I've been a fan since 1977. There has been no sustained success since that time (I don't consider 2 consecutive winning seasons "sustained" success even if they ended in top 25 rankings). They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over-and-over and expecting different results. This is only party true because the devil is in the details. It's really doing the same thing in the same way when it always leads to failure that is the insane part.
Whether it was right or wrong to say publicly, Mason was right about Vanderbilt in his comments regarding sustained success. Whether he is a bad head coach, or the right one for Vanderbilt, makes no difference. Until Vanderbilt starts doing things in a different way, the football team will not sustain success. Franklin helped prove this by leaving for a better opportunity and with it the most successful 3 year span out of the last 42.
The whole football package needs to change: the vision, the image, and the culture. So I believe AD Turner is correct in his thinking that replacing the head coach won't lead to sustained success. Past head coaches have either come here to end their head coaching careers as failures or move on to a better opportunity. What winning current head coach would want to come to this environment? What up and coming future head coach would want to begin his career here? We can point to Franklin but it has now been 9 years since he was hired and 6 since he left. That period is now long enough ago it is looking like a dream more than a possibility now and that success was limited.
Hiring AD Turner, on paper, looks like a good hire for an institution looking to make a dramatic change to their athletics. It's not going to change overnight. It's not even going to change in a year. I would guess it will take in the range of 7 - 10 years before sustained positive change is achieved. You just don't erase 42+ years of futility overnight.
So, how can I be bitter? It was my decision to stay a Vanderbilt fan for more than 42 years. If I don't know what I am going to get by now then I haven't been paying attention.