Things were buzzing around Missouri quarterback James Franklin for a little while Tuesday afternoon at SEC media days after tweets were posted quoting Franklin apparently bashing his school's fans for nasty comments made about him last season.
Only that wasn't exactly what happened and fortunately for Franklin, he had the opportunity to explain himself and get the story straight before it completely blew up in his face.
During one of numerous television interviews players and coaches from each team are asked to do at media day, Franklin responded to a question about something his teammate L’Damian Washington had said in his interview. Washington said that some fans around the SEC, particularly those at South Carolina, had been rude last season, the Tigers' first in the conference.
Franklin said the worst thing he had heard all season from fans came at home.
“Well actually, probably the rudest fans that I experienced were Mizzou, my own fans,” Franklin said.
Franklin was heavily criticized in 2012 when he suffered an injury, lost his starting job and eventually regained it. The Tigers did not qualify for a bowl game for the first time since 2004.
But later Tuesday when asked about his answer in front of the print media, Franklin explained that he was referencing one particular comment from a Missouri fan in 2012 and wasn't talking about all Missouri fans.
“I’m definitely not going to say what he said, because it wasn’t the best thing to say,” Franklin said. “He said something pretty bad, and it was just the worst thing I heard last year.”
Franklin tied things together nicely later when he was asked about defending Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel leaving the Manning Passing Academy early over the weekend after missing or being late for some of his practice assignments because he wasn't feeling well.
There were rumors that Manziel wasn't feeling well because of late nights out on the town.
“You have to be careful what you hear in the media and what’s posted online,” Franklin said. “Just like the comment I made earlier, about what was the rudest comment I got. And now, all the Mizzou fans are going to think they’re the rudest fans ever. So you have to be careful about what you pay attention to online. Because once it comes out, whether it’s true or it’s not, people are going to see that. They are going to see that on their newsfeed, they’re going to see that on their Twitter, and so that’s going to become reality to them. Then their perception is ‘Oh, this happened, when maybe it didn’t happen.’”
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