Leave that man alone.
Well, this time.
The way things are going for Lane Kiffin, the self-inflicted tackling dummy during his first weeks as head football coach at the University of Tennessee, there will be a next time. There also will be a few more times after that.
As for this time, Kiffin was absolutely right to tell our Michael Carvell that he is done apologizing to Florida and everybody else over his erroneous comments about Gators coach Urban Meyer and his recruiting practices.
Remember? During a recruiting breakfast last month, Kiffin boasted to Tennessee supporters (note: Tennessee supporters) that Meyer tried to “cheat” and still didn’t get wide receiver prospect Nu’Keese Richardson. That’s because Richardson stiff-armed Florida down the stretch before sprinting to Tennessee.
It turns out that, contrary to what Kiffin told those Tennessee supporters (note: Tennessee supporters), Meyer didn’t violate an NCAA rule when he phoned Richardson during a recruiting trip to Tennessee.
So help me out. Where’s the controversy here? Kiffin was talking to a bunch of … Tennessee supporters.
Have you ever been to one of these booster-type events for an average college team from a power conference? They are pep rallies that often go over the top, with the head coach serving as school mascot, drum major, standup comic, resident psychologist, PR man and grand poobah between talking X’s and O’s.
They say stuff. They say silly stuff. Then, during one of the few times when some or all of their stuff gets into the public domain, they say predictable stuff — such as, “I didn’t say that,” or “I was misquoted,” or “I was taken out of context.”
Even Kiffin tried to back away from his words to Tennessee supporters (note: Tennessee supporters) by telling Carvell, “It was not as bad (as it was made out to be). I didn’t mean any disrespect toward the University of Florida or Coach Meyer.”
Yes, Kiffin did, but so what? He was saying that stuff to Tennessee supporters.