UPDATE Friday morning: As we expected, an apology was issued by Vandy coach James Franklin about his comments on only hiring assistants with attractive wives. The AJC is reporting that Franklin took to Twitter to say: “My foot doesn’t taste good. I hope I did not offend anyone … attempt at humor obviously fell a few yds. short. … I clearly used language that doesn’t reflect my view on women and I am SORRY!”
Vanderbilt’s vice chancellor of athletics, David Williams, said he told Franklin that his statements were “inappropriate.” “He clearly made a mistake,” Williams told USA Today. “And clearly what he said is not how he feels and not how we feel.”
Here is my original post:
Can a college noted for its academic excellence keep a coach on staff who says something as bizarre as this: He won’t hire an assistant coach until he checks out the man’s wife to ensure she is good looking.
Anyone doubt that Vanderbilt Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos cringed when he heard these comments made Wednesday by Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin on a sports radio show? Or that the two men will be chatting soon?
In his commencement address to Vanderbilt grads two weeks ago, Zeppos urged them to find and embrace complexity to better their lives.
Franklin’s advice — at least to the male graduates at Vandy — apparently would have been to find a hot wife.
(I expect the standard-issue-gaffe statement soon that Franklin was only kidding and that he regrets his poor attempt at humor.)
Franklin, in an interview with Nashville radio station 104.5 The Zone, responded to a question about whether it helps a coach in recruiting to have a good-looking wife.
“I’ve been saying it for a long time, I will not hire an assistant coach until I’ve seen his wife,” he said. “His wife, if she looks the part and she’s a D1 recruit, then you got a chance to get hired.
“I mean, 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.”
–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog