Sunday, November 27, 2011

James Franklin Becomes Highest Paid Coach in Vanderbilt History

According to a report from Mike Rapp at Rivals, several sources within Vanderbilt athletics have confirmed that James Franklin's contract extension with Vanderbilt (first reported by Clay Travis at OKTC) will increase his annual salary to "approximately $3 million" and give him a "de facto lifetime contract" similar to what CKS and CTC currently enjoy.  Moreover, according to Rapp, "the new agreement between VU and Franklin includes facility improvements that will put the football program on a level playing field with its SEC counterparts.  Rumor is that among those improvements may be an indoor practice facility, a big ticket item that Franklin has long believed is crucial for his program to recruit the best student athletes." 

This is huge news.  We'll have more thoughts in due course, but I have to admit that my initial reaction is a tad conflicted.  I'm incredibly excited to see this kind of commitment from the administration and I definitely believe James Franklin is the right coach for Vanderbilt.  At the same time, I have to wonder (among other things) how dramatically this is going to raise expectations.  I'm a pretty irrationally optimistic fan most of the time, but it's hard for me to even allow myself the thought of Vanderbilt becoming what Stanford is right now, as much as I might like to.  That being said, if anyone can do it, CJF sure seems like he's got what it takes.

To some this will seem like simply the natural next step in order to secure one of the hottest coaches on the market.  To others it may seem premature or even misguided.  Wherever you come down on it, it's hard to deny that with this move Vanderbilt is saying, "We're not just going to win, we're going to compete for championships."

"All in" indeed.


VandyImport said...

I'm okay with it, largely because we sort of need expectations. This kind of commitment is proof that the administration is serious about football and expects to do better, which is what's always been lacking every other time we've luck-boxed into 5 or 6 wins for the last three decades.

The other thing is simple - look how quickly somebody swooped in to snatch up Walsh (the first time) or Harbaugh at Stanford, or Spurrier at Duke. Unless we want to be a three-year-wonder, we need to pay the price to shore up the foundation - long-term coaching contract, raise for the assistants, facility improvements. $3M a year is a bet on the long-term future of the program, and this time feels so different from every one since that it's a bet worth making.

Anonymous said...

If these stories are true, then I'm incredibly pleased to see VU administration take a proactive approach with CJF and facilities. I hope they also lock up Shoop and the other key assistants. In terms of expectations, I completely agree with VCDW that, at this point, it is up to VU alumni and fans to do our part by supporting the athletic department and filling up the stadium. Bowl selection and recruiting is influenced by fan support. Anchor Down!

Anything but Gatorade said...

100% the right move for Vanderbilt. Congratulations to the Dores on making a bowl and on finally putting some support behind a guy who's going to win a lot of games for the Black and Gold.