Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Final Days of Dennis Franchione

Texas A&M's Dennis Franchione is so radioactive at the moment, even his friend and boss, athletic director Bill Byrne, is doing all he can to distance himself from the football coach.

Byrne, right, issued a statement Friday clarifying that he was unaware of Franchione's email newsletter sent to select boosters who paid $1,200 for inside information, including injury reports of Aggie players.

Byrne, described as proud and brash, is also said to be "a big ol' teddy bear when it comes to Franchione," writes Brent Zwerneman of the San Antonio Express-News.

Fans are getting more upset by the day in College Station, and Franchione's comment that the "exhibition season" was over after a 34-17 loss at Miami only fueled the anti-Franchione sentiment.

The growing distaste for Franchione ultimately led to one of the dozen or so subscribers to Franchione's VIP Connection newsletter to turn the evidence over to the Express-News.

"Maybe the fan pushed 'send' about the time Miami was leading 31-0," writes Wendell Barnhouse of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Barnhouse also raises another point, writing that Franchione guards injury reports "like they were nuclear launch codes. ... But at Texas A&M, for $1,200 a year, you could find out how many stitches it took to close a gash on the starting quarterback's hand.

"If you're so inclined, you can take a look at the betting line and make a wager based on information gleaned from your VIP status. Maybe even recoup some of the $1,200 subscription fee."

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