If James Franklin is really on his way out of Nashville, he hasn’t officially told anyone yet because, according to David Williams, (Vanderbilt’s AD), they still have a head football coach as of this afternoon, and there is no truth to the rampant rumors we’ve all heard.
”He called to let me know the reports that he had accepted another job were inaccurate,” the Vanderbilt athletic director said. ”And I didn’t ask anything more than that nor did he volunteer anything more than that.”
Williams said he met with Franklin on Tuesday night, spoke with him on Wednesday and again Thursday. As of 2:45 p.m. EST Thursday, Williams said that Franklin ”is Vanderbilt’s football coach.”
”If there is something that’s going to happen, I’m sure he’ll be in touch with us,” Williams said. (Associated Press)
I don’t know for sure what Franklin’s angle is, but if he’s hoping to see the powers at be open up the checkbooks a bit more to accommodate what Penn State reportedly has on the table (a number reported to be around the $4 million mark), you’d be hard-pressed to make me believe the Commodores wouldn’t be willing to pay that, and then some, to the man who essentially brought Vanderbilt out of the cellar and into the light.
Make no mistake, if the Commodores let Franklin walk, it’ll be tough sledding finding another guy like him to lead that program to the next level. The Commodores haven’t ever been this relevant—ever—and they can 100 percent place the reason for that relevance on one James Franklin.
That said, it wouldn’t surprise me if all of the confusion is cleared up by tomorrow afternoon. The whole “I haven’t taken the job yet, Mr. Williams” stuff, by Franklin, is probably about ironing out his contract, and seeing how all the moving parts will work. If they can get everything hashed out by tomorrow morning, I suspect a more official announcement will be made. Until there’s no need to give voice to the rumors and burn any bridges with his current boss—whom if things don’t workout with Penn State, he’ll likely be wanting a raise from.