Vandy's James Franklin Rebuffs Multiple Offers, Set to Sign Extension With Vanderbilt

OKTC has learned that James Franklin is poised to sign a new contract extension with Vanderbilt that includes substantial campus facility upgrades, raises for his assistant coaches, and a substantial growth in commitment to the football program from the university. Last season Vanderbilt announced a new indoor football facility and an extension with Franklin. This year OKTC has been told by multiple sources that yet-to-be-announced facility commitments will be even more substantial than the indoor football field and will include, among other things, substantial renovations to the football stadium, new locker rooms, and other facility upgrades designed to further grow Vanderbit's football profile.

Vanderbilt is presently drafting this extension which will include language guaranteeing the facility improvements in Franklin's new contract.

News of the agreed to extension comes amidst a coaching search feeding frenzy across the nation that has seen Franklin, who took the Commodores to eight victories in a season for the first time in 30 years, become one of the hottest names in the country this offseason.

Indeed, over the past two and a half weeks multiple sources tell OKTC that Franklin has been contacted by representatives from all three major job SEC openings, Auburn, Tennessee, and Arkansas to gauge his interest in interviewing for those job. On top of that multiple sources have told OKTC that Franklin was also contacted by California and Colorado about their open jobs. The Arkansas Razorbacks pursued Franklin the most aggressively, returning multiple times with more substantial offers to try and persuade him to the leave the Commodores after just two seasons at the helm.

Ultimately the Razorbacks offered nearly $5 million a year to Franklin, who rebuffed the offers in favor of a more substantial commitment from Vanderbilt.

Franklin, whose contract does not have a substantial buyout, figures to remain a hot name on the coaching circuit so long as he continues to win at Vanderbilt, a place that no coach in two generations has won at consistently. But Vanderbilt's commitment to Franklin is substantial, as the coach will now make over $3 million a year.

Reached for comment about OKTC's story Vanderbilt athletic director David Williams declined to discuss the specifics of Vanderbilt's facilities upgrades but did say this, "Our commitment to James and his coaching staff has not changed and James's commitment to Vanderbilt has not changed either." 

As Vanderbilt prepares for its bowl announcement later today -- the first time in school history the Commodores have been to back-to-back bowl games -- look for the extension and the facility upgrades to be announced at some point later this week.

For now James Franklin's anchor remains firmly down on West End Avenue.  

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Clay Travis is the founder of the fastest growing national multimedia platform, OutKick, that produces and distributes engaging content across sports and pop culture to millions of fans across the country. OutKick was created by Travis in 2011 and sold to the Fox Corporation in 2021. One of the most electrifying and outspoken personalities in the industry, Travis hosts OutKick The Show where he provides his unfiltered opinion on the most compelling headlines throughout sports, culture, and politics. He also makes regular appearances on FOX News Media as a contributor providing analysis on a variety of subjects ranging from sports news to the cultural landscape. Throughout the college football season, Travis is on Big Noon Kickoff for Fox Sports breaking down the game and the latest storylines. Additionally, Travis serves as a co-host of The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show, a three-hour conservative radio talk program syndicated across Premiere Networks radio stations nationwide. Previously, he launched OutKick The Coverage on Fox Sports Radio that included interviews and listener interactions and was on Fox Sports Bet for four years. Additionally, Travis started an iHeartRadio Original Podcast called Wins & Losses that featured in-depth conversations with the biggest names in sports. Travis is a graduate of George Washington University as well as Vanderbilt Law School. Based in Nashville, he is the author of Dixieland Delight, On Rocky Top, and Republicans Buy Sneakers Too.