Kiffin Caper Is What's Wrong In College Game

Spring semester classes at the University of Tennessee began Wednesday morning (Jan 13). That fact, in and of itself, is not particularly meaningful, right?

Tell that to the nine Volunteer football recruits who were all geared up to begin their college experience in Knoxville the day before classes began only to find that their coach and at least two of his top assistants were walking out on them to follow Horace Greeley's advice and go west.

If any/all of those nine incoming players attend a single class, they will face the unconscionable restrictions that the NCAA places on student-athletes wanting to change schools. No, those draconian measures do not appeal to the weasels that lured them to Knoxville only to abandon them before their first day of classes. The NCAA happily turns a blind eye to coaches jumping from school to school the way a hooker goes from semi-to-semi at your typical truck stop.

On top of that, just to show the ethically bereft California dreamers have no shame whatsoever there are reports that they told the nine kids in Knoxville not to attend class so they'd have the freedom to follow them to Los Angeles. Tennessee spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on recruiting this year and the lawless firm of Kiffin, Kiffin and Orgeron was more than willing to try to turn each of those kids into USC Trojans with a single phone call.

Keep in mind all this turmoil is being caused by 34-year-old Lane Kiffin who was an absolute disaster (5-15) in a putrid year plus as the head of the Oakland Raiders. Kiffin was stunningly unqualified for that post and you would think winning just 25 percent of his games would put him way down the list of candidates for any decent opening.

Yet, the Vols turned their program over to Kiffin and he promptly rewarded them with a half dozen NCAA violations, multiple verbal gaffes and a sterling 7-6 record. And now he walks out on the school and the players he recruited, tries to steal the student-athletes from his previous employer and heads to California where somehow that track record earned him the opportunity to run one of the nation's premier programs.

Perhaps the only one who looks as bad as the Kiffin clan is Tennessee Athletic Director Mike Hamilton who hired Kiffin in the first place, stood by him after repeated embarrassments and got rewarded with a pie in the face. Hamilton now has to perform damage control at home while trying to convince someone to come in and clean up the mess that college football's debutante left behind. But where can Hamilton find someone to live up to Lane Kiffin's legacy?

I hear Bernie Madoff has some time on his hands.


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