American Football Database
Ron Franklin
Born (1942-02-02) February 2, 1942 (age 80)
Jackson, Mississippi
EducationUniversity of Mississippi
Notable credit(s)Jake Wade Memorial Award
TitlePlay-by-Play Commentator / Co-Host Outdoors Events

Ron Franklin (born February 2, 1942 in Jackson, Mississippi) is an American sportscaster, most notably with ESPN, where he was employed from 1987-2011. He was fired by ESPN on January 4, 2011 after allegedly making sexist comments to and then berating a colleague.[1]

Early life and career

Franklin grew up in Hazelhurst, Mississippi. His mother allowed him to play sports in school as long as he also agreed to take voice lessons. His family moved to Oxford, Mississippi when he was 14. He suffered a head injury in high school that resulted in the formation of a blood clot that ended his football career made him ineligible for the military. Around the same time he found work as a teen disc jockey, which got him interested in combining his interests in broadcasting and sports.[2]

While a student at the University of Mississippi, Franklin worked the wake-up shift at a radio station, attended classes during the day, and then returned to the station in the evening to work on commercials. For further vocal training, he performed in college theater.[2] He was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.

Prior to ESPN, he was basketball and football play-by-play commentator for the University of Texas from 1983 to 1988. He was the play-by-play voice of the Houston Oilers from 1977 to 1982. He also worked as sports director for four different local news stations: KSWS in Roswell, New Mexico in 1965, KVOO in Tulsa, Oklahoma from 1967 to 1971, KHOU-TV and KPRC-TV, both in Houston, Texas from 1971 to 1980 and 1980 to 1987 respectively.


While at ESPN, he primarily worked as a play-by-play commentator for ESPN's coverage of college basketball and college football. From 1987 to 2005, he anchored ESPN College Football Primetime primarily with Mike Gottfried. In 2006, he moved to ESPN2 College Football Primetime with Ed Cunningham. In 2007, that crew moved to ESPN on ABC to call mainly Big 12 games. In college basketball, he is the primary ESPN play-by-play man with Fran Fraschilla for Big 12 games. The duo also calls the NIT Championship. He has also called the tennis French Open, college baseball and the U.S. Olympic Festival.

He signed a contract extension with ESPN in 2006.

Holly Rowe incident

On October 1, 2005, according to the Chicago Tribune, during a game between Notre Dame and Purdue that Franklin was calling, sideline reporter Holly Rowe praised Purdue defensive coordinator Brock Spack for using all three timeouts on defense despite trailing by four touchdowns late in the game. "If the coaches are giving up," Rowe added, "what does that say to the players?" Franklin responded: "Holly, it's not giving up. It's 49–21, sweetheart."

In response to that, Mo Davenport, senior coordinating producer for college football said, "It was an inappropriate comment, and we've communicated that to Ron. There's never a reason to say something so mean-spirited. Ron apologized. We dealt with it internally."

Ever since Franklin was dropped from the Saturday primetime games on ESPN in 2005, some fans and bloggers, including Richard Deitsch of, have expressed their displeasure with the demotion.[3]

Jeannine Edwards incident

During a production meeting prior to ESPN's telecast of the Chick-fil-A Bowl on December 31, 2010, Franklin addressed sideline reporter Jeannine Edwards in a condescending tone as "sweet baby"; when she objected, Franklin called her an "asshole". The incident was reported to ESPN by another colleague, and ESPN tried to pull Franklin from the Chick Fil-A coverage that night but was unable; instead, Franklin was removed from ESPN Radio's coverage of the 2011 Fiesta Bowl the following day.[4] [5]

Franklin apologized for his remarks the following Monday and said he deserved to be pulled from the Fiesta Bowl. However, ESPN fired Franklin the following day; in a statement, ESPN noted, "Based on what occurred last Friday, we have ended our relationship with him."[1]

Personal life

Franklin is married with one child. He lives in Austin, Texas.



External links