Mason Stirs Pot With Comments On Local Radio
Derek Mason is nothing if not honest, at least that's the book on him and what I have observed in my short time covering he and his program.
He will give you the occasional coach speak, and sometimes gets off track as he is one to go full-thought in his comments. It's never a one or two word answer with Mason regardless of the question and how he might couch his answer.
Mason appears one a week on multiple shows on both the biggest sports talk stations in Nashville, so hearing him as you are driving around town, morning noon or afternoon drive is not uncommon.
However, Mason was asked a very specific question by co-shost Mickey Ryan of "The 3HL Show" on 104.5 The Zone this past Thursday afternoon.
Ryan, who has a history in both college athletics administration and radio asked Mason if he, in his opinion has "all ther resources you need to be successful at Vanderbilt."
Mason did not pause or hesitate in responding.
"You know man, you know, right now we don't," stated Mason."We're in a pahse right now, ok, where Vannderbilt is poised to make a huge investment, not just in football but in athletics all the way around and I think like in football, like for us it needs to resourced a certain way, but here's the deal. There's a master plan in place know, ok, that's gonna move forward. I've just got to keep doing what I'm doing , you know, in terms of developing young men."
New athletic direcdtor Malcolm Turner has spoken publicly about the new "master plan" he and his staff are developing for Vanderbilt athletics to improve facilities, including a possible renovation of Vanderbilt Stadium, or possibly a entirely new stadium to replace it.
When Ryan asked the question I was driving down West End, near the Vanderbilt campus and my initialo response was that Mason wouls respond with coach speak, or try to answer the question without using yes or no directly.
Boy was I wrong on that.
Listen, Mason's answer is not earth shattering, but it is a football coach, whose future is in debate-at least for fans if not the administration- who is willing to go public and basically call out the university's athletic department for the issues he has had in trying to put a winning product on the field.
These issues are not new and Mason is not the first coach to have to battle the university for improvements. Former head coach, let me stop there and not name him, but he formerly coached at Vanderbilt and fought his way to get the university to build the new, state of the art indoor practive facility on campus for football, and other teams to use.
So Mason fighting for something would not be a first for a head football coach at Vanderbilt. In fact it's not even the first fight we've seen from Mason this season outside the lines of Vanderbilt Stadium.
Recall his comments to the television sideline reporter- Dawn Davenport, who also happens to be a co-host of 3HL- after the Missouri game where Mason made his case for keeping his job.
There's no dounbt Mason is a fighter, and loves his job, and there are also no doubts that Vanderbilt is woefully behind in facilities, especially for football in the SEC. The question is, do the powers that be like being called on it on local radio by their head footbsll coach.
Vanderbilt is different that other places, to say the least, so what, if any will be the fall out from Mason's comments this week?
Time will tell, but at least there is a "masterplan" in the works, but when will we start seeing the results.
NOTE: You can hear the full interview here, courtesy of Micky Ryan and The 3HL.