Honesty the best policy?

Some Tennessee football fans are worried that new head coach Lane Kiffin, 33, is too young. A few are worried that he's too honest.

Kiffin inherited two quarterback prospects – Tajh Boyd of Hampton, Va., and Bryce Petty of Midlothian, Texas – who committed to the coaching regime of former UT head man Phillip Fulmer.

After reviewing film of Boyd, Kiffin decided he wasn't a good fit for the offense the new head man is installing. Upon learning this, Boyd decommitted.

Kiffin then reviewed film of Petty and decided that his future at Tennessee did not look promising, either. Upon hearing this, Petty decommitted, leaving the Big Orange with no quarterbacks in their 2009 signing class.

Since the only QB in its 2008 signing class, Casey Kelly, opted for pro baseball, Tennessee could be facing a two-year quarterback drought. Naturally, this has caused much wailing and gnashing of teeth in the Vol Nation.

Kiffin could've hedged his bets by stringing Boyd and Petty along until he got a firm commitment from another QB. Instead, he took an approach that was not only honest but refreshingly candid. I found that interesting but not surprising, in view of the comments Kiffin made during his introductory news conference.

One of the new head man's remarks addressed the concern that he might view Tennessee as a springboard to get back into pro football. Kiffin made quite clear that he is not interested in returning to the NFL. Noting that he already has moved 17 times, he added that he hopes to put down roots in Knoxville and keep his family stationary for a long time.

Kiffin's most candid comment of all concerned Tennessee's facilities. Most coaches are constantly angling for upgrades to their practice facility, their office space, their locker rooms and their stadium. Not Kiffin. He thinks UT's facilities are amazing already.

"They're unbelievable right now," he said. "I'm probably not supposed to say this (given the school's plans to make further upgrades) but I've never seen anything like this. At USC we didn't have anything.

"We don't need another building. We don't need another weight. We don't need anything. We've got enough here to win."

An honest football coach ... what a radical concept.


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