Jordan Rodgers calls out Vanderbilt's unwillingness to invest in football, says academics used as 'crutch' by school
When it comes to commenting on Vanderbilt athletics, few are as qualified to do so as Jordan Rodgers. The former Vanderbilt signal-caller played two seasons in Nashville before getting into the media, where he now works for the SEC Network covering the league.
Despite having some fond memories of his time in Nashville, while admitting the juggling of academics and athletics was certainly tough at Vanderbilt, Rodgers recently expressed his belief that the school uses its tough academics to hide the fact they don’t invest enough in the football program.
During a recent appearance on 102.5 FM ESPN Nashville radio station, Rodgers shared his thoughts on the subject.
“It’s not easy, you know? I remember my first full year starting, I was in 15 units, so I had an extra class that most everybody had,” Rodgers said during his appearance on the show. “I was going to class Wednesday nights during the season trying to balance watching film and just the academic load. It’s a lot. But then again, I honestly think that Vanderbilt uses the academics as a crutch at times. We can get in who we need to get in. There’s a process to show proof of how you’re gonna help someone through school. How you’re gonna place tutor programs around them, what programs you’re gonna put them in.
“I think oftentimes it’s a crutch for the ineptness and the inability, or the unwillingness, of the academia side to actually be okay investing into the football program to even start to invest like some other schools have done. I think in some ways, yes, it’s more difficult, but it’s not something like, ‘We can’t compete because of this.’ I think it’s used as a crutch.”
That’s an interesting take from Rodgers but one that could be accurate. Vanderbilt’s academics are among the best in the nation but no more difficult than the likes of Stanford or Northwestern, and while those teams may not compete for College Football Playoff berths, they consistently compete in their respective conferences. If Vanderbilt was willing to invest more into the school’s football program, there’s no doubt the Commodores could be just as attractive as any school for elite football prospects looking to get a world-class education.