Thursday, October 11, 2007

Texas A&M Orders Fran to Shut Down Site

Coach Fran is no more. The website that is. The fate of Texas A&M's Dennis Franchione will be decided later, but he's all but gone.

The school announced a series of findings from its investigation of Franchione's VIP Connections newsletter. The coach's personal assistant, former newspaperman Mike McKenzie, an athletic department employee who wrote the newsletter on Franchione’s behalf, has been fired.

The school said that Franchione had committed secondary NCAA violations by not reporting outside sports-related income and for discussing recruits in the newsletter. These findings will become part of his personal review. In other words, they are setting up the framework to dismiss Franchione and free the university from a costly buyout.

The school also released some of the names of the subscribers to VIP Connections, and Fanblogs has already posted those names, of which there are 23. Four people reportedly have declined to have their names released but already this number is significantly higher than the 12-15 that Franchione said were receiving the newsletter.

Franchione's wife and two daughters are on the list, and they received the newsletter for free. The others paid $1,200 a year, which Franchione said was used to help fund his website.

Bryan-College Station's KBTV also has a detailed breakdown of expenses involved in running Coach, including income from VIP Connections ($26,000) and advertising ($52,483).

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