AD prepared to do 'what we need' to keep James Franklin at Vanderbilt

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 11:39pm

In a couple weeks, the coaching carousel will start spinning.

College presidents and athletic directors in search of a football coach — there could be as many as four Southeastern Conference vacancies — will do their best to sway the top prospects away.

Vanderbilt athletics director David Williams plans to make sure the circus doesn’t visit West End.

Williams told The City Paper on Tuesday he is prepared to keep James Franklin at Vanderbilt by rewarding him a better contract. Franklin, 40, has led the Commodores to bowl eligibility in back-to-back seasons for the first time in school history. With two regular-season games left, including Saturday’s showdown against Tennessee, Vanderbilt (6-4) is flirting with its first eight-win season since 1982.

“Whether it is an extension, whether it is changing terms, whether it is ripping [the contract] up and giving a new one, we’re prepared to do what we need to do for James Franklin to be the football coach,” Williams said. “… James and I meet every week, including this morning, and I think we’re both on the same page that we expect next year when we kick off in the opening game against Mississippi that James Franklin will still be at the helm of Vanderbilt football. I have every expectation of that.”

Williams said he doesn’t talk about contracts with his coaches during the season. But he meets with every head coach after the season to review their status. Franklin might not receive a brand new pact but Williams said revisions will be made in order to “make it a better contract.”

“I think he has had a great season — and it’s not over,” Williams said. “In my 13 years [at Vanderbilt] we’ve been eligible for bowls three times. This is the first time in my 13 years that we’ve been bowl-eligible with still two games to play. ... Last year was a good year, he got rewarded. It looks like this is a better year.”

Franklin received a contract extension and “substantial increase” in compensation after last season. Williams also granted him his wish of an indoor multipurpose facility, which broke ground two months ago and is expected to be completed next October. In addition, renovations and additions have been made to the athletic complex, the locker rooms and Vanderbilt Stadium.

But Williams realizes that won’t keep potential suitors away. Last week, Franklin was asked about other schools inquiring his services. In the SEC, Kentucky will have an opening after firing Joker Phillips. Arkansas, Auburn and Tennessee might be looking too.

Franklin’s name has been tossed out with several possibilities, including North Carolina State. The Wolfpack are also 6-4 but there are mumblings that isn’t good enough for Tom O’Brien’s sixth year. N.C. State’s athletics director, Debbie Yow, is no stranger to Franklin. While the athletic director at Maryland, she named Franklin the head coach-in-waiting.

Franklin, of course, never became Maryland’s coach. After Yow left in 2010, Kevin Anderson took over the athletics department and Franklin began looking elsewhere.

“I had a really good situation that I was excited about. That changed,” Franklin told The City Paper last December. “I had a relationship. That person left. I no longer had a relationship with the new person coming in.”

And Franklin forged a new relationship with Williams, who doesn’t want the bond to end any time soon.

“I can’t predict what happens five, 10 years from now but I think James likes it here,” Williams said. “He’s had success here. We certainly like having James here. I think we’re working on changing a lot of things as it relates to how football has been approached at Vanderbilt. ... We’re giving James the opportunity to be the best he can be and make this program the best we can be. As long as we can continue to do that we don’t really have to worry about looking for something else. 

“As James tells the kids, what can you ask for? You get to play in the SEC, you get to live in one of the best cities in the United States and you’re with one of the greatest universities in the world. Why would you leave?”

25 Comments on this post:

By: Rasputin72 on 11/13/12 at 11:36

Every Athletic Director has his own ideas abput firing and retaining coaches.

Every Vandy fan has his or her ideas about Vanderbilt football fortunes. Mine are if you do not beat Tenn and Wake Forest I really don't care about next years victories against Austin Peay, Sewanee,Rhodes and Tenn Tech.

By: 4gold on 11/14/12 at 7:36

If anything makes Franklin consider leaving VU it will be the size of its fan base. I sense he is disappointed that the 30,000. that showed up for the bowl im Memphis did not return for the next season. Too bad Nashville is so full of transplants and UT fair weather fans that a city of a million plus can fill a 40,000. seat stadium with its own fans. VU is job security. You dont have to win the SEC every year to keep your job. Just be competitive and get an upset of a big boy every once in a while and we are happy. A couple bad years at UT and the fan base shrinks by a third and they are fireing people left and right.

Go Dores, Preds, Titans! Go Nashville a great place to live!

By: Rasputin72 on 11/14/12 at 7:54

4Gold.............I cannot deny that you have a point. However I just saw a political failure re-elected President of the United States on the basis of class warfare.

How can the average $60,000 dollar a year wage earner relate to a school where the undergraduate tuition room books and board top out at $56,000 dollars a year?

These students are the products of the 1% and 2% that the general population loathes.

If Vanderbilt goes on a run for the SEC championship or a National Championship certainly they will draw sidewalk alumni and a greater fan base. Never however will you see a fan base like the state schools of the SEC.

By: joe41 on 11/14/12 at 8:17

We are all in at Vanderbilt. James Franklin is on his way to energizing the base in Nashville. It always takes a little while. His job here is not finished as he has a great group of kids coming in next year that will make us even better. Go Vandy!
Joe

By: dangerlover on 11/14/12 at 8:40

You mad Rasputin? You sound a little butthurt. Also, you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

By: Rasputin72 on 11/14/12 at 9:28

Dangerlover........It is very seldom that I do not know what I am talking about. I try never to voice an opinion on a subject that know nothing about.

By: TITAN1 on 11/14/12 at 9:57

rasp/rump'richgoose/frankbrown, every time you post, it is about something you know nothing about. When it comes to Vandy and the Titans you thrive on being negative when things aren't going well, but when they are going well you hate it so much, you have to find a negative. I'm sure glad I love life and look forward to the good things instead of being someone like you who gets up every day and finds things to be negative about. But, I really hope it is just an act, for your family's sake.

By: chumlem on 11/14/12 at 9:59

Rasputin, you are completely wrong about not being able to get people to relate. I was raised in a blue collar family in Alabama. I could have never been able to attend VU as an undergrad. Not to mention, I grew up a huge Alabama fan and was still one the first few years that I lived in Nashville. However, when I became an employee of the University, the first thing I did was buy season tickets. 8 years later, I despise the Crimson Tide program and am more proud of the Music City Bowl win than I ever was watching Alabama win a National Title. Every blue-collar man and woman in this country wants to see someone succeed, when they have heard over and over that they could never do it.

Vanderbilt employs 30k+ people, many of which grew up just like me. If the students don't want to show for the games, the administration should take a big chunk of their seats away. Then, offer employees an opportunity to get deep discounted tickets like the students get. It won't take long for people to be waiting for the gates to open on game days. This is just a drop in the bucket compared to what winning games will do.

By: wiseguy1 on 11/14/12 at 10:09

I have said many times before and will say agian ... Franklin is trying to simply fast track the fan base. Granted VU is no means typical of any fanbase or alumni population. However, if you win, the tickets will sell. Especially if UT goes on a bender. Every mid-state UT fan has black & gold in the closet.

Discussion earlier this week about Joker Phillips and loss to VU getting him dismissed. Laughable ... college football is a business. W's sell tickets ... tickets equal revenue. Joker's problem was empty seats and low revenue. Even for VU game the stadium was woefully empty. Not sure if Ole Miss game was called a sell out. Vaught-Hemingway official capacity 60580, recorded attendance 60572.

So ... selling tickets is directly linked to winning. In today's single minded mentality the only equation to selling anything is being a winner. VU ticket sales is going to take more than puppies and Go-Daddy girls to get the seats sold on West End. Not exactly sure what the metric is for cautious mid-state fans to get on the bus. VU football has showed signs of waking from the the rip-van winkle sleep in years past. Current signs are ole rip is doing more than simply rolling over. One does not have to be part of the 1 to 2% to be a fan of a winner.

Bottom line, win, fill to overflow tailgate lots, great game day atmosphere, lots of excitement and energy around football program ... tickets sell ... spiral up.

By: Rasputin72 on 11/14/12 at 11:25

Titan1.........My family loves the life they lead. They know where the butter comes from and the cars and the houses and the clothes and the college tuition and the private school tuition and the summer camps for the grandchildren. They know aboiut the trust funds

Whatever opinions they have about me other than the opinions they espouse to my face are very private and will be kept that way until they put me away. That is how I like it.

Sometimes I forget that there are noodle heads like you in the world since I did not allow these people into my company or my private life.

Remember the Golden Rule Titan1....."Whoever has the gold makes the rule"

Now for the last time noodle head I am not negative I am a realist. That was one of the tools I used to get the gold. Even my children and grandchildren are in my presence forced to look at their own reality and not the image they wish to be portrayed. If it is good I give praise. If it is not worth mentioning I never mention. If is ridiculous we call it ridiculous. If is an untruth we call it an untruth.

Culture no longer can be ridiculed. In the case of african/americans if you ridicule their culture you are considered a racist.

I consider you a racist.

By: Rasputin72 on 11/14/12 at 11:25

Titan1.........My family loves the life they lead. They know where the butter comes from and the cars and the houses and the clothes and the college tuition and the private school tuition and the summer camps for the grandchildren. They know aboiut the trust funds

Whatever opinions they have about me other than the opinions they espouse to my face are very private and will be kept that way until they put me away. That is how I like it.

Sometimes I forget that there are noodle heads like you in the world since I did not allow these people into my company or my private life.

Remember the Golden Rule Titan1....."Whoever has the gold makes the rule"

Now for the last time noodle head I am not negative I am a realist. That was one of the tools I used to get the gold. Even my children and grandchildren are in my presence forced to look at their own reality and not the image they wish to be portrayed. If it is good I give praise. If it is not worth mentioning I never mention. If is ridiculous we call it ridiculous. If is an untruth we call it an untruth.

Culture no longer can be ridiculed. In the case of african/americans if you ridicule their culture you are considered a racist.

I consider you a racist.

By: wiseguy1 on 11/14/12 at 12:22

Bicker bicker ... you guys remind of school kids fussing about whose bicycle has more shine or is faster. Lots of opinions that really don't make a difference, lots af unnecessary attitude and bravado. Neither one of you are going to wake up tomorrow thinking ... ya know, he's got a point. The only caveat I can think of is you thinking the point is on the the other guy's head.

Give it a rest.

By: jwk6179 on 11/14/12 at 2:15

Especially if UT goes on a bender. Every mid-state UT fan has black & gold in the closet.

This is one Mid-State UT fan that HAS NO BLACK AND GOLD in the closet. I never disliked Vanderbilt when I was growing up in Knoxville. In fact, I never understood why so many UT fans hated Vanderbilt until I moved to Nashville in the mid-80s. Now, I can't STAND Vanderbilt and their OBNOXIOUS FANS!!!

By: wiseguy1 on 11/14/12 at 7:33

jwk .. no doubt Vanderbilt football fans can get obnoxious. The few occasions I have witnessed usually follow provocation. Let me point out the video from UT locker room last year. Nothing for any good hearted VU fan to be offended about there, right? All in good fun? The most obnoxious folks regarding football I have ever met have always been wearing orange. And that is saying something as Alabama and Florida have some pretty dang obnoxious fans.

So simply moving to Nashville caused you to hate Vanderbilt? Something in the water maybe? No more corn liquor from rocky top?

Frankly, I am glad you do not have any black and gold in the closet so there will never be any confusion about your sports affiliation. Be sure to keep the black in your heart as you profess to hate Vanderbilt and it's fans. Maybe there is gold in your teeth. You just can't get away from it can you? Hope you never need a world class hospital. You can always request to be taken to UT Hospital in Knoxville. Enjoy the ride.

See your orange clad crew Saturday ... may the best team win. Maybe the fans will be civil to each other too.

By: threedoginn on 11/15/12 at 7:44

tn_dude - everyone who knows that rasputin is a blowhard with a monstrously inflated sense of self-importance and intelligence raise their hand...okay, 1,131, 564, 1,131,565, 1,131, 566...now everyone who thinks he's mitch mcconnell's brother from another mother and that they both look like yertle the turtle raise their hand...okay. 1, 035, 231...

By: 4gold on 11/15/12 at 9:00

JWK, you are the perfect example of Nashville's problem. Implants that suck up a job and don't support local sports. I grew up on opposite end of Natchez Trace and didn't hate UT until I went to my first UT VU football game. As a VU fan sitting in our own stadium without fail a visiting fan right behind me and Vandy losing for 30 years. I can tell you VU fans don't hold a candle to State school fans when it comes to Obnoxious.

P.S. Don't waste the site arguing with Resp. and his twisted world. Don't feed the monkey. My method is just skipping down to the next post when I see who wrote.

Go Dores, Preds, Titans! Go Nashville a great place to live!

By: 4gold on 11/15/12 at 9:27

I have wittnessed State school fans do things in VU stadium that they would be swallowing their teeth if they tried that crap in any other stadium. Saw a UT woman with one ticket forcing her way into the VU faculty section. The row was packed and she was telling her friend without a ticket for that row to come on in. There was no where for the second person to sit but she kept telling VU faculty to make room,they wanted to sit together. The VU woman said this is my seat and I am sitting here and the UT woman sat down and tried to make room butt pushing people off end of the row. A girly pushing match began and somehow it got into the paper the next morning VU fan abuses visiting fans. The B with the UT earrings was the entire cause of the scene. It was rediculous.

I attended a game at Alabama, VU didnt do anything to cheer about for 3 quarters. Finally in the 4th quarter VU completed a long pass and we jumped up and clapped go! Immediately followed by a chorus of SIT DOWN, SHUT UP. When I look at what VU fans put up with, calling VU fans obnoxious is a TOTAL joke.

Go Dores, Preds, Titans! Go Nashville a great place to live!

By: 4gold on 11/15/12 at 9:30

Go Dores, Preds, Titans! Go Nashville a great place to live!

By: wiseguy1 on 11/15/12 at 12:07

This whole obnoxious fan thread highlights the obvious application of different 'acceptable behavior' standards. Similar to Ret Gen. Petraeus being demonized for admitting to a relationship with a woman and former Pres Bill Clinton was being unfairly persecuted for lying about a relationship with a woman. When judgment day arrives, there will be only one standard of acceptable behavior.

Haters are haters regardless of affiliation, race, creed or wearing red, blue, orange, black or even green ... give them a wide berth or ride the sewer down to their level. My experience is that riding the sewer down is exhilarating at first but results in a dirty feeling that even a hot shower and hydrogen peroxide can't get off.

By: jwk6179 on 11/15/12 at 3:25

I'll give you an example of an obnoxious Vandy fan, a guy who calls the radio airways several times a week and calling himself "Commadore Darryl". He keeps refering to UT fans as the "Jethro Nation", yet he sounds every bit as Ignorant and backwards as he claims that UT fans are.

By: jonw on 11/15/12 at 4:04

: jwk6179 , Rember the signs we sometimes saw on Vandy cars on game day - - "Culture vs Agriculture"? Now that is arrogrant.

By: wiseguy1 on 11/15/12 at 5:46

You guys don't think there are any Bubba's in whatever you call the collection of UT fans? Oh Please! Saw a series on TV a year or so ago where Lifetime or some other network had film crews in Vanderbilt Hospital Emergency room. Oddly enough the people that came in wearing UT orange ,.. and sweatshirts emblazoned with UT were about a country as you can get. They make Honey Boo Boo look sophisticated. That one may make you uncomfortable, but I'm thinking it fits.

Culture vs Agriculture ... clever.

If all this offends you, grow a durable hide.

By: TITAN1 on 11/16/12 at 9:33

rasp/rump/richgoose/frankbrown, your last post says it all. Nothing, but a joy sucking blowhard.

By: TITAN1 on 11/16/12 at 9:45

I've lived in Nashville or mid Tennessee all my life and have no ties with either school. Because I didn't attend college. Graduating from high school is as far as I went. I have always been a fan of my local teams. Vandy has always been my favorite because of being in the major conference here. I always pull for MTSU because they are local and one of my daughters graduated from there. Tennessee State, because they are in Nashville. I pull for UT after these teams. I really do believe there are thousands of UT fans that have always lived here and have no ties to either school that would be Vandy fans if the won/loss records were reversed over the years.

By: TITAN1 on 11/16/12 at 10:09

One more ting, rasp. Those things you mentioned that you are proud of, the cars, homes, etc.? They will be left behind.