A Bama fan's letter to Fran
Nick Johnston, Hartselle Enquirer
Editor's note: The following is what a letter from an Alabama fan to Dennis Franchione might look like.
Dear Mr. Franchione:
First of all, let me say we respected you. You were welcomed with open arms in Tuscaloosa, knowing you had a tough road ahead.
Your players bought into your "stay with me" and "be the beginning of something special" attitude.
Your players bought into your system.
Your players bought a fraud.
Speculation and rumors are just that, until they come to pass.
You said speculation was just speculation and denied the rumors of your departure by season's end. You said lies were destroying an otherwise successful season at Alabama.
Who's the liar now?
You preached integrity, loyalty. Your pitch to recruits' parents was "I'm going to make your son a man."
Integrity and loyalty are now thrown out the window, and it turns out you're not the man you said you were.
Now, the respect from players, parents and fans you earned during the past two seasons left as soon as your plane departed from Tuscaloosa. Anger and hatred set in as soon as your plane landed in College Station.
Lost in it all is how you could not find time to speak with your players – the very players you pleaded with to stay in spite of the NCAA sanctions – the very players that could have transferred without losing a year of eligibility and could be getting ready for a bowl game in sunny Florida.
Instead, those players, whom you cheated, lied to and time you stole from, are stuck with questions swirling in their heads. They are struck with anger and confusion.
No one has used The University of Alabama as a stepping stone – until you.
Three years ago you were at Texas Christian University, working for peanuts. You fooled the higher ups at the Capstone for the Alabama job, and used premier athletes for a near-$2 million a year job.
Sound farfetched? Nothing could be closer to the truth. Whether you meant to do it or not, that's what happened.
And another thing: Why go to the state of Texas' Auburn University?
Think about it.
Auburn will always be the angry stepsister to The University of Alabama, and Texas A &M will always be second in the eyes of the Longhorn State.
Now, you have set back the Alabama football program to the past. If NCAA sanctions were not bad enough, now players must adjust to a new coaching style, a new way of doing things.
Some players are now on their third coach in their college careers.
You will forever be known as TCHAD (The coach hired after Mike Dubose) to Alabama fans. You will forever be known as a liar and two-faced.
But most of all, you will be remembered as a fraud. How could anybody look you in the face and believe a word you say?