Petition started at Vanderbilt to change painting of Derek Mason

By Jerry Hinnen | College Football Writer

Derek Mason (shown before the 2013 Rose Bowl) doesn't find his mural portrayal 'representative.' (USATSI)
Derek Mason (shown before the 2013 Rose Bowl) doesn't find his mural portrayal 'representative.' (USATSI)
On a building located just off Vanderbilt's campus, there's a mural that's displayed the school's current football, baseball and basketball coaches since 1991. And based on this story from the Tennesseean Monday, it seems like Nashville artist Michael Cooper was doing his best when he painted Derek Mason's face over the departed James Franklin's on the local landmark.

But Cooper's best hasn't been good enough for some Vanderbilt students or Commodore quarterback Josh Grady, who the Tennesseean reports have started an on-campus petition to have Mason's face redone. Via the paper's Twitter feed, here's how the mural appears:

For his part, Mason told the Tennesseean he wasn't about to impose on anyone's "freedoms," but that "I'm sure for anyone who knows me, has seen me or met me, they know that's not an accurate depiction of who I am and what I look like."

Mason's trying to be polite, but in a word: ouch.

Cooper declined to comment, and Vandy athletic director David Williams said there have been discussions between the school (which does not own the building) and the artist on a potential reworking of Mason's image.

As for how quickly that resolution should be reached ... well, we'll follow Mason's lead, politely point to the two images above (or this one, or this one) and ask readers to decide for themselves.

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