Local coaches slam Franchione
Coaches shocked by how former UA coach handled departure
Nick Johnston, Hartselle Enquirer
Local football coaches are in agreement on one thing about Dennis Franchione's departure to Texas A &M from Alabama.
They can't blame him.
"If he's somewhere he doesn't want to be he shouldn't be there," Hartselle football head coach Mike Smith said. "I can't blame him for leaving for more money."
Falkville football head coach Jeff Miller said he agreed.
"I said last Monday morning he was gone," he said. "It didn't surprise me, and I don't blame him for leaving."
But Miller, along with Smith, said they were disgusted by the manner in which Franchione left.
"All this time he's talked about loyalty," Smith said. "Now he probably don't know how to spell it."
Franchione is known for preaching loyalty and class, yet many do not believe he showed either last week, especially when it comes down to not talking with his players about leaving the Capstone.
"That was a very cowardly act," Smith said. "That showed very low class."
"He could of told them before he left that there was a good chance he was going to take this job," Miller said. "That's all he had to do."
Many feel had Franchione went about resigning as head coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide in a different way, the situation would not have turned into what was referred to as a circus.
"This really bothered me," Miller said. "After selling his system to the kids and preaching integrity and class like that … that just bothers me."
Miller had a somewhat humorous yet truthful outlook on what Franchione accomplished in his two years in Tuscaloosa.
"He acted like a pimp," he said. "It's sickening."
Miller referred to how he basically used Alabama athletes for a near-$2 million a year contract.
Joey Burch, head football coach at Danville High School, had his own opinion.
"I don't think he initially thought this when he took the job at Alabama," he said. "I found it hard to believe when he left."
Smith agreed more with Miller.
"It's turned into the highest bidder," he said of how coaches are hired today. "Coaches are using kids to make more money. We can blame ourselves for coaches doing this because of the pressure of wining."
"I think Alabama is one of the best jobs in the Nation," Burch said. "If he's looking for history and tradition, it's Alabama."
Franchione sympathizers say the head coach knew in two years the Alabama program would likely struggle do to scholarship restrictions. Their argument is Franchione had every right to leave the way he did because at the present time, he was the most sought after coach in America. Two years from now, they say, he might have been lucky not to be fired by Alabama.
"I think that had a lot to do with it," Smith said. "He knew he didn't have good recruiting classes and it was fixing to get ugly for a while."
Neither Smith nor Miller were sure who will get the nod as the next Alabama head coach.
"All the talk is about Riley," Smith said. He was then asked if he put his resume in. "No … I wouldn't have that job for anything at all. College coaches get no time off. I wouldn't have anytime for hunting."