By DARRYL MAXIE / firstname.lastname@example.org
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.