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The Saga of Dennis Franchione

In case you haven't been following, the saga of Dennis Franchione is growing deeper.

As you probably know, he recently got himself in hot water once his "VIP Connection" newsletter was revealed. Essentially big-dollar Aggie boosters paid Fran and co. $1,200 per year for a subscription to the newsletter, which involved in-depth injury reports (that were borderline violations of patient privacy acts), blunt revelations of player abilities, and discussions of unsigned recruits.

Sufficed to say, that's a big no-no. More than just being "frowned upon," as Ross Geller would say, it actually violates NCAA rules and regulations.

Things came to a head this morning when Texas A&M athletics director Bill Byrne admonished Franchione, made him shut down (which is no longer a working web site, check for yourself), and fired Fran's "personal assistant" writer Mike McKenzie, the author of the newsletter. Moreover, Texas A&M will also report possible violations stemming from the newsletter to the NCAA.

For the record, the violations are minor and secondary, and will not be anything that will get the Aggie program in trouble, but it could very well be enough to constitute breach of contract on Fran's part, thus letting Texas A&M fire him at the end of the season without paying him the remainder of his contract. My legal mind tells me that is exactly what the Aggies are looking at doing.

At this point, Fran is gone, and all that is left is for him to be officially terminated. The reason I bring this all up is that I plan on writing a very in-depth article on the Dennis Franchione era at Alabama, and why he failed at Texas A&M when everyone -- Alabama fans included -- expected him to be a major success. Todd and I have decided, however, that it's best to wait until he has officially been fired before I go forward with those articles.

Just so you know, those articles are now one step closer.