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Franchione selling insider info to boosters

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Evil ... Thy name is Orville Redenbacher!!, Sep 28, 2007.

  1. I'll simply say this ... :eek:

    COLLEGE STATION — Texas A&M football coach Dennis Franchione said Thursday he has discontinued a secret e-mail newsletter sent to select boosters willing to pay $1,200 per year for team information that Franchione routinely has withheld from the public.
    "I knew it was probably going to be controversial," Franchione said. "I certainly didn't mean for it to be that. When I knew you guys were starting to ask around a bit, I thought, 'Maybe we shouldn't do this.'"

    The Express-News recently began inquiring about the newsletter operation after obtaining a copy through a third-party source. After being told of the newsletter, A&M athletic director Bill Byrne met with Franchione to express his concerns.

    Byrne did not ask Franchione to stop the newsletter, A&M sources said, but strongly suggested that it would be the prudent thing to do. An A&M spokesman said Byrne was unavailable for comment.

    In the newsletter, called "VIP Connection," Franchione discussed player injuries in detail and offered sometimes-critical assessments of his players.

    The newsletter, it was learned, has been distributed the past three years to about a dozen subscribers, each of whom had to sign a letter of confidentiality to receive the newsletter.

    Subscription proceeds, Franchione said, were used to underwrite his personal Web site, coachfran.com.

    Since taking the A&M job after the 2002 season, Franchione has routinely sidestepped media questions about injuries — except those of a season-ending nature — often with the comment that it is not "our policy" to discuss them.

    Yet, Franchione — through his personal assistant, Mike McKenzie, who wrote each newsletter — freely offered up personnel information to elite boosters willing to pay for it.

    Two days before A&M's opener against Montana State earlier this month, six players were listed in the newsletter as "unavailable for action." The newsletter included each player's name and his injury.

    "A seventh player, Roger Holland, is iffy," the newsletter said. "He recovered drastically from a mile (sic) concussion carried over from Sunday, but not fully."

    The newsletter also provided a candid assessment of the Aggies' receiving corps.

    "Privately, Coach told me last night that Earvin (Taylor) and Pierre (Brown) are very steady but with average speed," McKenzie wrote. "Kerry (Franks) has great speed, but (is) inconsistent in receiving."

    McKenzie, who arrived with Franchione in late 2002, is a part-time athletic department employee. His other duties include ghostwriting Byrne's "Wednesday Weekly" column on A&M's athletic department site.

    Franchione and McKenzie denied benefiting financially from the newsletter. Because of the confidentiality agreement, Franchione said, he doesn't believe any of the subscribers used the information for gambling.

    "We asked them to sign something," Franchione said. "And for them not to do that."

    He added: "Most of these people are tremendously loyal Aggies."

    Many other major-college coaches, including Texas's Mack Brown, have their own Web site. Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer, through his Web site, offers a "Coach's Club" membership for $39.95 per year. To members, Beamer's Web site promises "the best, up-to-date, daily practice and injury reports straight from Coach Beamer, right off the practice fields."

    Unlike Beamer, Franchione kept his subscriber list small and the newsletter a secret.

    "We just had people with an interest and that are close to the program," Franchione said.

    McKenzie called the newsletter a "goodwill" gesture.

    "The whole point of it was for them to be informed about the program, straight from the head coach," McKenzie said.

    A consulting firm in Bryan hosts and operates the Web site, McKenzie said, and also handled subscriptions. Refunds have been offered, McKenzie said. He said he wasn't sure how many subscribers, if any, have asked for their money back.
  2. stan_solo

    stan_solo New Member

    I cannot believe this if there's no link.
  3. Oz

    Oz Well-Known Member

    Nice way to start a thread ... ?
  4. Barsuk

    Barsuk Active Member

    Well, there you have it. Can't argue with that.
  5. MU_was_not_so_hard

    MU_was_not_so_hard Active Member

    Dude's a scumbag. Has been for a long time.
  6. I was having trouble copying the story into the SportsJournalists.com message box. It wouldn't accept the transfer, so I tired another way before it finally took.
  7. beefncheddar

    beefncheddar Guest

    Only in Texas.

  8. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    You can be sure, if its Fran
  9. Bubbler

    Bubbler Well-Known Member

    Wow, $1,200? He better be reporting his sexual positions for that kind of layout. What a bunch of suckers.
  10. beefncheddar

    beefncheddar Guest


    Belive it.
  11. Shaggy

    Shaggy Guest

    Big cigars are often the biggest losers in the world. $1,200 to find out who has a sprained ankle? Get a fucking life.

    As for the newsletter, legal experts help me out: Could the Express-News file a FOI to obtain those?
  12. poindexter

    poindexter Well-Known Member

    I think the $1200 is for inside gambling information.
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