The Washington Post

Vanderbilt Coach James Franklin apologizes for comments about assistants’ wives

James Franklin likes his recruits like he likes his assistant coaches’ wives . (Dave Martin/AP)

In an interview with 104.5 The Zone earlier this week, the Commodores’ second-year coach said he does not hire an assistant coach until he has seen his wife to determine whether she looks like a “D1 recruit.”

“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 she looks the part, and she’s a D-1 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 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.”

Franklin apologized in a string of comments on his Twitter feed Thursday, saying he was trying to be humorous but acknowledged that he “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

— James Franklin (@jamesfranklinvu) May 31, 2012

Franklin, 40, went on to say, “Skills is what I am looking 4. As a husband & father of 2 daughters I regret the way I conveyed my message!... I clearly used language that doesn’t reflect my views on women and I am SORRY!”

Vanderbilt vice chancellor David Williams met with his football coach to convey the seriousness of his ill-conceived remarks.

“Coach is sorry that he made that statement He’s issued an apology on Twitter,” Williams told the Tennesean. “I’ve talked to him about how inappropriate his statements were and how offensive they could be to some people. 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. None of those things are criteria for hiring at Vanderbilt.”

Franklin, who was once the head coach-in-waiting under Ralph Freidgen at Maryland, led the Commodores to a 6-7 record in his first season and the team’s second bowl game since 1982.

Follow us: @MattBrooksWP | @CindyBoren

Matt Brooks is the high school sports editor for The Washington Post. He's an Arlington native and longtime District resident and was previously a high school sports reporter, editor for several blogs and Early Lead contributor with The Post.


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