Lane Kiffin Needs To Put A Sock In It

Another day, another embarrassing incident for new Tennessee head coach Lane Kiffin.  This time, the former Raiders head man has been accused of making disparaging comments towards recruits who choose South Carolina as their home.  According to highly-touted recruit and South Carolina native Alshon Jeffrey — a Kiffin target who ended up signing with the Gamecocks instead — Kiffin reportedly said that, if he signed with South Carolina over Tennessee, Jeffrey would end up “pumping gas for the rest of his life like all the other players in the state of South Carolina.”

Kiffin claims to have been unimpressed with this guys time in the 40

Reportedly, Kiffin didn't like this guy's time in the 40

Jeffrey’s account was backed up by his high school coach, Walter Wilson — who I would assume, would have no reason to lie in this situation.  Kiffin, of course, denies ever making the statement — but judging by the circus act that’s surrounded his already brief tenure as a Volunteer, I’m going to go with the word of two men against that of one whose ongoing practice of a policy of  “talk first, think later” doesn’t fill me with a whole lot of confidence in his version of events.

(Note to Kiffin: The gas station attendant is pretty much a dinosaur in the modern age, “dinosaur” being something I’d guess you’d be familiar with having worked for Al Davis already.  Just to let you know, there’s this whole “self-service at the pump thing” that’s been catching on around the country — so the idea that anyone anywhere is looking at a future “pumping gas” is absurd and a pretty ignorant statement in itself.  But you haven’t had too much trouble with making ignorant statement your calling card so far, have you Lane?)

If this accusation is true, one can only wonder if Kiffin is actually afflicted with some bizarre form of Tourette’s Syndrome, one that involves him engaging in all kinds of inappropriate commentary while at least sparing us the barrages of accompanying profanity.  How else could you explain the foot-in-the-mouth disorder he’s suffered from ever since his gaining the Tennessee job?  Whether it’s this incident, or the inaccurate accusations of cheating he levied at Florida’s coach Urban Meyer, or the verbal sparring he engaged in with Steve Spurrier, Kiffin has acted immaturely since his arrival in Knoxville, and he’s been a poor substitute in the professional decorum department for his predecessor, the always classy Phillip Fulmer.

It’s pretty well-known that the Tennessee faithful bloodied their hands in helping push Fulmer out the door, despite the coach’s outstanding record in twenty years as the Volunteer head man.  I wonder if those same boosters have started to second-guess themselves and realize that making a change just for the sake of change isn’t always a move that’s for the better.  If they haven’t come to that realization yet, I wonder how many more embarrassing actions by Kiffin will it take?  Considering that Kiffin has only five more victories as a head coach than I do — and none of those at the collegiate level — how long until the people wielding power over Tennessee athletics start asking themselves,  How many years did we sign this guy for again — and what’s the buyout going to be?

Tennessee may begin to immediately regret their decision.

Tennessee may begin to immediately regret their decision.

The real comeuppance for Kiffin will come once the season begins, however.  Tennessee won’t be one of the favorites in the SEC, and I’d guess that there will be a lot of coaches in the conference who’ll be looking forward to making an example out of the brash young upstart (and for an early example, you’ll need to go no further than circling September 19, when Tennessee travels to Florida).  A few lopsided losses by the Volunteers, and I’ll bet that Kiffin’s act will already be wearing thin in Knoxville.

The scariest thing for me to admit after watching all of this is — gulp — it’s starting to look like Al Davis might have been right all along about his former employee.  And when Davis looks like the sane, rational, voice of reason aside of you — that can’t be a good thing.  Not at all.  But that’s not the Raiders’ problem anymore, it’s Tennessee’s — for at least the next six years … or maybe less.

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3 Responses to “Lane Kiffin Needs To Put A Sock In It”

  1. sprentiss47 Says:

    The gas station attendant is alive and well here in NJ. Self serve is against the law in the Garden State. I can’t remember the last time I pumped gas.

  2. thelasthonestman Says:

    Cue my best Johnny Carson voice: “I did not know that.”

    Maybe Kiffin can use that approach then if he’s competing against the Rutgers for recruits. Or maybe his insinuation is that anyone who attends South Carolina will ultimately end up living in New Jersey.

  3. […] in hot water at his new home — whether it was engaging in a verbal feud with Urban Meyer or belittling the choices of college recruits who decided to go somewhere other than Tennessee, Kiffin was quickly stirring up controversies — even if he wasn’t delivering a whole […]

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