Misunderstood Kiffin: He’s even worse than we thought

Having watched, via streaming video, Lane Kiffin’s introductory briefing at Southern Cal — delayed 45 minutes by L.A. traffic; imagine that — I’ve reached the following conclusion:

The man is misunderstood.

I’d thought he was a bigger jerk than he is an idiot. Turns out he’s just as big an idiot as he is a jerk.

His explanation for the rage expressed in Knoxville over his exit from Tennessee was epic in its denial: “As I look at the reaction, I said, ‘You know what? They’re upset we’re leaving because of what we’re doing. If we weren’t doing something right, they wouldn’t be upset.’ ”

I have sympathy for the folks in Knoxville. I have only scorn for the powers-that-be at USC. A proud program has given Eddie Haskell the keys to the family Bentley. They know full well what Kiffin is — he worked there, as you know — and hired him anyway. It will be great fun watching him destroy Troy.

And he will. He can’t coach. I’m not sure what he can do, but coaching isn’t it. And he’s so disingenuous he can’t  separate reality from lunacy. He seemed to award himself victories over Florida and Alabama, when really all his team did was come close. (And against the Gators, not all that close — 10 points.)

Of his brief time at Tennessee, he said: “We had only one arrest incident. We improved by two wins. When I looked at the team [as he addressed the angered Vols upon his leaving], I knew it wasn’t even close to what it was 14 months ago.”

Let’s note that the arrest involved a handgun, a robbery outside a convenience store and Nu’Keese Richardson, the recruit over whom Kiffin accused Urban Meyer (wrongly) of cheating. Even the coach who knows no shame was moved to dismiss Richardson from the squad.

Let’s also note that the 2008 Vols were 5-7, but the 2007 Vols won the SEC East. It’s not as if the Big Orange had never won before Li’l Kiffy showed up and started committing his secondary NCAA violations. Speaking of which:

“It wasn’t a large amout of violations,” he said. “Not out of whack with the rest of the conference. [Georgia also had six in the past year, for what it's worth.] That said, we don’t want to have any. We want to have zero.”

This same Lane Kiffin stood before a Chick-fil-A Bowl luncheon crowd last month and winked at his bad-boy image. This same Lane Kiffin attributed his violations to the jealousy of rivals. This same Lame Kiffin stumbled badly when asked if henchman Ed Orgeron had indeed been calling Tennesee recruits to get them to switch to USC.

This same Lane Kiffin will have USC,  already on the NCAA’s watch list after Reggie Bush and O.J. Mayo and now Joe McKnight, on probation in two years. For this program to hire this scofflaw is to tell the IRS: “Hey, geeks — I dare you to audit my return.”

There are lots of odious folks in big-time sports, but Southern Cal just tethered the skunk of all skunks. I cannot imagine anyone entrustring a program to Lane Kiffin. And, once he wrecks Southern Cal, nobody else ever will.

317 comments Add your comment

ReidAdair

January 13th, 2010
9:48 pm

Was that not laughable? His answers were a joke. And his stumbling over the question about Ed Orgeron calling Tennessee signees enrolling for spring semester, telling them not to attend class so they could transfer?

USC has hired themselves a mess.

Madison

January 13th, 2010
9:54 pm

First class jerk! USC is getting what they deserve.

Garlique Stankonia

January 13th, 2010
9:55 pm

No time for tears. Let’s get a Tech nerd to clone the greatest Coach in the universe. We need to send/teleport a clone of the beloved, honorable Coach Johnson to the volunteers, in order to smite the evil doers up yonder way in athens and cover Bradley’s pimply ignorant arse….

willie martinez

January 13th, 2010
9:57 pm

Mark, georgia’s hanging tough. down by 5 late

Mark Bradley

January 13th, 2010
9:58 pm

Thanks for watching it for me, Willie M. I haven’t seen anything all night except the farce in California.

Rusty Shackleford

January 13th, 2010
9:59 pm

Wow. You can’t fix stupid.

willie martinez

January 13th, 2010
9:59 pm

for you to write this kiffin must be a prize AH

willie martinez

January 13th, 2010
10:00 pm

75-72 3.45 to go

willie martinez

January 13th, 2010
10:01 pm

willie martinez

January 13th, 2010
10:01 pm

2.35 to go 77-74 ole miss

jellybeandawg

January 13th, 2010
10:02 pm

Mark Kiffin may not be able to coach a lick but he has set himself up so he doesn’t have to. He has got two outstanding coordination to do the coaching for him so all he has to do is sit back, look cool, and do the press conferences.

willie martinez

January 13th, 2010
10:03 pm

Mark Bradley

January 13th, 2010
10:03 pm

Yeah, Jellybeandawg, but here’s one thing I’ve learned: If you have a bad guy at the top, it’ll show over time.

Cousin Vicker

January 13th, 2010
10:04 pm

Watching it with you Willie. Let’s go Dawgs!

willie martinez

January 13th, 2010
10:07 pm

willie martinez

January 13th, 2010
10:08 pm

78-76 ole miss 55 seconds

willie martinez

January 13th, 2010
10:09 pm

Mark: ala jim harrick

willie martinez

January 13th, 2010
10:10 pm

26 seconds 78-76

SOUTHGADAWG88

January 13th, 2010
10:12 pm

You would think a 34 year old whose has been HC at Oakland in the NFL and Tenn in college would be some kind of prodigy.I wonder what teams are seeing when they hire him?It’s got to be something

willie martinez

January 13th, 2010
10:13 pm

80-76 14 seconds

willie martinez

January 13th, 2010
10:13 pm

2Dawgs

January 13th, 2010
10:14 pm

Some experts predicted he would be gone from Tennessee within 2 years. He beat all the odds.

Hey Bratley

January 13th, 2010
10:14 pm

Thanks for the candor and honesty about Kiffen and the others like him. Too many times in the past it seemed like media folks wouldn’t mention bad things about the powers that be. My whole taste for college football, my favorite pastime, has been soured by the Kiffens, Sabans and Petrinos.

MDawg

January 13th, 2010
10:14 pm

I actually feel for Tennessee right now. I could care less about Kiffin. The guy basically walked away from the challenge of making the Vols a threat in the SEC again. I don’t usually root for other SEC teams in bowl games, but if any SEC team ever gets an opportunity to play Kiffin and those Trojans in the future, I hope they run up the score on him.

Tide Rising- LA media also caught him in a lie

January 13th, 2010
10:15 pm

It was priceless.

First, they drilled him as to why a recruit would trust anything he says.

Next, they asked him about the Coach O calling UT recruits and telling them not to enroll. His reply: “I’ve been traveling and know nothing about it”.

Later he says “I don’t believe it to be true”

The press jumped all over that one. One guy asked “you said you were traveling, then you said the report was not accurate. If you were traveling and didn’t know anything about it, how do you know it isn’t accurate?”

His reply “um, well, um, I said your statement wasn’t accurate.” Man they drilled him on this. It was so bad the USC SID had to say “okay, lets move on”. Kiff looked like my teen aged son when he lies, although not nearly as believeable.

So it appears that only people inside Herritage Hall approve of the hire, the rest of the free word think it’s a joke.

It was priceless.

Loran, Whatayagot?

January 13th, 2010
10:15 pm

I can’t say anything bad about Kiffin that hasn’t already been said. But I wonder how his parents, who have seen him up close for the past 14 months, like what they see. I suppose Monte wants to stay close to pick up the pieces when the time comes. Lame’s wife, who is a Florida Gator (that explains a lot) must see the pigeons coming home to roost. Mike Hamiltonm the AD at UT (for now) sure should have picked up on some of these character flaws by doing his homework. Many of us can say “I told you so” and it’s kinda gratifying to see Rocky Top Flop after their arrogance has been rekindled by Lame Kiffin. ‘Nuff said for now.

willie martinez

January 13th, 2010
10:15 pm

80-76 final ole miss

Colonel Reb

January 13th, 2010
10:16 pm

Whew! Good game. Mark Fox is a good coach. 80-76 REBELS!!! HOTTY TODDY!

Cousin Vicker

January 13th, 2010
10:17 pm

Another valiant effort by the B-ball dawgs, but bottom line 0-2 in SEC play. I wasn’t thinking Dance this year, but man it would be nice to go again.

D-day

January 13th, 2010
10:19 pm

SC is probably the best job in college football today (or at least it has been). With no NFL team in sight, SC is the glamour team in a glamour town. They get great athletes and a lot of attention from some very high profile “fans”. Tennessee is a great job for the right coach as well, given its history and fan support. I certainly understand why Kiffin left Tennessee for SC. What I can’t fathom is why SC chose Kiffin. He’s no Pete Carroll.

jeffrey d

January 13th, 2010
10:21 pm

Kiffin would have been much better off if he hadn’t said anything. Did he really think these comments would clear the air?

Barkleydawg

January 13th, 2010
10:23 pm

Hey Bradley,

What’s with the full on assault against Richt from you and Shultzy?

Mark Bradley

January 13th, 2010
10:25 pm

My younger daughter walked downstairs and gave me an update as well. She likes basketball.

Sounds like Georgia played another good team very well. And, Cousin Vicker, I’m not trying to ruffle any more UGA feathers — at least not today — but I’d be stunned if the Bulldogs finished above .500 in the league. They’re a few players short.

Mark Bradley

January 13th, 2010
10:26 pm

Jeffrey, it’s kind of tough not to say anything publicly when you take a new job. But Kiffin did make a mess of it.

FL Dawg

January 13th, 2010
10:29 pm

Just a thought on CO calling recruits and the NCAA, phone records should be pretty easy to come by. This shouldn’t be real hard. Heck a few good reporters could probably round up COs phone records pretty quickly. Also get the players phone records and search them for incoming calls from the same phone number.

jeffrey d

January 13th, 2010
10:31 pm

Mark – I understand that. But before those comments UT fans were mad at Lane. Now I think he’s reached legendary hate status.

I don’t understand how someone can make those comments and rationally think “well I did a good job of putting out the fire.” Unless of course he actually wants to piss people off.

FL Dawg

January 13th, 2010
10:31 pm

Mark Bradley, if you would like a scoop get Orgerons phone records before anyone else.

FL Dawg

January 13th, 2010
10:32 pm

Any new news on the UGA DC search?

athens

January 13th, 2010
10:33 pm

“And, once he wrecks Southern Cal, nobody else ever will.”
He’ll be schmoozing the beaches of the Carribean with millions in the bank and not think twice.

JasonUGA13

January 13th, 2010
10:35 pm

Mark, UGA played very well tonight and I think they will finish right under .500 in league play. Not to bad for a team who is predicted to not win a conference game this year.

Gen Neyland

January 13th, 2010
10:37 pm

Bad press conference for the Kif. I’ll tell ya’ll this : His team will love him, the USC fans will take to him but he must produce (It’s California for Pete’s sake. Produce. Get it). Moving on, I was happy yo see him getting grilled for the recruit phonings done by Orgeron. I mean, on Tennessee’s dime they flew around the country, recruiting for Tennessee. Spending UT’s dollars and now they have the gall to phone them up. I understand the recruits calling them with a desire to play for the Kiffins, but not with Orgeron using a dang UT cell phone to initiate…And another thing to the recruits : If you want to play for the ‘T’ on the helmet, come on. If you want to play for the ‘me’ in your heart, go west young man…

gerald perry's yoga routine

January 13th, 2010
10:38 pm

Where’s Sonny?

Namaste.

JasonUGA13

January 13th, 2010
10:38 pm

FL Dawg I think we’ll find out a day after Minnesota beats Dallas or Arizona beats NO. I personally think we’ll find out by Sunday night or Monday morning.

Mark Bradley

January 13th, 2010
10:40 pm

If it is Todd Grantham as UGA’s defensive coordinator, timing is indeed tricky. Do you announce it before the Cowboys play this weekend? What if they win again?

JasonUGA13

January 13th, 2010
10:42 pm

I think you have to go with either Grantham if Dallas loses and New Orleans wins. If New Orleans loses and Dallas wins I think you go for Travis Jones. It is tricky. Maybe they can announce that Grantham will be taking the UGA D-Cordinator position, but he needs to be on a plane Monday morning with Rodney Gardner recruiting.

Mark Bradley

January 13th, 2010
10:46 pm

There’s no way Grantham could do any recruiting if Dallas keeps winning.

il5

January 13th, 2010
10:46 pm

Bradley-

I say get the guy a.s.a.p. if it’s the guy Richt really wants, don’t delay. Get him under contract nefore somebody else does, then let him announce it at least to help recruiting, then who cares.

I’d feel good about Todd Grantham, Travis Jones, Sal Sunseri, or Kevin Steele.

LurkingVariable

January 13th, 2010
10:47 pm

Hey Mark, did you steal the Bentley simile from this Chicago Tribune article?

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/college/chi-100113-four-corners,0,7550654.column

il5

January 13th, 2010
10:48 pm

I agree, don’t see a Grantham or Jones recruiting if their team’s on a Super Bowl run. But we could go ahead and announce the hiring.

La Jolla Dawg

January 13th, 2010
10:49 pm

Kiffin is clearly not very bright. I kept waiting for Monte to step in and answering a few of the questions. The LA based Espn radio station (home to Trojan radio) seems to think it is a great hire! They played a clip of someone (Bruce Feldman maybe?) saying that USC is pretty sure that the NCAA is not going to bring the hammer down and everything will be great!

With regard to Grantham, I still don’t understand why an announcement can’t be made even if he is still coaching?