Monday, June 08, 2009
I have to write something about the Franklin thing, don't I?
So like everyone else in Auburnland I've gone over Josh Moon's Advertiser piece on Tony Franklin "airing Auburn's dirty laundry," and my reaction's pretty well in line with with Will's--this isn't the "airing of dirty laundry," it's the journalistic equivalent of clothespinning one pair of old socks to the line. The story's not useless--Franklin's too good a quote for any story featuring him this heavily to not be worth some kind of look--but there's just not that much here. (Unlike Will, though, I don't blame the Advertiser for trying to milk the story for whatever bit of attention they can get--we're talking about newspapers, so it's desperate times, desperate measures, and all that.)
I would say there's one truly new piece of public information here, and that's Franklin's "all they do is pray" characterization of Tubby and crew as, well, blithering zealots. While Franklin may have a point that this isn't the approach most likely to create a friendly, comfortable atmosphere for an incoming coach, the main thing I learned from these comments was: Tony Franklin is a horse's ass. Not that we didn't know that already, more-or-less, but publicly bringing your former colleague's expressions of faith into a discussion on why you failed at your job? Publicly accusing them of a crime as deeply personal as false piety? Attention Tony: Jesus had the right to call out the Pharisees for this stuff by virtue of being, you know, the Son of God and all. I don't think you've quite earned the right.
Other than that, I don't have too much to offer in the way of reaction. Aside from the religion comments, Franklin continues to be what he's been since the minute Tubby dismissed him: an engaging guy who should earn plenty of sympathy by virtue of the impossible task he was asked to perform and the (genuine, I think) lack of bitterness towards his former employers and colleagues ... but who just loves hearing himself talk and seeing his name in the paper too damn much to ever take the higher road of "no comment, I've moved on." The story's opening line--"Tony Franklin has never been one to chase the spotlight"--has been proven so demonstrably false time and time again since December of 2007 I almost have to wonder if Moon and his apparently guileless editors are trying to be ironic.
As for Tubby, the administration, the rest of the Tuberville staff, it's all the same song-and-dance we've heard before. It's nice to have third party confirmation that the scene behind-the-scenes was as tense and confrontational as we've believed, but I don't know of anyone who's looked at the last few years of public interaction between Tubby and his bosses and come away thinking "Oh, everything's fine."
And, for all the hubbub, surrounding the piece, that's it. There's nothing else to see here. I wish Franklin the best--still--but here's to hoping this really is the last time Auburn hears from him. There can't be anything left to say; surely, surely the vultures have finally picked this carcass clean.