Franklin ‘High Road’ Is Considerably Less Traveled

On Jan. 6, two days after he was fired by ESPN for making obscene, degrading remarks to ESPN colleague Jeannine Edwards - and then failing to apologize for his admitted indiscretion by ESPN request - Ron Franklin wrote in an email to Richard Sandomir of the NEW YORK TIMES, “I just want this thing to end so we can have our lives back.

Ron Franklin's High Road

(Franklin Austin lawsuit same day as ESPN-TX announcement: Coincidence?)

Franklin’s Jan. 6 lament to the newspaper followed a public apology on Jan. 3 - made through ESPN - in which he admitted, “I said some things I shouldn’t have, and I’m sorry. I deserved to be taken off the Fiesta Bowl.” (Franklin never personally apologized to Edwards, which contributed to his firing.)

Yesterday on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin, ESPN and Texas school officials announced a groundbreaking partnership that creates a sports network expressly designed to carry Univ. of Texas sports programming.

On the same day, less than a mile away at the Travis County Courthouse, the attorney for Austin resident and former Texas football and basketball announcer Ron Franklin filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against ESPN on the announcer’s behalf.

Franklin’s lawsuit filing subsequently caused at least one outlet, the New York Times, to juxtapose ESPN’s big announcement about the Texas Network right next to the news of Franklin suing the very same sports network.

Ron Franklin story next to ESPN Texas story in NY Times

(NYT: ESPN-Texas announcement next to Franklin-ESPN lawsuit)

It’s common knowledge at ESPN that Franklin had viewed the ESPN-Texas television endeavor as a possible part of his own, personal active retirement. But thanks to his ouster at the network, not even Franklin’s staunchest allies at the Univ. of Texas were willing to jeopardize the $300 million dollar deal by demanding that the former venerable voice of the Longhorns be included on ESPN Texas Network sports broadcasts.

But why would someone who still makes his home in Austin and was the former sports voice of the Univ. of Texas file a lawsuit against ESPN at a courthouse less than a mile away from campus on the exact day the school proudly announced a landmark broadcasting agreement with the same company?

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