Gators-Kiffin feud lingers at Pahokee

By DARRYL MAXIE / dmaxie@ajc.com

Not everything is okey-dokey at Pahokee. Especially if you’re representing new Tennessee football coach Lane Kiffin.

An assistant coach from Tennessee, who was visiting the high school in the Florida town on the edge of Lake Okeechobee, found the welcome mat officially rolled up.  Eddie Gran was shown the door after Pahokee High principal Ariel Alejo asked him to leave.

It’s just the latest chapter in the bizarre tale surrounding Pahokee receiver Nu’Keese Richardson, who signed with the Volunteers in February despite having been committed to Florida for months.

“I love the fact that Urban [Meyer, the Florida coach] had to cheat and still didn’t get him,” was part of Kiffin’s well-chronicled, incendiary remarks, which he intended for Vols fans only. Though Kiffin said he did not intend for them to become public — an iffy proposition for somebody in such a high-profile position, and particularly in the age of the Internet — he drew a reprimand from the SEC and outrage from Florida.

Then, there was the wacky bit where Kiffin pretended to be Richardson, using Richardson’s phone to exchange text messages with Pahokee coach Blaze Thompson while the recruit was at a Tennessee basketball game. That’s the preamble to what happened with Gran.

Though Kiffin has apologized publicly for what he said three months ago, Alejo still is “waiting for something to happen” according to what Thompson told govolsxtra.com — a reference, no doubt, to a profuse apology.

Kiffin, opting against fanning the flames any higher, declined comment Tuesday. Alejo wasn’t available for comment, either.

The rift hasn’t kept Tennessee from offering five other Pahokee players scholarships. But Thompson, for one, sees nothing to be gained in the feud continuing.

“I don’t want my actions or my principal’s actions to affect any kid going to college,” he said.

148 comments Add your comment

[...] recruiting Nu’Keese Richardson, and one high school in Florida isn’t going to take it. They’ve banned him, as well as any bof his assistants, from their school. An assistant coach from Tennessee, who [...]

DekalbDog

May 12th, 2009
9:34 pm

LK is a BooFooon! Recruiting tactics such as this will lead to some type of Probation for Tenn down the road! Belive it!! I love it though and I hope they keep him in place a long time!

DekalbDawg

MegaT

May 12th, 2009
9:34 pm

Just curious, but does anyone know if this can be done legally at a public school? Just wondering.

GW

May 12th, 2009
9:37 pm

Welcome to the NFL Laney boy. MegaT, The principal is the principal. Tell UT to sue him.

Lame Kiffin

May 12th, 2009
10:07 pm

Buffoon would be the perfect word to describe Kiffin. Can this guy possibly be any more of an idiot and possibly be any more immature? Borrowing the kid’s cell phone and texting back and forth with his high school coach pretending to be the kid? Are you kidding me? Can you imagine a Meyer, Richt, or Saban engaging in this kind of utter childishness? What in the hell is wrong with this guy? He’s 33 or 34 years old for Pete’s sake!

Gator Growl

May 12th, 2009
10:27 pm

It’s very well documented what Kiffin said about the people of Pahokee in general and specifically about the High School, To me, labeling those people as “shoeless and shirtless (what irony!) and strongly suggesting that they were dishonest enought to manipulate the LOI paperwork and forge signitures was far worse that anything Kiffin could ever say about Meyer. Do you really blame the principal and the people of Pahokee for how they feel and for the way they have reacted?? Just imagine Dawg or Tech fans, Mark Richt or Paul Johnson goes into Tennesse to recruit and without any provocation calls out a small rural town in Tennessee as a bunch of backwards, toothless hillbillys???!!! You’d have Tennessee Congressmen coming out with statements of outrage, the state legislature would be in emergency session to ban those coaches from the entire state, much less a high school campus. What about it fans, if someone said that about your high school or community in general, how would YOU react???

Ryno

May 12th, 2009
10:31 pm

Since the principal is a dyed-in-the-wool Gator fan for whatever reason, the episode is not surprising. It’s more a case of the principal being embarassed for not delivering the goods as promised. He lost face with Meyer and is looking to make UT pay. Kiffin will end up apologizing for political reasons, but his initial remarks were spurred by things Nuke’s family told him about Pahokee’s administrator. Most of Pahokee is great people; the prinicpal who wants to deny kids from UT is not.

ut-fan-too

May 12th, 2009
10:35 pm

While this is certainly a bump in the road, it is not the end of the road. Tennessee’s 2010 class appears to be off to a very good start and interest level from potential recruits seems to be at an all time high. It will be interesting to see how it all works out.

Gator Growl

May 12th, 2009
10:45 pm

Ryno…despite the headline, this is NOT a Gators-Vols feud. It is about what Kiffin said about the community and the people of Pahokee. It is about Kiffin making a in person, face to face, public apology to the people of that community. That is what the Principal has demanded to make things right and they deserve at least that. We’ll see if Kiffin is man enought to do it. At this point, what Kiffin has said about Meyer and Florida is a seperate issue. Kiffin will be making THAT public apology on Sept 19th, man enough or not.

Tide rising

May 12th, 2009
11:03 pm

Gator Growl,

What exactly did Kiffin say about the townspeople of Pahokee? As much as he puts his foot in his mouth I haven’t seen anything about this episode in the news so I was just curious if you heard this from someone or if its something that’s been in the news with quotes and such. If he indeed disparaged a whole town and call them shoeless and such then an apology is absolutely needed. I have a hard time imagining him or anybody occupying such a high profile public job as being so stupid as to say things like that.

Then again I have to agree with the harsh poster above about him using Nu’keese cell phone to play games with the kid’s high school coach. Who does that kind of crap?

I think Kiffin’s big issue is that this guy is just incredibly immature and uses extremely poor judgement. He seems to me to be one of those people who has gotten some good jobs that were way over his head through sheer BSing and bravado.

This is too bad for a proud program like UT. I think they deserve a lot better than this guy. UT fans probably hold their breath waiting to exhale every time this guy starts speaking and then let out a mighty exhale if he can make it through an public speaking experience without making an azz out of himself.

Sleeping with the Enemy

May 12th, 2009
11:11 pm

NEWS FLASH! LAYLA REAVES KIFFIN WEARS TEEBOWS!!! Layla Kiffin, wife of Tennessee Coach Lane Kiffin (Now we DO know love is blind!), is an avid Gator and graduate and a self professed big fan of non other than… Tim Tebow! Rumor has it that she even had a big Tebow poster in the old house, although I doubt she’ll have it up in the new one in Knoxville! That would be pretty embarrassing when the Vol recruits come a visiting. You just had to know a girl that pretty had to come from UF!

Gator Growl

May 12th, 2009
11:29 pm

MegaT

May 12th, 2009
11:30 pm

Kiffin has already apologized. Seems as if the principle down there has an agenda and needs to get his tebows our of his crack. For those of you that need to be reminded, here is his apology:

“If I offended anybody in Pahokee or has to do with Pahokee or in the schools, I apologize and I want to make sure it’s understood that is not what was meant by it at all.”

What this florida swamp lizard fan wants to do is try and make Kiffin play his little game. It’s time to move on, but if this yahoo wants to keep it alive, he is only making himself look bad.

DawgVent

May 12th, 2009
11:31 pm

Boring….old news. Someone trying to make something big about nothing. If I were Kiffin, I would tell that principal to get bent.

intellibird

May 12th, 2009
11:32 pm

Gator Growl,
Wheres a link to the “shoeless and shirtless” article. Its not mentioned here and I’d like to see a little more about it.
Thanks.

Karl Childers

May 12th, 2009
11:49 pm

I’m a real big UT fan…..I love dat potted meat with mustard on it…

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Gator Growl

May 12th, 2009
11:58 pm

Sorry, I’m not sure if the link I provided is still an active one. Maybe easier just to go to google but what he said was when he drove up from South Florida into the town Pahokee that the people couldn’t even afford shirts or shoes and that there wasn’t even a working gas station in the town (guess there are no ex-South Carolina players in Pahokee). Then he said that he had to arrange for the recruit Richardson to fax his LOI from another school so that the people there would not sobatoge the process or forge a fake signiture… AMAZING…I’m TELLING YOU people, this cat Kiffin is a piece of work (or a piece of something). Anyway, it was in all the newspapers down here including the Orlando Sentinel (Swamp Things), Palm Beach Post(look under “Inside UF”) and The Miami Herald. Maybe somebody out there can provide a better direct link…

SamoanDawg

May 13th, 2009
12:00 am

Lame Kitten already on the hot seat. if he don’t win 7 games, he might out the door quick. Especially, if his players get out of hand.

ReptileRule

May 13th, 2009
12:08 am

Try this link (need to scroll down a little) http:/www.palmbechpost.com/blogs/content/shared-blogs/palmbeach/ufblog/index.html

Ryno

May 13th, 2009
12:13 am

Never said it was a UT vs. Fla thing, GGrowl. It’s a Kiffin vs. Principal’s ego thing. Kiffin already apologized, but this guy wants to make a scene and drudge it up again. He obviously prefers the Gators as is his right, but he shouldn’t deny any Pahokee kid a chance at a scholarship offer from any school just because one got away from UF.
I don’t think you’d want him to deny your kid a chance at a scholly from any school they want to check out would you? It was the family’s suggestion to fax in the LOI from somewhere else. Issue should have died with Kiffin’s apology.

ReptileRule

May 13th, 2009
12:15 am

David

May 13th, 2009
12:18 am

Sure feels weird to agree with a gator

ReptileRule

May 13th, 2009
12:20 am

Current link, just scroll down to “Pahokee Principal Kicks Tennessee Coach Out of The School” and read the whole article.

Sid

May 13th, 2009
12:50 am

MegaT-I had 33 years in public education.As the principal, I had responsibility for everything that goes on in the school even if a school secretary embezzles money or the janitor is skimming off cleaning supplies.I suspect the principal has support however from his boss.I would have sent it up the line when I held that job.I didn’t want my _ _s to be grass and get it mowed by my local school board nor the Federal Office of Civil Rights. The major concern is whether the Feds get involved which won’t involve FL-TN but whether the UT or other schools’ coaches are being discriminated against or the athletes are being denied equal access under the law.Stay tuned folks-this could get ugly if the Feds want to take a long look.Wow-The old grey mare ain’t what she used to be-huh?? Win at all costs !!! I dislike TN more than FL right now !! And from a Dawg fan like me(3 degrees from UGA), that’s a real stretch!

Dan from Danville

May 13th, 2009
1:07 am

Is it really true that Layla Kiffin is a Florida Grad? If so, how did she end up with Lane?? I noticed the name Layla “Reaves” Kiffin. Any chance she is related to the old Florida quarterback John Reaves?

Layla Loves Tebow

May 13th, 2009
1:31 am

Bamafan

May 13th, 2009
4:33 am

Boy Blunder started this mess and the principal is just like any politican who wants his 15 minutes of fame. 2 wrongs don’t make it right!! There was a high school coach in Miami who would not let Alabama coaches recruit his players just because Mike Shula was fired by Bama and was friends with
Don Shula. GO BAMA ROLL TIDE!!

[...] AJC Quote: [...]

Matt

May 13th, 2009
6:05 am

I am a Vol fan that was not in favor of Fulmer leaving, but I got to admit, Kiffin has been good for our program. The fact that all you other SEC schools seem to be “outraged” at actions Spurrier, Saban, and the others have done in the past cracks me up(With the exception of Mark Richt). This is payback for all the “Citrus” etc comments. Look for us to me competitive this fall than any of you imagined…… GO VOLS!!!!!

Matt

May 13th, 2009
6:20 am

Old Gator

May 13th, 2009
6:36 am

The SEC will be exciting this fall. Kiffin has seen to that.

TampaGator

May 13th, 2009
6:46 am

Matt, maybe some coach will text message Jose’ HS coach on signing day and rip into the city and peoppe of Miami, down right lie about the coach of Tennessee…and get the kid to sign with his school. Do anythng that works, right? As long as you win, right? All is fair, right? I don’t have a problem with any coach recruiting any recruit up to signing day, but Kiffin’s tactics are highly immature and unprofessional, no matter how you look at it. P.S. Expect the Panokee principal to be at the Swamp on Sept. 19…and he might be asked to lead the Gators charge onto the field. Anything that works, right? No, I am sorry, that is a stunt only Kiffin would pull.

Dizzle

May 13th, 2009
6:56 am

If Kiffin wasn’t around, the ajc recruiting board would not have anything to write about. What does this have to do with state of Georgia recruiting?

Urban Warfare

May 13th, 2009
7:15 am

This player Jose Jose (I’m gonna assume that’s his real name)…I don’t even see him on our big board of top 10 offensive linemen to get…is he a 2010 prospect??? I know James (from Georgia) that Bama just got was on our board but I don’t see this guy “Jose Jose” (sounds like some outlaws name, doesn’t it?) anywhere so I don’t know how strong our offer was…anyway, I guess you’re still welcome to our low priority recruits down here! Ok, now I see him on Scout, looks like South Florida, Rutgers, and West Virginia were in the running there…Congratulations!

Ken

May 13th, 2009
7:44 am

Maybe things at UT will get so bad that Kiffin’s wife will go topless to promote the school ? That’s one thing you cant fault him for, his wife is smokin hot !

what_what

May 13th, 2009
7:52 am

AllVOL

May 13th, 2009
7:56 am

@SamoanDawg; “Lame Kitten”…Oh, you’re killing me! Bless your heart.

bull-gator

May 13th, 2009
8:04 am

I think both of Ms. Lane Kiffin’s parents are UF grads. Her dad is John Reaves the qb who through all those TD passes to Carlos Alvarez, 69-71. He’s from Tampa and her mom is from Orlando I believe…also J. Reaves son coached with Spurrier at SC and then jumped ship to coach at TN when his brother-in-law took over. I also think J. Reaves coached at UF for a few of years in the early 90’s with Spurrier. It’s amazing how classless Kiffin can marry into such a nice UF family…what a PUTZ!

UGASlobberknocker

May 13th, 2009
8:39 am

Sounds to me like the principal is impeding the possible college scholarship of an athlete who otherwise might not be able to afford to go to college. That is in direct contradiction of an educator’s purpose.

I dont care how big of a jerk Kiffin may be, that is an irresponsible action for the principal. If the principal wanted to give his kids a life lesson, why not ask Kiffin to stand up and apologize for his actions to the students?..thus showing that a/ people make mistakes and b/ to forgive and move on is the right thing to do and a big part of life. I would bet anything Kiffin would jump at the chance to do that and get this behind him.This educator missed a huge opportunity to give his kids a great lesson and also to be a bigger man than Kiffin. He blew it!

tyler

May 13th, 2009
8:44 am

This is pathetic for a school such as this. Kiffin has apologized several times and this time the principle needs to grow up. If you check out his profile on the school web site, it has a huge gator sign right above his email. This guy is a complete psycho and making himself look bad in this one.

UGASlobberknocker

May 13th, 2009
8:46 am

Bull-Gator…Ms. Kiffin is John Reaves daughter? I never knew that. What is Reaves doing now? What about Alavarez? The only UF receiver to hurt the Dogs more than him was Collinsworth..

Gator Growl

May 13th, 2009
8:55 am

Slobberknocker, the problem is…Kiffins had this apology offer on the table for months now and hasn’t done anything but try to weasle back into Pahokee thru the coach, who he knows is a HUGE Miami fan and a potential wedge situation. So he’s not exactly “jumping at the chance” to make proper amends and resolve this issue. Kiffin has never called the Principal or the school itself to offer an apology, just his backhanded public “I’m sorry if I offended anybody” BS. The life lesson to be learned here is Kiffins, since the students at Pahokee High have a much higher level of maturity than he obviously does!!!

tenn.DAWG

May 13th, 2009
8:56 am

Look what this idiot done this week,runs their best QB option to make room for a player that gang rapes a family member.Thats just sick.He was kind of funny to begin with,but now he’s become an embarrassment to the whole SEC.I’m sure Mike Slive is not laughing.

Gator Growl

May 13th, 2009
8:58 am

BTW…Reaves is in real estate in Tampa and Alvarez, who just spoke to the team recently, is an Attorney in Tallahassee.

Dawg Drool (BaseballVol13)

May 13th, 2009
9:10 am

You puppies and gayturd fans are hilarious! Nu’Keese Richardson’s own family was concerned about his VOLS scholarship papers being “misplaced”. That’s why they were faxed to his aunt at the middle school instead of Pahokee High School. Kiffin has publicly apologized, this principal has a PERSONAL agenda that is negatively affecting the students that are under his watch. The jerk has a gayturd logo on his webpage on the county schools website. This is a personal vendetta and has nothing to do with King Kiffin’s comments. FEAR of the VOLS is growing and very justified. Kiffin and crew has already landed 2 FL. year long commitments and the NO “1″ recruit in the nation. The best is yet to come, 10 wins in ‘09 and at least a top 5 recruiting class from now on!!!!

tenn.DAWG

May 13th, 2009
9:11 am

Matt,you also need to check your facts.UGA never offered Jose Jose.Dave Hooker is a Tony (Bozo) Basilio alum (you know what I mean) and therefore anything he says or writes should be takin with a grain of salt.

Dawg Drool (BaseballVol13)

May 13th, 2009
9:14 am

Kevin_Scott

Post #4024
FKA: GoVols817
MyFanPage
Add Buddy Pahokee Principal Obviously feeling the pressure… Reply

——————————————————————————–
He has removed the Gator logo from his page. Clear your cookies before clicking the link.

And his email as well. That’s why I posted what I did yesterday, there’s no way, by the rules, a public official in his position should be able to officially endorse Florida on a school board website.

Maybe someone archived it…
This post was edited on 5/13 9:10 AM by Kevin_Scott

This post was edited on 5/13 9:11 AM by Kevin_Scott

Link: Wow…
______________________________________

Gayturds are FEARING the King Kiffin crew!

Dawg Drool (BaseballVol13)

May 13th, 2009
9:16 am

Oh, by the way. Thank you AJC for being the voice of the VOLS in the SOUTH! More on UT football here than about the puppies!

Eric

May 13th, 2009
9:19 am

Two pees in a pot…..or maybe it should be Urban and Lane, two peas in a pod. Urb is a jerk and Lane is a moron…or vice versa.

ReptilesRule

May 13th, 2009
9:23 am

Who is Jose Jose? Isn’t he related to Sirhan Sirhan??