June 1st, 2012
01:47 PM ET

Vanderbilt football coach in hot water over comment on assistants' wives

Vanderbilt University head football James Franklin is playing defense today after comments this week that he looks for assistant coaches based on how attractive their wives are, not on their experience.

Here's what he said on 104.5-FM "The Zone" in Nashville on Wednesday concerning his assistant coach hiring criteria.

"His wife, if she looks the part and she's a D-I recruit, then you've got a chance to get hired. That's part of the deal," Franklin said, according to CNN affiliate WSMV.

"There's a very strong correlation between having the confidence and going up and talking to a woman, and being quick on your feet and having some personality and confidence and being articulate, than it is walking into a high school and recruiting a kid and selling them."

University Vice Chancellor of Athletics David Williams threw a yellow flag on Franklin on Thursday, according to a report in The Tennessean.

"He clearly made a mistake. And clearly, what he said is not how he feels and not how we feel,” Williams told the paper.

Williams quickly backtracked on Twitter.

"My foot doesn't taste good, I hope I did not offend any1, I love & respect," he tweeted. "Attempt at humor obviously fell a few yds short."

"If a man can convince the women of his dreams 2 marry him, he can probably do just about anything, that type of confidence along w/coaching skills is what I am looking 4.

"As a husband & father of 2 daughters I regret the way I conveyed my message!" he tweeted.

Williams told Franklin that kind of humor is not appreciated at the Southeastern Conference school.

“He said he was really in a joking mode, if you like, and didn’t mean all of that. And I explained that’s a thing you don’t even joke about," The Tennessean quoted Williams as saying.

He stressed that spousal looks were not among the attributes Vanderbilt looks for in employees.

"Clearly his comments do not reflect the values and hiring practices of Vanderbilt University, Vanderbilt Athletics or Vanderbilt Football," Williams said in a statement on the school's website.

Vanderbilt had a record of 6 wins, 7 losses in 2011, his first season as head coach at the school.

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Filed under: College football • Football • Sports • Tennessee
soundoff (167 Responses)
  1. Clem Vinson

    yeah, it was a joke... thats it....

    what do you expect from coaches and athletes nowadays? Welcome to the "all about me" generation. Take it to facebook with the rest of the self-obsessed.

    June 1, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mitch

      How was his comment "all about me" appropriate or not.

      June 1, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  2. wcb2009

    His first season and hopefully his last. Not only is he a bad coach with a losing record, but his wife is a real dog!

    June 1, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  3. bluemalak

    So this ignorant bald guy thinks its all about looks? Really, its amazing that a guy with no hair can be so ignorant about other people looks. They need to get rid of this superficial plastic bald dude.

    June 1, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • taxpayer

      so you're scolding this guy about using looks to select coaches and how bad that is by hammering his looks?

      hello....

      June 1, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  4. gigi

    why should we care about the English government. Do they care about us. The whole thing is just bazzar and west of money. people are starving in their country still the Royal BS is going on.

    June 1, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • BioHzrd

      Wrong article gigi

      June 1, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Dizzle

    Maybe you should have a better metric in hiring assistant coaches....you know, with that losing record and all. Work on improving your team, not cracking wise....idiot

    June 1, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mike

    Surprise, coach! You may be in the SEC, but you're not at one of those schools where the football coach could murder puppies on the 50-yard line and not even get a frown from the Administration. Vandy has self-respect OFF of the football field (it better, hasn't got much ON it), so you aren't bulletproof.

    If this were Bobby Bowden, the FSU Admin and Alumni would be nodding sagely at his "wisdom"...

    June 1, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  7. BOMBO ©

    I don't even need to hear the audio to know he was JOKING. How flat and uninteresting the world will be if the PC humor police win this war. You can only make a joke if it is at no one's expense – which means you can never make a joke.

    June 1, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  8. jrc

    The People on this post who believe this to be true... I guess if they tell you guys that they spotted a McDonald's on the planet Saturn specializing in "onion rings", you would be losing your minds.

    June 1, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Ross

    Hey look, who wants to hire a coach who has a mule for a wife...I agree with him!!! So no to ugly chicks! :-)

    June 1, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Bill

    We have fallen so hard as a society, really we have. His underlying message is about confidence and capability in the face of that confidence, do we really care that much on how he says that we miss the complete point. I am so sick of having to ready about these apologies and the forced way in which they come because administrators are so scared. If everyone would nut up, we could eventually stop this crap instead of just condoning it for the next thousand years.

    June 1, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mitch

    "His wife, if she looks the part and she's a D-I recruit, then you've got a chance to get hired." – Didn't need to be said..

    "There's a very strong correlation between having the confidence and going up and talking to a woman, and being quick on your feet and having some personality and confidence and being articulate, than it is walking into a high school and recruiting a kid and selling them." – True.

    June 1, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  12. kayaker247

    he meant what he said, he should be fired and out looking for a job himself. maybe he'll get one. his wife is pretty hot.

    June 1, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  13. nightsun2k7

    "Vanderbilt University head football James Franklin"

    First, I didn't know that they gave their footballs first and last names. Second, just how many times do you have to be thrown or kicked to become "head football"?

    June 1, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Thank GOD

    SO IS SOME D I P $ HIT GOING TO BLAME O BAMA

    June 1, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    The coach excluded gays.

    June 1, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
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