Washington Post Tony Franklin Article

rcodeman

True Blue
Feb 4, 2005
507
190
43
This is funny to read about MTSU in the Washington Post because this is the first time I've seen anyone spend this much time on anything MT athletics related in YEARS. Link

Basically, it doesn't sound like much, in the end, but it sound like the athletic department didn't do much either.

Highlights include:

"Massaro reminded Franklin that the school’s policies were changing by the day and encouraged him not to do anything rash. He also cautioned Franklin “to not be insubordinate” and that the athletic department “will not tolerate opposite messaging.”

Franklin reminded Massaro that, as much as calling plays on game day, he believed it was his job to protect the impressionable young men in his charge. Stockstill eventually called off the meeting, and Franklin stood down. Then 3,839 deaths in March became nearly 60,000 deaths in April. During in-person meetings, Franklin sat alone at a desk away from the rest of the staff, and he and his wife decided to spend the coming months apart: her near other family in Raleigh, N.C., and him in a small apartment near campus...

Franklin says Stockstill frequently handed out papers and held conversations without a face covering and sometimes got inches from players’ uncovered faces to yell instructions during practice. Lower-level staffers and players, in a sport that still too often values shows of toughness and machismo, seemed to follow the head coach’s lead, Franklin says.
Stockstill claims he wore his mask “100 percent of the time.”


When Franklin told him how the team’s weight room had become a hive for irresponsible behavior, Massaro seemed surprised. The guidelines allow for a maximum of 10 people in the weight room, the AD said.
“When is the last time you walked in there and saw 10 people?” Franklin said.
“I kind of trusted that, so I don’t know,” Massaro said."

Though administrators intervened, Franklin says Stockstill and other staffers resumed their bad habits after a few days. Discouraged, he says, he spent $2,000 on masks and handed them out to players and their relatives. A player’s mother texted Franklin to tell him her son “is not the boy I know prior to COVID.” Another player reported that Stockstill and head athletic trainer Keith Bunch had ridiculed him for missing practices when he was feeling ill. The university declined to make Bunch available but acknowledged Stockstill had questioned whether the player was being truthful.
“Maybe to y’all eyes it’s bulls--- but it’s not,” the player told Franklin in a text.
The 25th Blue Raider tested positive, then the 30th and 40th. Three members of the coaching staff also tested positive, Massaro says, as did five members of the team’s strength and conditioning unit.

A few days after Middle Tennessee officials learned this article was in the works, they released the results of an internal investigation that found that “everything was not perfect but there was no evidence presented that supports the allegation that Coach Stockstill willfully disregarded” protocol. In a phone interview, team physician Utpal Patel said he was comfortable with the consistency of face coverings and social distancing during the season, though he added that he rarely entered the locker room or weight room.
In an interview The Post conducted independently, though, a Blue Raiders player shared Franklin’s view that, by and large, the coaching staff refused to take the virus seriously. He called this season one of the most anxious periods of his life."
 

MT01

All Conference
Aug 1, 2005
1,135
1,171
113
The most damning thing to me is this from TF's notes.

BUT THIS IS AN EASY JOB AND I JUST NEED A FEW MORE YEARS AT THIS INCOME.

This is pretty much the mind set of every single person at that University. This is why there needs to be a complete ****ing house cleaning. And why I'm done coming back until that happens. What a freaking joke we are.
 

FranklinRaider315

All American
Jun 24, 2009
3,392
1,447
113
Franklin, TN
The most damning thing to me is this from TF's notes.

BUT THIS IS AN EASY JOB AND I JUST NEED A FEW MORE YEARS AT THIS INCOME.

This is pretty much the mind set of every single person at that University. This is why there needs to be a complete ****ing house cleaning. And why I'm done coming back until that happens. What a freaking joke we are.
These guys have been on autopilot to retirement since 2015. All of them. Where are those BRZ guys when I need to air a little.... “I told you so!” 😂😂
 
  • Like
Reactions: MTTim and rcodeman

SpaceRaider

Moderator
Moderator
Jul 22, 2001
70,562
4,081
113
God's Country
I'm shocked that the massive number of covid related deaths on the football team hasn't gotten Stockstill fired...

I can't wait to read tony's upcoming autobiographical novel about his heroic struggle as the tragic protagonist/martyr fighting the fascistic powers in MT athletics. I'm sure he's out on the west coast hawking a screen play already.
 

MT01

All Conference
Aug 1, 2005
1,135
1,171
113
I can't wait to read tony's upcoming autobiographical novel about his heroic struggle as the tragic protagonist/martyr fighting the fascistic powers in MT athletics. I'm sure he's out on the west coast hawking a screen play already.

Take the politics out of it for just a moment and you know it's all true. We have seen/heard this about CRS with every offensive coordinator. Doesn't matter if we're talking about masks, the use of a tight end, or refusing to get out of the way playcalling. This is Stockstill's M.O. He feels no pressure to do anything he might be uncomfortable doing. He hides behind this persona that he's the most awe shucks down to earth good ole boy you could ever meet. But the truth is different. His fleecing of the university the most obvious example.

I believe Franklin here. I do not believe Stockstil. I certainly don't believe the University's internal investigation.

Stockstill should have been fired over this. Well, he should have been fired for performance, but he should have been fired for cause over how he handled this situation clearly putting people's health at risk.
 

MT01

All Conference
Aug 1, 2005
1,135
1,171
113
I loathe unverified sources, but I believe this also...

“It was stressful, and it was scary,” the player says. “Did I feel safe? Nope, I never felt safe. It was never a safe environment. . . . It went from ‘Let’s get them on the field the safest way’ to ‘Let’s get them on the field by any means necessary.’ ”

The university should "reopen" it's internal investigation. What a bunch of bullshit we get fed by our "leaders."
 

asuhatesme

Blue Raider Fan
Aug 5, 2005
371
17
18
Two things can be true here:
No. 1 - Tony Franklin is a self-important, past his prime coach that has sowed discord just about everywhere he’s ever been.
No. 2 - Stock is a stubborn never had a prime coach that took neither the virus or the protocols seriously.
He should absolutely terminated over this. Massaro too. As a parent, I would never even consider letting my kids play in an environment where these allegations are even insinuated.

This is going to blow up guys. It will. Wolken, Rexrode, Forde, will latch on to it and it will be the biggest black eye imaginable for athletic department and it may be the final nail in the coffin for anything remotely resembling a viable Division I athletic department.
 
  • Like
Reactions: FranklinRaider315

MTTim

True Blue
Nov 7, 2016
893
663
93
The Boro
I loathe unverified sources, but I believe this also...

“It was stressful, and it was scary,” the player says. “Did I feel safe? Nope, I never felt safe. It was never a safe environment. . . . It went from ‘Let’s get them on the field the safest way’ to ‘Let’s get them on the field by any means necessary.’ ”

The university should "reopen" it's internal investigation. What a bunch of bullshit we get fed by our "leaders."
It will never happen. They don't want to turn over the apple cart.
 
  • Like
Reactions: FranklinRaider315

FranklinRaider315

All American
Jun 24, 2009
3,392
1,447
113
Franklin, TN
Except for Rick Insell, the entire Athletic Department is a train wreck. Georgia State was spot on with their due diligence 4 years ago. And now we are stuck.
 

Sommy

True Blue
Aug 2, 2001
682
235
43
Where is aggressive woke-issm when you need it?

Absolutely shocked they wouldn't try to fire Stock WITH cause, which typically voids the buyout. Look what UTK just did to avoid the payout. We had a shot to let Stock go and get out of the worst sports contract ever - BUT NO !

I think they kept Stockstill, because Massaro would be to blame also because he didn't follow-up or even check-in to see how it was going. And if Massaro is to blame, McPhee would partially be to blame for not insisting on status updates. When means, sweep it under the rug at MT.
 

Sommy

True Blue
Aug 2, 2001
682
235
43
Best Quote from Franklin:

“BUT THIS IS AN EASY JOB AND I JUST NEED A FEW MORE YEARS AT THIS INCOME.”

For #1 - you really sucked at your job and your laziness and lack of creativity showed over the years.

For #2 - you were willing to take the money and keep doing the job as long as you personally benefited. So why now (after your checks stopped coming) are you going to media and taking a stand? Why not quit mid-season if it was so terrible? Oh - you needed more income.

He says he has about a years worth of expenses saved up. I would think a coach making hundreds of thousands for quite a few years would be able in a little better position. He is obviously playing the poor pitiful victim card it seems.

Kentucky - leaves with tons of drama and a lawsuit he dropped
Auburn - fired after just a few games and said he and Tubberville didn't get along.
Leaves Cal after having the #1 overall pick and goes to MT? Head scratcher for sure why he would do that, especially if he was so hard up for money.
MT - More drama and "maybe" a lawsuit.

Anybody notice a pattern with this guy? Lots of trouble wherever he goes.
 
Last edited:

C-Bow

Hall of Famer
Staff
Dec 5, 2005
8,989
1,271
113
35
www.GoMiddle.com
Man there’s a whole sea of negligence in this narrative he’s spinning. And if it’s true (I gotta say I’m inclined to believe him - maybe some of it is stretched but there’s truth in there) then heads need to roll. Again, if true, then Massaro failed miserably on follow up & accountability and if Stock was really running around mocking a coach and belittling ill players for not practicing than there’s nothing left to defend of him. They both need to step down. No way in hell I could get away with something like this in my job. Y’all couldn’t, either. Same accountability needs to be levied here.

Reopen the investigation.
 

MTOleBlue

All Conference
Gold Member
Sep 30, 2015
1,388
443
83
Hardly surprising to me. Maybe someday I'll watch this football team again...
 

RaiderDawg78

All American
Sep 7, 2005
3,906
1,304
113
“Don’t be insubordinate TF. Everything is fine” -Chris Massaro

giphy.gif
 

MT01

All Conference
Aug 1, 2005
1,135
1,171
113
Sorry, but this all seems to be more about Tony franklin than anything else. I'm not saying he is wrong in his reports, but the facebook post, this article with the fancy pictures, etc. just screams "Look at me!".

For sure. Obviously it is, but whatever his motives it doesn’t change the fact that it’s just another example of the wool that Stockstill has pulled over everyone’s eyes with respect to how he runs this program.
 

MT01

All Conference
Aug 1, 2005
1,135
1,171
113
Let’s not forget that Mike Williams story that was out there, too. Put it all together and the picture starts fading..

Throw the Dasher cover up in there for good measure. There’s a pattern that has emerged over the years with a bunch of stuff we probably don’t know.
 
  • Like
Reactions: C-Bow

MT Glenn

True Blue
Sep 19, 2005
616
740
93
Just because TF is an attention starved nutcase doesn't mean he isn't telling the truth here. Most of us watched the early games that were televised, so I'll ask this question: Did CRS really look like he had much experience wearing a mask/gaiter? Or did it look like he started wearing it when the cameras started rolling?
 

C-Bow

Hall of Famer
Staff
Dec 5, 2005
8,989
1,271
113
35
www.GoMiddle.com
Here’s the thing - they (Stock, Massaro and McPhee) knew this was coming. Hell, Stock’s even quoted in it. They released the findings of the internal investigation early for a reason. That’s a “nothing to see here, folks” if I’ve ever seen one.

It would take the national media really picking this up and running with it for anything else to happen, IMO.

But it could happen, and yeah it could be the out. Unfortunately it would include McPhee, which makes it pretty damn tough.
 

MTLynn

Hall of Famer
Jan 27, 2003
7,729
1,183
113
Obviously mcphee doesn't care about the coaches or their athletic programs as long as they maintain a strong APR.
 

crposton

True Blue
Mar 22, 2018
927
493
63
My guess is that there is probably some truth to this and some of it is overblown by TF. People that want Stock out (most here) want this to be true because we know it is our only chance of getting rid of him anytime soon. People who support Stock will not believe this. I also don't see the national media taking ahold of this being we are a smaller school and all the other stuff going on right now. If this were Sark saying this stuff about Saban and Alabama it would be a national story.
 

Sommy

True Blue
Aug 2, 2001
682
235
43
Alright - how do we blow this up. I really feel like the right "woke" folks or media get ahold of this and we will see cancel culture rolling in demanding changes. This time for the good.

Who's got Wiley's number? We need his help! Ha
 
  • Haha
Reactions: C-Bow

FranklinRaider315

All American
Jun 24, 2009
3,392
1,447
113
Franklin, TN
“Little Middle”, irrelevant or not, being called out in The Washington Post is not a good look. Whether it’s true, partly true or untrue, still not a good look for the Blue Raider Football Program. If it’s true then Stock and Massaro both look bad. If it’s not true, Stock and Massaro both look bad for hiring him back on a 5-year deal.

Train Wreck.
 
  • Like
Reactions: crposton

dukewayne

All American
Jul 11, 2008
2,230
850
113
Anything MT in the washpo is not good short of a sweet sixteen appearance, a national ranking in football, or a Nobel Prize.