February 05, 2009

Lane Kiffin: Settle Down

Maybe Al Davis was right on this guy after all. Here we go:

Kiffin just threw Urban Meyer under the bus for a "recruiting violation" at this booster's event. This from Lane Kiffin, who seems to be walking every fine line there is known to man so far in his first month on the job at Tennessee as far as the NCAA rules go.

As it turns out, it's not even a violation!! And as expected, the Gator Nation is NOT PLEASED.

From the GatorSports website in response:

Lane Kiffin apparently owes Urban Meyer an apology. And the new Tennessee coach needs to read the NCAA rule book.

Kiffin's accusation is false, because there is no NCAA rule that prohibits a coach from calling a prospect while he's visiting another school during a contact period. This past weekend was a contact period.

"There is no rule that would prohibit Coach Meyer from calling a prospect at Tennessee on a Friday or Saturday during an official visit during a contact period," said Jamie McCloskey, UF's NCAA compliance director. "There's never been a rule. I've been doing this for a long time. Not only has there never been a rule, there's never been a discussion about having a rule.

"Unfortunately, you have someone accusing our coach of doing something improper, which is grossly unfair to him, to the program and the institution. Urban prides himself in doing things the right way. It's unfair. If a coach has a conflict with another coach in this league, this is not the way you handle it. It's not doing it out in the media, especially when we've done nothing wrong."

UF released the following statement from athletic director Jeremy Foley: "There was no rule violation and we have confirmed this with the Southeastern Conference. It is obvious that Coach Kiffin doesn’t know that there is not a rule precluding phone contact with a prospect during an official visit on another campus during a contact period. His allegations are inappropriate, out of line and, most importantly, totally false. It is completely unfair to Urban Meyer, our coaching staff, our football program and our institution. The appropriate action at this time in my opinion is for Coach Kiffin to make a public apology.

Hahaha. Are you kidding me??! Yo Lane, did you really think the Gators weren't going to call you out on this completely fabricated story??

And now Lane had to make a public apology in his first month on the job! Unreal!

"If I offended anyone at the University of Florida, including Mr. Foley and Urban Meyer, I sincerely apologize. That was not my intention."

You think Urban Meyer might use that one against you next year on the recruiting trail?? You just stamped yourself as a complete liar.

And then there's this one from Kiffin about Nick Saban:

Kiffin also took aim at Alabama coach Nick Saban and suggested that Saban should "thank" new Tennessee assistant Lance Thompson for the Crimson Tide's No. 2-ranked class. Thompson was one of Saban's best recruiters at Alabama before leaving to join the Tennessee staff in January.

Thompson even got into the act and assured the crowd that Saban wasn't going to get another one of his players.

Maybe I'll be wrong about this guy, but I don't think I've ever seen a coach more in over his head than Lane Kiffin. Welcome to big boy football. This isn't the Pac 10 where you can say garbage like that in front of your ten person booster clubs and no one cares about it. This is the SEC where every move you make is scrutinized by the entire Southeastern population of the United States for 365 days a year. In other words, if you say something stupid, you will have every "red state" college football fan looking through NCAA bylines for the next ten hours of their day at work. I bet there were no fewer than 1,500 emails to the Florida athletic department with fully-researched memoranda and citations on whether or not a phone call to a recruit on an official visit is an NCAA violation.

Here's a list of all the games Lane Kiffin has won in the SEC so far in his career:

NONE!! And yet he's stomping around and calling out a two-time National Champion (Urban Meyer) and another guy who is universally regarded as one of the top 5 coaches in all of college football (Nick Saban). We might have to rename the Ed Oregeron Memorial "First time coaches who get in way over their head in the SEC" Award after Kiffin someday. The more I see out of this guy, the more I think that this Kiffin experiment in Tennessee is going to end in spectacularly bad fashion. My god, he is making Charlie Weis look modest and humble in comparison. Would it kill this guy to have a little humility and show some results on the field before talking about how Alabama is never going to beat him in a head to head recruiting battle again??

Every team in the SEC is going to be gunning for them next year. He went from a nice little story who was pumping some life into the Tennessee program to a marked man. This just in. Tennessee goes to Gainesville AND Tuscaloosa next year. That game in Gainesville is going to be UGLY. Is there any doubt that Urban Meyer is going to be licking his chops to put an epic beatdown on the Volts next year, especially with the team he has coming back?? A 50-0 beatdown is going to quiet Lane Kiffin in a hurry.

Lane is pulling a Champ Kind here. Why don't you stop talking for awhile. Maybe it might be better to settle down and start figuring out a way to come within four touchdowns of Florida on the field next year instead of making up fake recruiting violations about Urban Meyer.

I'll be the first to say that Kiffin has put a shot of life into that Tennessee program and you can't argue with his staff picks. He obviously has an incredible amount of bravado and swagger about himself. For all I know, he is going to win multiple SEC championships down in Knoxville. But when you start out your career by talking this much trash, you better back it up on the field. His mouth has been writing an awful lot of checks that his mouth might not be able to cash. I'd be willing to put it at even money right now that he leaves Tennessee someday with the school mired in multiple recruiting violations and facing the death penalty.

And by the way, this isn't a shot at the Vols in general. I love the Vols. I wish ND played them in football every year. I want them to do well as a program. But I'm not a fan of Kiffin's antics so far.

God bless the SEC!! The soap opera of SEC football goes for 365 days a year. It never ceases to amaze me. Why I don't live in Dixie I will never understand.


mwwilliams said...

LOL, who is everyone talking about today? UT? Perfect! We need to be in the spotlight, won't hurt us, only help in the long run. It was a poor attempt at a joke.

Doug said...

This is true. If Kiffin wanted to get some buzz and publicity around his program, he has certainly done it. UT has been THE story in college football for the last month or so, and he is probably hoping that all this energy leads to results in recruiting this offseason. It may prove to be worth it for Kiffin and the Tennessee program. Kiffin obviously subscribes to the "
there is no such thing as bad publicity" theory. At least people are talking about the Vols these days, which is more than anyone can say about that program in a long time.

But I'll honest in saying that I'm not a fan of the "speak before you've done anything" coaches. I certainly don't remember Nick Saban popping off all the time when he took over at Alabama. Same for Urban down at Florida. Kiffin has done NOTHING in college football or the SEC. They certainly aren't going to be sneaking up on anyone next year, and I would imagine that Urban will be more than willing to leave Tebow in for the fourth quarter to pile some more points on the scoreboard.

Go Vols. You guys have the best fanbase in the nation (ok, maybe tied with Nebraska fans) from my experiences with the Orange Nation. Rocky Top is a staple in the South Bend bars. I hope Kiffin works out down there for you guys.

Anonymous said...

God bless Knoxville, God bless Orange Nation, and God bless Rocky Top. Echo Doug's statements that smoky mountain folk songs have a special place in the hearts of those on this blog. However, also echo Doug's statements that Lane probably needs to shut his mouth. We speak from experience with Weis. 2 years from now, if Kiffin is struggling, even a little, people will absolutely hate that guy because he'll be perceived as cocky, arrogant, smug, etc., all based on things he might have said in his first few months on the job. As fans, you're going to get real tired of trying to defend the guy, even he's spent the rest of his time at the university being as diplomatic as Jimmy Carter.