James Franklin: Death Threats and Racial Slurs After Ranking Notre Dame 4th in Country

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Vanderbilt football coach James Franklin, who just won the most football games at Vanderbilt since 1915, voted Notre Dame the fourth best team in the country in his final coaches ballot before the bowl games.

In doing so Franklin voted the Fighting Irish lower than any other coach in the country. That decision did not leave Fighting Irish fans very happy. Most fans took it in stride, but some went well beyond acceptable discourse. How far? Appearing on our 3HL radio show in Nashville, Franklin discussed the fallout from his ranking as part of a wide-ranging interview thirty-minute interview that I’d encourage you to listen to here.

“Over the Notre Dame (ranking), when I picked them fourth, I got death threats,” Franklin said. “Stuff about my family, racial stuff, bad, I had to get the police involved it was so bad.”

Asked if the those who made death threats were tracked down, Franklin replied, “Yes,” but he said he elected not to press charges against those who threatened he and his family. “I didn’t want to take it that far because then it (the threats) becomes public. I wanted to make them (those that threatened he and his family) sure, ‘Look, we know who you are. This is probably one step too far when you’re making death threats and racial stuff, things like that.'” Franklin said.

This is the first time Franklin has discussed the death threats, part of a general decline in civility in Twitter mentions that Outkick the Coverage wrote about earlier this week.

At that time Franklin told the Nashville Tennessean, of his Notre Dame ranking, “This is what you have to understand: it’s an opinion,” Franklin said. “But it’s an educated opinion. I’ve coached in the ACC. I’ve coached in the Big 12. I’ve coached in the Pac-10. I’ve coached in the SEC. I’ve coached in the NFL. So I think I have a pretty good understanding of what these conferences are like and what our conference is like…”So I’ve studied all these teams on film, and that’s my opinion. I don’t mean it to be disrespectful to anybody else. I have tremendous respect for Notre Dame, what they’ve done this year — great year. They can prove me wrong the day after, but that’s just how I feel.”

Notre Dame was crushed by Alabama in the BCS title game, vindicating Franklin’s opinion of the team’s ranking. In fact, fourth may have proven to be too generous. 

You can listen to Franklin’s entire 3HL interview here.

For those of you working hard on Easter weekend, focus on the opening few minutes of the interview, Franklin made just $26,200 the first four years he coached football. 

That’s an average of $6,550 a year.

If you love something, don’t be afraid to work as hard as you can without much in the way of monetary reward.

Hope y’all have great Easters.

Written by Clay Travis

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.