In a press conference called early this morning in Nashville, James Franklin (6'5", 215 lbs) announced his immediate resignation as head football coach at Vanderbilt University.
He also announced to the shocked room of reporters his immediate intentions to return to the University of Maryland, his former employer, where he was once "coach-in-waiting" under athletic director Debbie Yow (now athletic director at North Carolina State University).
"I know this comes as a shock to a lot of you, but like I tell my players every single day: 'six seconds at a time. Live your life six seconds at a time.' I truly believe that you can only make important decisions in your life six seconds in advance, and this was exactly the kind of spur-of-the-moment thinking I try to instill in my players."
When pressed for details by ESPN reporter Chris Low, he added, "Randy [Edsall, former head coach of the Maryland Terrapins] called me up at five this morning and said to me, 'James, I've been thinking, and I think you got a raw deal on this one. You clearly deserve a chance to run this program. We're moving to a new conference and God knows we're gonna need all the help we can get." The world-weary Edsall has struggled in his two years since taking over the Terrapins football program, managing only a 6-17 record in the struggling ACC. With the move to the B1G conference surprising everyone, including Edsall himself, many wondered if he would seek outside help while adjusting to his new conference.
"When he asked me, I thought to myself, 'this is it. This is my big break!'" Franklin said, stifling giggles. "I was surprised by the call, sure, but I was the coach in waiting. They just didn't make it clear how long I would have to wait, those sneaky Petes!" He also admitted that their university-wide handling of their move to the Big Ten conference was a big part of his decision. "From the way their Board of Directors handled their move to the Big Ten, I can see we share the same philosophy on split-second decision-making."
Will his family be upset by the move? "I doubt it," Franklin said. "Fumi and I have been running two-minute drills since our first daughter was born. She's already got a house in College Park furnished, Ava and Addi are sitting in their new classrooms right now, and as soon as we finish this conference I'm trading in my Vandy hoodies for some sweet Turtle-swag. Terps fo' life, guys!" He then flashed the 'VU' handsign, seemed momentarily confused, then used both hands to create a turtle using its thumb-fins to swim through the air. "What do you guys think, does this look cool?"
As of press time, there is no official replacement for Franklin. David Williams, Vice Chancellor for University Affairs and Athletics/Athletic Director/General Counsel/University Secretary/Virgo/Never-Nude, was quoted as saying, "Sure, James was an integral part of our football history, but we see no reason that Vanderbilt won't continue our upward climb in the SEC. We're looking for another scrappy, blue-collar coach with the same kind of drive and vision to push our players to achieve more both on and off the field. What do you guys think about Marshall Henderson - do you think he knows how to play football?"