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 CBSSports.com 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."