|Texas A&M admonishes football coach Dennis Franchione about for-pay newsletter|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 11 October 2007 08:41|
The school ordered the coach to shut down his Web site - CoachFran.com - and will issue a ``letter of admonishment.''
Athletic director Bill Byrne said he'll consider the newsletter when he evaluates Franchione at the end of the season. Franchione's $2 million per year contract runs through 2012.
``This will be part of his performance review,'' Byrne said. ``The Aggies are embarrassed right now. This has been a very unfortunate incident we do not want to experience again.''
M hired a consulting firm to investigate about two weeks ago, after Franchione admitted he provided the information in a newsletter called the ``VIP Connection.''
``My guess is there was an attempt to keep it from us,'' Byrne said. ``I think the whole thing started as something well-intended, to keep a number of people who were good donors to the university forever informed about things that were going on. It just got out of control.''
M fans in a statement released after Byrne met with reporters. He also tried to explain himself.
``I was trying to keep some loyal Aggies informed on our program in greater detail throughout the year,'' he said. ``Please do not blame them. They were only trying to support our program.''
Franchione said he was turning his attention to Saturday's game at Texas Tech and would not comment further on the newsletter.
M's compliance officer, said he did not expect the NCAA to penalize the program with sanctions, though he wouldn't rule it out.
``I think the actions taken by the institution will suffice,'' Batson said. ``But ultimately, that's a decision by the NCAA.''
The NCAA did not immediately return a phone message.
M employee, though Byrne was unaware if Franchione was still employing him in some capacity.
The school pointed out three areas where possible violations occurred:
M income generated through his Web site or from the VIP Connection. The school said Franchione thought he did not have to report the income until he actually received the proceeds that exceeded expenses incurred for maintaining the Web site.
M said McKenzie was paid by Franchione.
-The VIP Connection occasionally contained information about prospective student-athletes. The NCAA prohibits a school from commenting publicly on recruits until they sign letters of intent.
-The school suggested that Franchione violated Big 12 Conference standards of sportsmanship.
Batson said neither Franchione nor McKenzie were aware of newsletter recipients using the information for gambling.
The school released a list of 23 recipients of the VIP Connection, including Franchione's wife, Kim, and their oldest daughter, Ashley.
One from Aug. 13 read: ``TOTAL MUM ON THIS. A certain highly regarded prospect who has committed to Michigan showed up at practice Saturday wearing a USC cap, for which he took a lot of guff. ;)
``As they say in recruiting, it's a long time until February. Same for kids who say they're going to, oh, say, Alabama.''
M'' and making calls against the Aggies. ``He said the official didn't like what he said,'' the e-mail said, ``but the plan was counter-subconscious espionage; get the official to think subconsciously about what he might be thinking about subconsciously...well, you get the gist.''