This is the kind of story that makes one long for a Notre Dame-to-the-WAC rumor to surface. Or another mindless “controversy” about a rich man’s son getting an athletic scholarship.
During a radio interview earlier this week from the SEC meetings with 104.5 The Zone in Nashville, Vanderbilt’s James Franklin — not exactly a stranger to controversy — was asked about the host’s, ahem, “philosophy” that “the best recruiters have good-looking wives, they outkick their coverage.” In response to the “buy in, don’t buy in” aspect of the question, the head coach, well, went here…
“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.”
As the father of three girls, and as a man whose wife, mother and grandmother are all women, I cringed at the black & white starkness of the words, but then…
Hearing the audio of the interview (right around the 10:30 mark for the relevant part), it appeared that an always-hyped Franklin was nothing more than knee-deep in tried-and-true radio schtick — damn you Clay Travis! Damn you!!! — and the conversation was (shocking development ahead!) in no way indicative of any staff-selection process the coach actually employs, an opinion on my part that may or may not be valid.
That, however, didn’t stop the ensuing brouhaha for the married father of two young daughters (pictured). So much so, in fact, that Franklin felt compelled to take to Twitter to offer a five-tweet mea culpa, one that began with a self-diagnosis of temporary Nike-in-mouth disease; continued with an explanation; and ended with an APOLOGY:
Don’t know that Franklin needed to say he was sorry, and with all-caps no less. Also don’t know whether he actually helped or hurt his cause with the social media apology, either.
That’s for those who took issue with it in the first place to decide, I guess.
(Photo credit: Vanderbilt athletics)