Blog Entry

James Franklin denies tampering allegations

Posted on: February 17, 2012 10:05 am
Edited on: February 17, 2012 10:09 am
Posted by Chip Patterson

One of the many twists and turns in the transfer of Maryland quarterback Danny O'Brien has been the reported stipulation that prevents O'Brien from accepting financial aid from Vanderbilt. It is common for hopeful transfers to be blocked from future opponents - O'Brien also cannot accept aid from future ACC opponents, West Virginia, and Temple - but the Commodores are not currently on any future Terrapins schedule.

No Maryland officials, including head coach Randy Edsall, have elaborated on why Vanderbilt is not an acceptable landing place for O'Brien, but it is likely because of former Terps offensive coordinator James Franklin. Franklin was O'Brien's offensive coordinator, and thought to be a candidate to replace Ralph Friedgen, before accepting the head coaching job at Vanderbilt. Speaking to a local radio station, Franklin addressed the allegations regarding his involvement in O'Brien's departure.

“I don’t like innuendos and comments being made about tampering and things like that,” Franklin told 104.5 The Zone in Nashville.  “You guys know me. I’m the type of guy, I’m going to have relationships with my players. I hope to have relationships with the guys that play for me for the rest of my life.

“But the fact that people would make accusations that we tampered or did this or did that, again, I’m just going to defend our program and defend our character and how we do things. But I think it’s ridiculous to think that I’m not going to have relationships with these kids after I leave places.”

Todd Willert, O'Brien's high school coach, told's Bruce Feldman he expects the quarterback's family to appeal Edsall's reported restriction in order to have the option to transfer to Vanderbilt.

"I believe they will," said Willert. "This weekend, Danny and his family will sort through everything. They think (Vandy) should be an option but I don't know exactly what they'll decide. It should be an option for him.  Just be fair to everybody. Danny has no ill will towards anybody."

O'Brien is set to earn his undergraduate degree from Maryland this spring, and will be eligible to compete immediately as long as he enrolls in a graduate program not offered in College Park. It is the same transfer rule that allowed Russell Wilson to compete right away at Wisconsin. Unlike Wilson, O'Brien will still have two full years of eligibility once he joins a program.

Willert told there has been a lot of interest, but would not reveal what schools have attempted to contact O'Brien. In addition to Vanderbilt; Stanford, Michigan State, Wisconsin, East Carolina, and Ole Miss are all believed to be in the mix.

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Since: Jan 16, 2012
Posted on: February 22, 2012 11:33 am

James Franklin denies tampering allegations

Glad to read in a later article that Edsall finally let O'Brien sign with Vandy......

Since: Oct 25, 2011
Posted on: February 21, 2012 7:09 pm

James Franklin denies tampering allegations

Fightintige5- I think the kid should be able to go anywhere he pleases, from Dartmouth to South-Central Poly State Tech if that's what he wants. Ultimately, I think these kids should consider their education first but that's just me.  In the end, they deserve to have a freedom of choice.  If they want to apply to a School in their own conference and play football, they should sit for a year without being allowed to RS unless it's their senior season.  That would deter some of the tampering arrangements.  I just have a gut based on Franklin's reactions and the situation in general that this is not on the up and up.  I don't mean to offend anyone if I did (even the Vandy's not your fault CJF is classless).

Since: Apr 28, 2008
Posted on: February 20, 2012 2:16 pm

James Franklin denies tampering allegations

Let Danny go...Randy Edsall is terrible.In case any has noticed everyone is fleeing MD. I feel bad for local recruits because Danny will not be around to sling the ball. Wonders if they can still decommit! Being a stud wideout coming in, now sucks without a QB that can throw! YIKES!!! As the dominoes fall in College Park

Since: Dec 27, 2011
Posted on: February 20, 2012 9:09 am

James Franklin denies tampering allegations

All respect to Franklin and vandy. 
They are improving as a team and they have one of the best academic institutions in the country(imho).

I hope vandy competes for the SECE soon.

Go Hogs!
  Go'dores!  Go SEC!     


Since: Feb 11, 2009
Posted on: February 20, 2012 7:08 am

James Franklin denies tampering allegations

This is crazy.  Franklin didn't/doesn't need to tamper with anybody or anything.  The situation at Maryland is heopless under Edsall and O'Brien is smart enough to recognize that on his own.  It would only seem natural to me that wanting to get out of a really bad situation, O'Brien would turn to the coach who recruited him and who seems to have a little on the ball.  I would not expect the NCAA to hold up Edsall's reidiculoius restrictions on the transfer.  With everything else that has been whining about regarding big-time college programs this past season, this so-called tampering issue would seem to rate REALLY low.

Since: Aug 24, 2007
Posted on: February 19, 2012 11:09 pm

James Franklin denies tampering allegations

Typical jealous coach in Edsall. Franklin goes to the bottom dweller of the SEC east and has some sucess. Edsall preforms like a EDSEL and fails. Typical EDSALL crys and blames someone else for HIS failure. He sure has the right name, they just spelled it wrong!

Since: Nov 3, 2009
Posted on: February 17, 2012 6:56 pm

James Franklin denies tampering allegations

Hey UGA....why has this gotten you so riled up? I see nothing here that sounds sleazy or underhanded. As someone else said, the coaches can leave...why don't they have to sit out a year or agree not to get "financial aid"? BS system...these cases should be handled by a panel(or just allow them to transfer, period) and not by coaches with a grudge because they feel "rejected" by the player. Sounds like Edsall is getting rejected a lot.


Since: Oct 25, 2011
Posted on: February 17, 2012 2:38 pm

James Franklin denies tampering allegations

Hilarious coming from a Vanderbilt fan. So he talks to O'Brien during one of their "weekly chats" <laughable> and O'Brien brings up the idea of transferring to Vanderbilt...and Franklin's response is "Well, technically I can't even talk to you about this until you sign a release..." That's called a leading statement.  My post about Franklin being a liar without integrity was deleted, so I'm returning to make my point.  Keeping a "buddy" from a previous program, having him sumit a transfer, and then hiding behind a callow press annoucement that doesn't specifically deny that he tampered with O'Brien is unscrupulous at best.  Franklin will be exposed for the front that he's putting up - a crook in a business suit.

Since: Sep 11, 2006
Posted on: February 17, 2012 2:32 pm

James Franklin denies tampering allegations

This whole situation is just Randy Edsall being Randy Edsall, petty, spiteful, incompetent and completely unaware of it.  Somehow, he has developed the belief that he can do no wrong and he is a coaching genius.  Clearly that sub-.500 career record cannot be a reflection on him.  Every loss is someone else's fault.  As he celebrates his "great" recruiting class (35th in the nation out of ~70 BCS teams, an average class at best IMHO), he needs someone to blame for losing his 22nd, 23rd, and 24th players from the team (not injured or graduated).  Hence he goes to the old innuendo route.  If he had any real proof or suspicion, he would have gone to the NCAA.  Instead, he just needed a scapegoat to explain why his team will follow up a 2-10 season (in 2011) with an equally poor effort in 2012.

Edsall is a trainwreck with 5 more years on a $2Mil/yr contract.  He will destroy Maryland football before he is done.

Since: Feb 17, 2012
Posted on: February 17, 2012 1:33 pm

James Franklin denies tampering allegations

But to elaborate further...   He said that "he told any player that contacts him first, that they have to have a release first."    He talks to former players all the time but it depends on what they talk about.  IF something comes up that is bound by the rules of the NCAA, a coach has to tell the player what he can or cannot do.
My personal opinion is that the Maryland coach has not learned how to handle situations like this.   He will now suffer the consequences for future players and recruits.  I doubt that Maryland's coach will be there very long....   If he had something attractive to offer... the players would come;  and stay.
Funny how players now want to trip over each other playing for Vanderbilt.  Could it be that they really do want to play for the coaches they have now? James Franklin doesn't have to break any rules to get kids...   They love him and want to play for him.

Common Sense people.

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