FRANCHIONE SPEAKS OUT

Brent Zwerneman of the San Antonio Express-News opened up an enormous can of worms with the revelation of the "VIP Connection." After a day filled with stories on every major sports website, Franchione responds with a written statement.

STATEMENT FROM TEXAS A&M HEAD FOOTBALL COACH DENNIS FRANCHIONE REGARDING THE VIP EMAIL LIST:

"Ever since my days at TCU, I have had people operate the website CoachFran.com in an effort to keep fans informed about our football program. The weekly Fridays with Fran is done as a way of communicating with our fans.

When I came to Texas A&M, the annual Kickoff Camp raised money to donate to the Fightin' Texas Aggie Band, the university library as well as the Championship Vision of the 12th Man Foundation. Individuals donate $1,000 to participate in a weekend of football activities which include attending practice and position meetings. The VIP email list of 12-to-15 people came about as an extension of trying to keep some dedicated and loyal fans updated throughout the year on the football program. The funds raised by the email list go directly to the web development company operating the website CoachFran.com to offset the costs.

There was no intent to deceive anyone. I thought this was another avenue of trying to keep some of our top donors informed about our football program.

Those individuals will be refunded their money for this upcoming year."



STATEMENT FROM TEXAS A&M DIRECTOR OF ATHLETICS BILL BYRNE REGARDING THE VIP EMAIL LIST FROM COACHFRAN.COM

"I was first made aware of this VIP email list by a reporter two weeks ago. When I saw a copy of an email, I called Coach Fran and recommended this program be discontinued. I understand he stopped at that time.

Since then, I have learned the funding for the emails went to a company that hosts his website."




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