Jordan Rodgers (USA Today Sports)
It has been a rough for Vanderbilt football since head coach James Franklin left Nashville to take the Penn State job. Much of the coaching staff went to Happy Valley with Franklin and many of the team’s verbal commitments have looked elsewhere. Now, on Tuesday, a former letterman took to Twitter to voice some of his discontent with the program.
Jordan Rodgers, who just finished his rookie NFL season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, returned to Nashville and was hoping to use Vanderbilt’s facilities to work out with current and former Vanderbilt players leading up to Vanderbilt’s Pro Day. Rodgers was asked to pay for a membership to access certain facilities, and Rodgers was not too happy about it.
Rodgers later deleted the rant, but Lost Letterman has the screenshots of what Rodgers said.
“It’s a shame but Vanderbilt will continue to be a stepping stone for coaches, a second rate program in the SEC and stuck in mediocrity because of how the institution views athletics and treats their current and former players,” Rodgers wrote.
“As a leader and starting quarterback during the emergence and transformation of Vanderbilt into a contending and respectable program in the SEC, I am ashamed at the treatment of some former players. As I return to Nashville after my rookie year in the NFL, I was excited to train at Vanderbilt with current players as well as pro day and combine prep players.
“However, it has been a constant problem gaining access to the new “football” indoor facility during times it is “open use.” I was turned away from the indoor facility all together several times (even though the field was empty). After inquiring about the use of the facility by active NFL alums and pro day players not currently enrolled, I was told I can’t use it unless I purchase a membership to the rec center!
“Vanderbilt and David Williams have “changed the culture.” NO. The players (recruited by Bobby Johnson) and coach Franklin changed the culture at Vanderbilt. WE built that indoor by winning like no other team in the history of VU. Now I have to pay to use it?! WE built this program, not some chancellor.
“This is an embarrassment and only a reflection of the future of this program if it continues to put and the success and treatment of its players as an afterthought. I will choose to train somewhere else if VU has this little respect for its alumni who sacrificed so much for this program. This is an embarrassment and shame. I love this school and program but it obviously is done with my services.”
Rodgers went on to clarify that he would pay to use the weight room and other facilities, but was upset that he and other former players were expected to pay for “30 minutes per day on the football field.”
After deleting the tweets, Rodgers backtracked a bit but said that he will continue to look for a resolution. It’s hard to blame him for his sentiment when considering the success he and his teammates brought to the school. It certainly would not be a big deal to let them use the facilities, but at the same time, the guy is making an NFL salary. Surely it wouldn’t put too much of a hit on his bank account to pay for a membership.
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