonkey writes:

in response to TommyJack:

He won't survive at PS on Vanderbush talent.

Of course he has out coached and outplayed UT 2 years in a row with Vanderbush talent.

underthehill writes:

in response to wallyhunt:

Excellent rationalization - he was being paid (expenses and salary) by Vandy to recruit for the Vandy football program. But now as Penn State coach he uses relationships built on Vandy's time and dime for the Penn State FB program without regard for the damage done to Vandy FB.

Exactly what I thought about Kitten and O.

My opinion is very similar to yours ..but the reality is coaches are going to use every advantage they can get to win..

VolFolks writes:

How can offers be made during this no contact "dead" period of recruiting?

TommyJack writes:

in response to BrassMonkey:

Of course he has out coached and outplayed UT 2 years in a row with Vanderbush talent.

Of course your post has nothing to do with the issue.

jakethevolguy writes:

in response to VolFolks:

How can offers be made during this no contact "dead" period of recruiting?

I think they can still have some contact during the dead period but, I'm not sure what that contact may consist of. I do know that they cannot have face to face contact.

Rookie2 writes:

Whatever makes him feel better about it. He recruited and developed those relationships on someone else's dime. It's a lack of integrity, no different than what Orgeron did at UT. It'll catch up to you eventually. Karma's a b!_ch.

FWBVol writes:

Here's an idea, if a kid commits to, and signs with, a coach instead of a school, let the coach pay for the player's scholarship.

Yes, there are players that go to a certain school because of a coach, but there also are kids that, when Dooley was coach, were interested in Tennessee, but not playing for Dooley. So it could be argued that the wrong coach in place can drive kids away from a school they might otherwise be interested in.

bUTch__please writes:

..and now a prediction from Carnac the Magnificent.

"Ummmmm...what is.. 5 days before NSD?"

"and now the envelope..from a mayonnaise jar..hermetically sealed...on Funk & Waggonell's doorstep...the question is..

When does Nashville Metro release the text conversations between Franklin and his ex-players upon the occurrance of the alleged gang rape?"

keg52#366888 writes:

What about his "Men of honor (or character)" speech he spewed when he took the Vandy job. He said any recruit who didn't stick with the pledge had no honor. What an A**!

88volgrad writes:

I think the NCAA should pass a rule that any school that hires a coach from another school cannot have contact with any of the recruits of the other school unless they had a prior relationship with that recruit.

OrangePride writes:

Here is a man totally devoid of any memory. Let's assume one of his assistants at Vandy took a job at UT. And, as he was the main recruiter for Vandy on a 5* commit, went and flipped his recruit. I guess that's then OK. After all, didn't the recruit commit to the coach and not the program? OR...as we all know....would both the coach and the kid be "without honor" or character? I guess we now know which coach is without honor. And yes, most coaches try to get a few special kids to come with them....we get it. But, this guy is attempting to skim ALL the blue chippers.......kind of like the way Kiffen and O did on their way out of here. We all know how we felt about it too! Wishing the man nothing but the worst success in his new job....he's a true thin skinned, low-life.

vut5686#1405392 writes:

First, Brother Jeff of the Tennesseean, and other articles from that area, now paint Franklin as the unethical jerk he probably is. Where were they during the last few years, as Franklin received all those kudos re: how great he was for the Vandy program? Franklin did not become an unethical jerk just last week. He is what he has always been..., as are any other coaches.

That said, we all share part of the blame for sitting by, as fans, alumni or interested parties, while college athletics have become so sordid. Colleges do not honor commitments to coaches (when they lose), coaches do not honor their contracts with universities (when a better offer comes along) yet, we moan and groan when an eighteen year old boy changes his mind about a verbal commitment. It is what we have allowed it to become. This article should have never been written, as it is not news. We should have expected it (to happen).

Tao_of_Tennessee writes:

Did PSU not have any commits or talent already lined up to sign? It reads as if they did not.

Snapshot writes:

in response to bUTch__please:

..and now a prediction from Carnac the Magnificent.

"Ummmmm...what is.. 5 days before NSD?"

"and now the envelope..from a mayonnaise jar..hermetically sealed...on Funk & Waggonell's doorstep...the question is..

When does Nashville Metro release the text conversations between Franklin and his ex-players upon the occurrance of the alleged gang rape?"

Wouldn't that be a hoot if it worked out like that?

Liked the Johnny Carson show reference, he was a classic, for sure.

bige141#1433363 writes:

in response to vut5686#1405392:

First, Brother Jeff of the Tennesseean, and other articles from that area, now paint Franklin as the unethical jerk he probably is. Where were they during the last few years, as Franklin received all those kudos re: how great he was for the Vandy program? Franklin did not become an unethical jerk just last week. He is what he has always been..., as are any other coaches.

That said, we all share part of the blame for sitting by, as fans, alumni or interested parties, while college athletics have become so sordid. Colleges do not honor commitments to coaches (when they lose), coaches do not honor their contracts with universities (when a better offer comes along) yet, we moan and groan when an eighteen year old boy changes his mind about a verbal commitment. It is what we have allowed it to become. This article should have never been written, as it is not news. We should have expected it (to happen).

Spot on, excellent post. The big money in college football and basketball has made it a cutthroat, mercenary business.

RoadTrip writes:

The dead period ended. They are all out on the road recruiting today.

Phone calls by players to coaches/schools are permitted during the dead period. The coaches were limited to one phone type contact a week I think - something to that effect anyway.

It is naïve to believe that all players are committing to just the school. If the school is very important to them and they want to see who the new coach is going to be they will reopen their recruitment without decommitting. If the coaches meant more and they have good options available they will decommit and pursue other options.

Jimmy Frank will use any tactic he legally can to win in any situation. That means ethics or morals are not the most important consideration. If you have not figured out by now that he is an extreme narcissist that lives in a world he creates then I cannot help you. He is an excellent football coach and he knows it. For some folks that is all they need to know.

bricker865#1439238 writes:

in response to 88volgrad:

I think the NCAA should pass a rule that any school that hires a coach from another school cannot have contact with any of the recruits of the other school unless they had a prior relationship with that recruit.

I agree!

Rockytop_Engineer writes:

Seems worthwhile for Vanderbilt to have a discussion with Penn State regarding those commitments that Vandy paid Franklin and staff to secure. The university should quietly suggest filing suit for the damage incurred as a result of Penn State's employee raiding its recruiting commitments. The damage to the Vanderbilt program is significant. I don't believe PSU wants or needs additional adverse publicity.

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