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A series of unrelated events


June 1, 2012

Vanderbilt head football coach James Franklin said Wednesday that he makes hiring decisions based on what the wives look like.

“I’ve been saying it for a long time, I will not hire an assistant coach until I’ve seen his wife,” Franklin said on 104.5 The Zone in in Nashville. “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.”

September 18, 2013

Vanderbilt University on Tuesday dismissed wide receiver Chris Boyd from the football team and athletic program four days after he pleaded guilty to helping cover up an alleged on-campus gang rape.

The star athlete accepted a yearlong probation sentence and agreed to testify against four men accused directly in the crime.

Vanderbilt’s athletic administration conducted a review of the case, including information disclosed at Friday’s hearing.

“The review concluded that Mr. Boyd’s admitted actions are clearly inconsistent with the high standards of behavior expected of our student-athletes,” a vice chancellor said in a statement.

After prosecutors laid out the case against him, Boyd pleaded guilty to one count of being an accessory after the fact. As part of his plea deal, Boyd said he will willingly pay court costs, face 11 months and 29 days of unsupervised probation and “testify truthfully” against the men he helped in June.

Friday’s court hearing revealed information about the prosecutors’ case against the four former Commodores players charged with rape.

Davidson County Deputy District Attorney Tom Thurman alleged in court that early on June 23, Brandon Vandenburg took an unconscious Vanderbilt student into a building on campus. Thurman said he was joined in his dorm room by three others also charged with rape — Cory Batey, Brandon Banks and Jaborian McKenzie.

“Different individuals” then sexually assaulted the young woman, the prosecutor said, as captured by CNN affiliate WSMV. Vandenburg texted the 21-year-old Boyd a picture of her, which Boyd promptly erased so his girlfriend wouldn’t see it, Thurman said.

Soon after that text, Vandenburg called Boyd, “saying the victim had been messed with in the hall and sexually assaulted in the room, and he needed Mr. Boyd to come over,” Thurman said.

Boyd went over and, with two other people, moved the woman — who was lying in the hall unconscious, partially clothed — to a room, put her on a bed and then left, Thurman said.

Subsequently, Boyd exchanged texts with Vandenburg and Batey, Thurman said. In one, Boyd said, “Tell the boys to delete that sh**. I’m looking out for your a**.” Boyd also texted his girlfiend that he “got everything cleared up” and “deleted everything,” Thurman said.

More texts followed the next day, including one in which Boyd detailed how he had helped move the young woman and said “she doesn’t know anything that happened.” Boyd also talked about it with Vandenburg, Batey, Banks and McKenzie at a Popeyes restaurant, Thurman said.

October 28, 2013

Penn State announced Monday it will pay $59.7 million to settle claims by 26 young men who said they were sexually abused by former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, capping a year of negotiations.

News of some of the settlements has been trickling out in recent months. The university said six claims are still outstanding. It has rejected some of them and is in talks to settle the others.

“We hope this is another step forward in the healing process for those hurt by Mr. Sandusky, and another step forward for Penn State,” University President Rodney Erickson said in a statement.

“We cannot undo what has been done, but we can and must do everything possible to learn from this and ensure it never happens again at Penn State.”

Sandusky, 69, is serving 30 to 60 years in prison after being convicted of 45 counts of child sexual abuse last year.

November 13, 2013

Court filing in Vandy rape case seeks text messages from coaches

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A new court filing in the case against four former Vanderbilt University football players charged with rape seeks evidence of text messages sent by “coaches” that lawyers for one of the ex-players think could shed light on what happened.

The filing by attorneys for one of the players offers the first suggestion in court proceedings that members of the Vanderbilt football staff might have had some level of involvement in the incident that would be relevant to the criminal investigation.

California-based defense attorneys for former player Brandon Vandenburg said in their motion that a “large amount” of evidence has not been provided to them by Davidson County authorities as it should have been under the rules of discovery in criminal cases.

January 9, 2014

Reporter: USC Passed On James Franklin Due To Vanderbilt Players’ Ongoing Rape Case

Unlike many other reporters, Wolken took a look at some of the downsides to hiring Franklin, including the pending rape case against several of his players at Vanderbilt . . .

“I know for a fact that that is the reason that he was not in the mix at Southern Cal. They took a look at that situation, they knew about that situation, and he was not in the mix at all for that job primarily because of that.”

January 10, 2014

Penn State offered Vanderbilt’s James Franklin its head-coaching position on Wednesday after a long meeting with the search committee in Florida, according to the Scranton Times-Tribune.

Franklin, 41, is expected to decide Thursday, according to the report.

There have been many conflicting reports regarding the Nittany Lions’ coaching position. The Penn State beat writer for the Centre Daily Times tweeted after the Times-Tribune story that a high-ranking PSU official said nobody had been offered the job.

Franklin, a Pennsylvania native, has become one of the hottest coaching names with his success with the Commodores, winning 24 games over the past three seasons.

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  • Mudge

    I had forgotten about the D-1 wife comment. What exactly do search committees do? Is this the same committee that vetted Bernie Kerik?

  • CDT

    The search committee was sold on Franklin after meeting his wife.

  • Sexism? Rape culture? I don’t see any sexism or rape culture, do you?

    And we can rest assured that Franklin will only countenance healthy and normal male/female sexual activity, so no one has any cause for complaint. (Note: Current assistant coaches at PSU should evaluate their wives’ “recruitablity” and plan for upgrades if necessary.)

  • With the caveat that I lovelovelove the Badgers(with love, I will say again, with malice aforethought, that the NCAA has to go. If these big-time programs are so goddam profitable and fucking necessary for community stuffandsuch, make them NFL minor leagues, pay the players, and return colleges to the concept of student-athletes.

    How many aspiring STEM kids won’t be going to Penn, while Franklin gets umpteen millions to hire hot wives? Assholes.

    • Also I know grammer really nice, and would happily beat the corpse of Thomas Kinkade with a shovel for an edit button.

      • rea

        Penn State–Penn is somewhere else.

      • BigHank53

        would happily beat the corpse of Thomas Kinkade with a shovel

        Get in line.

    • NewishLawyer

      How about aspiring arts and humanities kids?

      • john

        I think you are looking for one of Campos’s anti-law school threads, this one is about college sports.

  • ASV

    So this is a guy who saw Moneyball and thought the old scouts were the heroes?

    • mc

      haha I thought of that too.

      he should’ve watched the Godfather instead. of the three Corleone brothers, Fredo had the best looking wife…

      • postmodulator

        Wasn’t the implication supposed to be that she was a second wife, like a trophy wife thing? I don’t recall them saying that but it was the impression I walked away with.

      • Mike Schilling

        Only because they put that stupid blonde wig on Diane Keaton.

    • LeeEsq

      Its not the first time people got the wrong message from a movie.

  • mc

    on a truly unrelated note… please note that Al Borges is no longer coaching in Ann Arbor.

    Borges y yo no mas.

  • cpinva

    good to know the NCAA is continuing to uphold its high character and morals standards.

  • LeeEsq

    In lighter news, Washington Monthly informs us that UNC-Chapel Hill is in the middle of giant scandal involving their football players, I mean amateur student athletes, getting grades for fake courses.

    • Lee Rudolph

      And a not entirely separate scandal about their graduated amateur student athletes’ literacy (and their administration’s attempts to make the story go away).

  • D.N. Nation

    Don’t forget that there’s a decent chance that Franklin or his coaches instructed players to go at the knees of opponents after plays were over. He’s a dirty, dirty coach.

    • He’s a dirty, dirty coach.

      Don’t you mean “He really wants to win, unlike those wimps who avoid orthopedic catastrophes.”

    • EH

      “Got ‘im right in the scholarship.”

  • October 11, 2015

    A spokesperson for Penn State said that the gang-rape of two undergraduate women by the entire offensive line of the football team was “completely unforeseeable.” “We reposed complete trust in Coach Franklin–how could we have expected anything like this?” Franklin did not respond to phone calls.

    • Nobdy

      Will Franklin do interviews with journalists who have wives he judges to be attractive on the basis that the kind of moxie one sees in “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” is also highly correlated to journalistic doggedness?

      What about straight female or gay male reporters?

      Also, if your spouse is not attractive by Franklin’s standards does that mean you did not have the confidence to go up and talk to her and you were not quick on your feet and had no personality or confident and were not fun or articulate? Is having an ugly spouse the punishment you get for lacking those qualities? What if she’s very smart, or kind, or has great values? Do those count for at least a little bit?

      • CaptBackslap

        Nope. If you don’t think that the qualities you should look for in a spouse and in a random hookup are exactly the same, you might as well be gay.

      • Jimmie F. Class Act #1

        What if she’s very smart, or kind, or has great values? Do those count for at least a little bit?

        Yeah, sure they do. Provided she’s got big boobs.

        • TWO great values … valued as being at least 38D.

  • Roger Ailes

    Ben Franklin was President of Pennsylvania and he liked older women. It’s damage control gold!

  • CaptBackslap

    SVP was talking about the Franklin hire on his show yesterday. He mentioned being a big fan of Franklin, then he asked his producer, “Stanford Steve,” about the hire. Steve said he didn’t think it was a good hire because he didn’t like Franklin or the way he goes about things. SVP and Rusillo were both surprised, but his attitude makes a lot more sense after hearing about the rapes (and the diving-at-knees thing to a lesser extent).

  • Stan Gable

    Fairly off-topic but this story from Kirkland, WA is horrible.

    Woman files restraining order against ex in which she states that it’s not going to stop him from killing her but will help prove who killed her.

    • Linnaeus

      A friend of mine worked with the victims brother, which is how I found out about this because he sent an email with a link to the Seattle Times story. Horrible.

  • shah8

    This sort of thing was what made me pissed about certain feminists harping about Jameis Winston. It was *such* a sketchy case, and usually, when you have football players assaulting women, there is just very little sophistication and attempts making it hard to prosecute in the first place. Usually, it’s a bad case, and the football players and friends/admin do their best to cover it up (unless it’s full blown crazy immunity like Stuebenville). I mean, the case at Vandy was notorious for awhile in college football circles, because of the sheer aggravatedness of the assault. And I got to read personal stories about how football players are fucking monsters in the process. And whether rape is prosecuted seems to be entirely based on the race of the assaulter, and *especially*, as with RKelly, the race of the assaulted. While Jameis Winston had to deal with (probably) a specious case, Ben Roethlisberger and his cop pals can obstruct at will, or, in another case, Michigan OT Taylor Lewan, an NFL prospect, threatening a woman raped by one of his friends if she pushed charges in 2009. That friend, Brandon Gibbons was briefly arrested. He went on to continue his college career and kicked the winning field goal in the 2011 Sugar Bowl. And you know what? There wasn’t a reporter in his face with strident loaded questions after the game. There was a bit of comedy. He was asked, “what was going through your mind when you kicked that field goal?” His answer? Brunette girls. And people thought that was funny! As with Big Ben, there isn’t any real doubt that there was a very strong case for rape, with good corroboration of the story and physical evidence. That fellow athletic scholarship student who was raped? A nobody.

    I’m just sick of rape being thought of more as a tool against enemies like Julian Assange (he probably did do it, but people only cared when it was important to take him down a peg, and not when women needed justice), or to maintain race and class structures.

    Pardon the rant.

    • rea

      people only cared when it was important to take him down a peg

      Not true.

      • shah8

        Rea, then I’d like to hear how that wasn’t true. My impression was that Assange’s case was relatively cold and brought up after he became prominent.

        Aimai, I’d thank you not to trivialize my issues as fantasy. More than this, your point is pablum, and obviously true, and the refusal of feminists like you to engage in the nuances when it doesn’t convenience you is exactly the reason Hugo Schwyzer maintained his support from white feminists well longer than he should have. And yes, rape *is* used as a weapon seemingly more than treated as a crime. We live in a world where Project Innocence is a desperately needed private nonprofit counterbalance, and where the many state officials do their best to frustrate their goals despite the nominal pursuits of justice being aligned. We live in a world where Dominik Strauss-Kahn can get frog-marched for a rape case, lose his job and election possibilities, and then have the rape case fall apart with apparently obvious holes. And we’re not supposed to think there was not strong unrelated political and policy motivations behind much of the proceedings? I’m not a mushroom, and I’m not in the dark, and you can’t feed me shit. So while you could call me and like-minded people conspiracy theorists regarding pretty damned obvious mechinations, you neglect the self-same “lower status” women you purport to support. If you haven’t noticed, I’m not in favor of taking rapes less seriously. I’m in favor of taking rapes MORE seriously, as a crime and as a diminishment of human rights, and that mealymouth acknowledgement of how the victim is almost always a lower status person pisses me off, because I want to challenge that norm, and part of challenging that norm is definitely about getting people to take it seriously as a crime, instead of whether she’s crying rape, or this is really about underhanded political motives, or whether that black guy was just unlucky and that white woman’s dad found out and hit the roof.

        • shah8

          Taking back Julian Assange point, no, the case was ongoing right when the controversy happened, so no cold case at all. Rea’s right, here.

        • Oh, sorry, forgot that though you are not a mushroom you are off your fucking rocker.

        • Translation: I am not a potted plant!

        • rea

          Rea, then I’d like to hear how that wasn’t true.

          Very simple.

          I’m people.

          I cared about it.

          And the reason I cared about it had nothing to do with taking him down a peg for Wikileaks.

          Recall that his victims were also supporters of his politics.

    • I really don’t know what the fuck this means:

      I’m just sick of rape being thought of more as a tool against enemies like Julian Assange (he probably did do it, but people only cared when it was important to take him down a peg, and not when women needed justice), or to maintain race and class structures.

      Rape is a crime that happens, that is committed by people from all genders, all walks of life, all classes against people who are vulnerable to them at a given time, place, and status. It isn’t always prosecuted–in fact, it is very seldom prosecuted–because the victim is almost always of a lower status or more problematic position vis a vis the rapist than society wants to handle. Rape wasn’t “used as a weapon” against Julian Assange and the accusation against athletes is not “used as a weapon” or more valid against this guy than against that guy except in your fantasy of the world. People rape. People rape because they believe they can get away with it. And for the most part, they can.

      • postmodulator

        I think the claim here is that some of the critics of Wikileaks who said “How can you trust Assange? He’s a rapist,” would, in the absence of Wikileaks and presented with an identical case, have said something like “How can those Swedes try to criminalize a misunderstanding like that?”

        Which doesn’t strike me as implausible, but is kind of unknowable.

        • Also: irrelevant.

          • postmodulator

            That, too.

  • NewishLawyer

    I have nothing to add except that we need to get rid of college sports or at least Division I college sports but I am not sure how this will happen.

    Depressing is depressing.

    • postmodulator

      It is the bright side of the eventual total collapse of higher education.

      • NewishLawyer

        What proof do we have of the eventual total collapse of higher education?

        I think if higher education collapses more things are going to collapse and that will be bad, very bad for everyone or almost everyone. A collapse of higher education is not going to lead to utopia or a brighter shiny future, it is going to be part of a general collapse of society in my mind.

        This is something I am discussing on another bloggy place on the Internet.

        I think in a lot of these debates there is a feeling and confusion that what is true today will be true forever.

        According to Jordon Weismann at the Atlantic, enrollment at for-profit universities tanked by nearly ten percent and community colleges saw a slight drop in enrollment. Traditional universities (public and private) saw a slight increase in enrollment. This does not indicate collapse to me but a positive correction in many ways especially with for profit going down:


        People who predict the end of college tend to be either doomsayers or disrupters-libertarians. I am neither.

        • DrS

          Are there any people who call themselves “disruptors” that aren’t complete assholes?

          • NewishLawyer

            No but I don’t know if all these people call themselves disrupters. Here are the arguments I hear about the end of college.

            1. Doomsayers who think the economy is going to continue to suck and we will have more and more underemployed college grads with massive amounts of loans. It is perfectly psychologically understanding to confuse today for tomorrow because we live in the present. However, economies do change and improve and recessions and depressions end including deep depressions. However, it is almost impossible to win an argument against a doomsayer because they consider any counter-argument to be naive. It is like a Malthustian, “this time it will be different…” Malthus was not correct in his predictions but a supporter will say he was never proved wrong either.

            2. Naive techie arguments that believe MOOCs and such will eventually drive down costs and render the traditional four year university obsolete. These people generally have no respect for anything traditional and sometimes even physical. They tend to see progress as necessary destruction of past forms and uses.

            I think talking about the total collapse of the university should be a case of be careful what you wish for. How is it even possible unless everything collapses and we all die or enter a new dark ages? The university has been around for centuries as a concept and reality. Many have a lot of money including public unis. Some might end and have closed before but it is not going to be a total collapse.

            • rea

              Universities are in danger because (1)the cost of a university education has come to exceed the financial benefits of having a degree, and (2) the cost has risen so that the old notion that being educated is a good in and of itself, regardless of the financial benefits of a degree,

              • rea

                Oops, lost the end of that.

                . . . the old notion that being educated is a good in and of itself, regardless of the financial benefits of a degree, has become financially impractical except for the very rich.

              • NewishLawyer

                Re #1:

                But the costs have not having a degree are going exponentially up as well. Now I don’t think this is a good situation. I would describe it as damned if you don’t and maybe damned if you do. But I have yet to see evidence that employers are considering getting rid of the “must have a degree” line.

                All the evidence still shows that people with no or some college education still suffer from lack of opportunity, more unemployment, and lower wages.

                #1 can also go away during a boom or good economic times. Generation X also complained in the early 1990s that they would be the first generation to live worse than their parents. I admit that their recession was much less damaging though.

                #2 can be fixed if we can find a way for the states to increase funding and oversight and lower tuition rates.

                • DrS

                  #1 can also go away during a boom or good economic times. Generation X also complained in the early 1990s that they would be the first generation to live worse than their parents. I admit that their recession was much less damaging though.

                  This Gen-Xer is wondering what you mean by “their recession” as though we aren’t getting creamed by what’s going on now too

        • postmodulator

          What proof do we have of the eventual total collapse of higher education?

          Well, it was meant to be a good bit more tongue in cheek than your actual engagement would indicate, but I am of the school of thought that “Things that can’t go on forever don’t.”

          There are enormous institutional pressures making college costs increase over time; there are political pressures reducing public financial support of universities, which means the increased cost has to come from tuition hikes; and there’s economic pressure meaning that the people who you’d expect to be paying for college can’t. Parents’ wages are stagnant so they can’t just pay for their kids’ education (this used to be an achievable goal for the middle class!) and kids’ wages are stagnant so they can’t pay back the money they borrow.

          Sooner or later, kaboom. I don’t look forward to it, but I haven’t heard a feasible way to avoid it. (There are lots of fantasy ways to avoid it, but they involve things like “let’s say every Tea Partier instantly died.”)

    • GoDeep

      Get rid of D1 sports? Let’s not throw the baby out w/ the bath water…

  • NewishLawyer

    Here is the Washington Monthly article that LeeEsq mentioned above


    I think the author goes a bit far with the idea of the myth of the analogy and possibly plays into anti-university funding hands but it is a good sum up of the scandal. Note though that it was a football rival that discovered the scandal.

  • Anonymous

    Interesting. The new leaders at Penn State, who were so eager to put the Sandusky scandal behind them that they agreed to the findings of the shoddy Freeh report and acquiesced to the unprecedented NCAA sanctions, are now hiring a coach who appears to lack the basic values that Joe Paterno represented all those years.

    Perhaps Joe Pa was a monstrous fake (the evidence that he knowingly covered up Sandusky’s criminal behavior is thin at best), but it seems odd to completely discard the principles he stood for (even if hypocritically) to embrace the modern win-at-all-costs mentality of Division I football.

    • mc

      LOL, what “basic values” did JoePa represent, exactly?

  • ConcernTroll

    He did win 24 games in 3 years at Vanderbilt. That’s impressive.

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  • Mart

    I did not have time to comment earlier, but I thought this was the best blog post I ever read. Very powerful message. I thought it was too bad PSU admin will not read it. Of course, the idiots just hired the creep.

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  • Philip Arlington

    Of course Mr Franklin’s attitude is wrong, but the primary reason for this is that it amounts to unfair treatment of some (male) applicants who deserved to be given a job on their own merits but weren’t because their wives weren’t attractive in Mr Franklin’s eyes.

    So many people (about half of them men) are trapped in a post-feminist paradigm in which discrimination against women glows in the dark even when it isn’t there, but discrimination against men is invisible. Thankfully, I learned my concept of fairness from my mum, who unlike feminists believes that everyone should be treated fairly.

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