Did Kiffin Learn a Lesson?

It was nine months ago when Lane Kiffin was rubbing it in the noses of other schools about "stealing" their recruits. Kiffin stood in front of a Tennessee fan club and mocked other programs because of the plans he made with these kids to deceive and betray the other programs. While still waiting on adjudication, it appears two of these very recruits may have really embarrassed his own program.

I remember heading down to South Florida to do a video interview with Nu'Keese Richardson. The four hour one-way drive was on Super Bowl Sunday, but I felt it was an important story for the Gator fans that would want to see Richardson's response to his weekend trip to Tennessee, that came at the last minute.

Contrary to what some people believe, I wasn't hurt or distraught that Richardson lied on camera to everyone in the Gator Nation and potentially everyone in the world that might want to watch. He told me he was still committed to Florida after his visit to Tennessee and I just figured there was no way he would lie on camera....so I made the trip.

That was the Sunday, three days before signing day. After signing day, Lane Kiffin made it a point to talk about all the deception involved with Nu'Keese because of all the people that were trying to steer Richardson in what they thought was the right direction and to sign with the school he had been committed to for eight months or so.

Richardson didn't even fax the LOI in from his school. Kiffin went public in his distrust for everything in Pahokee at the time. He slandered the community and their way of life, and he also did everything he could to have Richardson not tell anyone of his plan to sign with Tennessee, so that he could be talked out of it.

Richardson lived the lie for a while and finally did fax to Tennessee.

In the meantime there was a different soap opera going on in Louisiana and Georgia at the same time...also involving Kiffin, his staff, and their recruiting tactics.

The Vols were in the process of trying to lure top talented safeties Janzen Jackson and Darren Myles. Myles was a Alabama-Tennessee battle, while Jackson was "fully" committed to LSU.

As it turns out, Jackson was involved in another plan of deception. Tennessee in an attempt to get both Jackson and Myles worked out an arrangement to have Jackson wait until after signing day to de-commit from LSU and change his allegiance and sign with Tennessee. On signing day, Myles signed with Tennessee and most people around him considered Jackson a lock for LSU.

Jackson waited until the next day to fax his LOI in to Knoxville, assuring that Myles was done already to the Vols.

The latest AP report out of Knoxville lists Jackson, Richardson, and freshman teammate Mike Edwards as being charged in an armed robbery attempt early Thursday morning.

"Richardson, 18, and Jackson, 18, along with defensive back Mike Edwards, 18, and companion Marie Montmarquet, 22, were charged after a report of an armed robbery at a gas station in an area known as 'The Strip' at the edge of Tennessee's campus.," the report says. "

"At this time we are currently evaluating the circumstances surrounding an incident involving Mike Edwards, Janzen Jackson and Nu'Keese Richardson," Tennessee athletic director Mike Hamilton said. "Any decisions or comments regarding their status will not be made until the evaluations are complete."

Understanding that charged does not mean that they are guilty, it certainly means there was enough evidence to retain them for the crime.

Jackson was recently suspended for a game for unknown reasons.

And all of this leads to this. If a prospect is willing to lie, deceive, and manipulate so many people leading up to their signing with your team, is that someone your really want on your team? One would think that Lane Kiffin and staff, as much fun they had devising and performing the schemes talked about before, and as much fun as they had rubbing it in the noses of the schools that he "stole" these recruits from, would think twice about the kids that are actually willing to go through with this nonsense.

Then again, we are talking about Lane Kiffin.


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