Franchione is under fire after the Friday revelation that he operated a secret website for three years. A certain segment of powerful Texas A&M officials "want him out" according to a source but there is no immediate move to fire the coach.
The examination of the contract seems to be an indication of Franchione's deteriorating relationship with his superiors. The website scandal combined with a blowout loss to Miami this season, a 29-24 record in 4½ seasons and a $2 million salary, has led to the dissatisfaction. The contract runs through 2013.
The money made from VIP Connection was accounted for and apparently did not violate IRS laws, a source said. Government officials were consulted on whether the website violated any privacy rights of players by releasing injury information. It was determined there are no apparent NCAA violations a day after interim president Ed Davis called for an investigation into that possibility.
Any violation of the terms of the contract could keep the school from paying Franchione's buyout (or reduce it), if the coach was fired.
Franchione said Tuesday he would not resign. He has the complete support of his players, who showed up and applauded unannounced at Franchione's weekly press conference on Tuesday.
Texas A&M AD Bill Byrne didn't seem to throw his full support Franchione's way in his own prepared statement.
"I want to reinforce to members of the media and to our outstanding Aggie fans, I will not discuss matters pertaining to head coaches during their seasons," Byrne wrote. "Everyone who knows me, and that includes our coaching staff, understands my goals and expectations.
"I look forward to working with Coach Fran as our head football coach as we get ready to (beat) Oklahoma State."