Kiffin watch: he said “he said”, he said

Oh, who to believe in this “gas pumping” story!

Junior denies saying it.  Orgeron now says he was in the room with Kiffin during the conversation and didn’t hear “anything as such”.

Even more interestingly, the Laner now claims to have called Jeffery after the story was published and elicited a denial from the kid that he ever told ESPN’s Chris Low anything of the sort.

On the other hand… we’ve got a story where two members of the South Carolina coaching staff confirmed the comment with Jeffery, his teammate and his high school coach the day after the kid’s commitment.

If it’s hard to figure out who’s telling the truth here, it would seem to be worth focusing on Low’s role.  Kiffin is essentially accusing the reporter (and ESPN by extension) of making the story up.  Yet, buried in the South Carolina story is this line:  “According to Low, Kiffin did not respond to requests to comment for the original story.” If that’s true, it undercuts Junior’s spin in a pretty devastating way.

In any event, it’s clear this puppy’s got some legs and won’t go away for a while.  It’ll be interesting to see how far anyone wants to push the story.  Eric Mack’s recruiting should be fun to follow, too.

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UPDATE: Low links to both stories in this post, without comment.  You wonder if he’s biding his time or biting his tongue.

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13 Comments

Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, ESPN Is The Devil, Recruiting

13 responses to “Kiffin watch: he said “he said”, he said

  1. kckd

    Well, I’d have to say I agree that Low isn’t gonna just make this up.

    You’re never gonna prove this one in court, but considering Kiffin’s penchant for stretching the truth in the past few weeks, I’d have to say if I had to believe one or the other, I’m taking the kids, his coaches and the SC coaching staff.

    None of those people told half truths in SI articles or at fanbase gatherings.

  2. Yeah, given his past statements, I’m finding it hard to believe Kiffin’s side here. The funniest part was when Kiffykins insisted “I would never say anything like that”; actually, Lane, that sounds like exactly the kind of thing you’d say, considering that saying those kinds of things is pretty much the only noteworthy thing you’ve done since you got to Knoxville.

    • Yeh, his word holds as much truth as a sieve holds water. Sparingly at best.

    • Macallanlover

      Exactly Doug, a scriptwriter given that line would immediately assign this situation to Baby Kiffin. The whole story fits no coach better in CFB, unless it was his mentor Pete Carroll who also seems to lose his cool when recruits dare not accept his scholly.

      Let’s see, we have Junior and his paid lackey on one side and a high school recruit and his two coaches on the other. One side has NOTHING to gain from telling a lie, and the other has a recent, recurring, history of mispeaking and then backtracking to save face now denying the story. Add a reporter covering the story who has everything to risk if he loses credibility or access by lying. Uhh, this wouldn’t make much of a whodunnit fellows.

      I hope this story does have the legs to not go away for awhile. The longer Junior denies this one, the dumber he looks…..and he is already at an all time low for a new SEC coach having passed Bama’s legendary Coach Mike Price.

  3. Red

    Yeah, he probably said it. But I’m not so sure that Kiffin’s not responding to requests for comments is that big of a smoking gun here. Sure it’s possible that he got Low’s request and specifically decided not to reply because he knew it was true. But it’s also possible that he never got the request in the first place, or that he received the request five minutes before Low decided that he hadn’t responded, or that it was at the bottom of a pile of requests, or any number of things that resulted in him not replying.

    I don’t know Low’s access to or relationship with him – I would assume it’s decent, since he’s the SEC guy for the WWL. But at the same time, we’ve never seen a coach this visible (or absolutely bonkers) in Jan, Feb, & March. Kiffin’s been the main story around college football since he got to Tennessee – we know he’s getting tons of media attention, which probably includes phone calls, press conferences, interview requests, and probably more than anything else, requests for comments about something he previously said.

    I feel bad that the kid is stuck in the middle of this whole thing.

  4. The Realist

    He would have been better off if he just manned up and admitted that he said it. Much like Bonds or Clemens with steroids. Just admit it when you are first accused, and people will lose interest and move on. Deny it, and now we have a controversy which attracts people’s attention who ordinarily wouldn’t care.

    Someone should share with Kiffykins that one does not get accusatory with the media types… especially accusatory in the “You made up a story about me” way… and live to tell the tale. The media is like a pack of wolves. You may have isolated one to pick on, but what you don’t realize is that there are hundreds of others that are breathing down your neck looking for any sign of weakness to strike you down. Don’t mess with the media, d-bag.

    On a side note, Lane Kiffin = Little Larry Sellers.

    Is this your homework, Laney? Is this yours, Laney? Is this your homework, Laney?… You’re entering a world of pain. We know that this is your homework. We know that you told some SC recruit that he would pump gas for the rest of his life… You’re killing your father, Laney!

    • kckd

      Realist

      This is where the UT fan steps in and says “he’s not denying it so that he’s putting UT in the limelight and every recruit will know about UT”.

  5. 69Dawg

    Chris Low is or was the UT beat writer. Everyone was talking about how the SEC would be covered by a UT guy at the WWL. Why would Low make up a story bad for UT. Oh I guess he was a Fat Phil guy and he has turned on them. This stuff is better than a soap opera. As the Big Orange Turns.

  6. Dog in Fla

    Global War on Lane (GWOL), Friday the Thirteenth status report (extended version):

    Green Zone, Knoxville, The Day Before:

    Assistant coach troopers in film room watching double feature the night before first full pads practice of spring session open on Friday the Thirteenth. Monte had planned to resume his SERE drills from last month tomorrow but Lane went behind his back and made the scheduling secretary make a change from SERE drills for assistant coach troopers to first full pads practice for players. She was reluctant and said she would have to clear that with Monte first. Lane threatened to fire her on the spot if she didn’t make the change without checking with Monte. Reluctantly, she made the change. Lane fired her anyway, told her she can move to South Carolina and find some work pumping gas knowing full well that those jobs are pretty much taken up by former Gamecock players. Lane gave her a fully-paid one way Greyhound ticket to Columbia as her severance package.

    After Monte learned, much to his surprise, that college ball isn’t 24/7 like pro ball, there would still be plenty of time for him to weed out his assistant coach troopers through SERE drills that could be scheduled once the spring sessions were completed so he was not too uptight about Lane going behind his back. In fact, Monte even admired Lane’s moxie in that special father-son kind of “I’d like to beat his ass!” sort-of-way. Monte knew there would be plenty of time for him to pay Lane back.

    Monte still wanted his assistant coach troopers to watch film anyway. He ordered them to watch, play close attention and study each film of the double-feature. He told his troopers that “Apocolypse Now” was to show them what the Air Cav attack looked like after all of them scattered and ran away before the Friday the Thirteenth attack by Jeremy Foley and Urban last month. Up next “The Departed” was to show them what their future looks like unless they tighten up ship.

    Monte had heard that Richt was tightening up his ship in Athens and figured that although Richt seems to be a quiet, non-combative type of guy, unlike most of the other assholes who are head coaches in the league, others had told Monte that Richt can be lethal at times especially so when you least expect it, so Monte added “tighten up ship” to his coach-speak lingo.

    The Security Detail departs the film room after the “The Departed” ends and all but Lane and Coach O leave for their quarters. Lane and O, who have been best friends forever since their glory days under Pete at SC, stay. O looks morose. Lane asks why? O says that he is tired of lying for Lane all the time, the most recent of which was to once again cover Lane’s ass about the post-career job prospects for Spurrier’s players. And both O and Lane had heard the scuttlebutt that before the UT spring practice started, one of the assistant coaches would be gone. Lane and O both survived that deadline. Lane and O both know it could still be one of them who departs and in a true and typical showing of coaching loyalty, each hope it’s the other who gets fired first. O wanders away to sleep under a tree.

    Alone, Lane remains in the film room and pops in the “Reno 911 First Season” DVD that Layla One gifted to him upon pulling off what is now widely regarded as the miracle of this century in Western Civilization so far by conning UT AD Mike Hamilton into hiring Monte and Lane making himself part of the package deal. Although Layla One knows that smooth maneuver was pulled off by the slickness of Jimmy Sexton and the dimwittedness of the AD, she is sill cool letting Lane keep thinking that it was all Lane’s idea. Long a legend in his own mind, Lane knows that, in his short time inside the Green Zone, he has exhibited an extraordinary set of leadership and management skills, but still thinks he has to make an even greater showing than he already has at tomorrow’s first full pads practice to gain the respect of Monte and to keep the respect of Lane’s peer assistant coaches. Contemplative, Lane knows that even when you’re perfect, as he is, you still have to practice at it. Lane didn’t even need to go to a church or a self-help seminar to learn that. He overheard someone in a bar say it about Tiger Woods. As Lane watches Reno 911, it dawns on him exactly what he needs to do and he will do it tomorrow.

    While his assistant coach troopers are watching the double feature, Monte, Layla Two and Dien Bien Phu are in the banquet room of the UT President’s Mansion meeting with Johnny Majors who just drove his 1989 F-150, which the Vol alums gave him that year after his 11-1 season, through security and back into the Green Zone to be the motivational speaker for the assistant coach troopers before tomorrow’s full pads practice.

    Monte thanks Johnny for coming on such short notice, sees that Johnny seems to be pretty fired up and has offered to do this little talk without even the payment of the nominal honorarium customarily given to old washed-up guys. Johnny is wearing a Vol Orange Tommy Hilfinger golf shirt, collar locked in the up position, with white letters ironed on the front of the shirt that say, “I Hate Phil!” The back reads, “Phil is a Back Stabber!”

    Monte is a little concerned about the shirt and says to Johnny, “No problem with wearing the collar up but hatred of coaches, or even old former coaches like yourself Johnny, is not what we are all about at Tennessee. The word “Hatred” is really not in the vision statement or in the mission statement for my UT football program and I would appreciate it if you would not wear that shirt tomorrow…Please?”

    Two whispers to Monte reminding him that Monte hasn’t even started working on a vision statement yet and his mission statement has only one sentence, “Take the money and run!” Monte tells Two that Johnny doesn’t know that. Two replies that she bets he does with all the propaganda out there being fired at Monte and his d*** of a son. Monte tells Two that he thinks Johnny is as old or even older than a Bobby Bowden or a Joe Paterno so that means he cannot remember anything and can’t tap into any of that electronic saturation propaganda like that being ground out on a daily basis like the Never-Ending Story by Senator Blutarsky.

    Hell, Bobby didn’t even know what an online course was until the NCAA busted FSU last week for cheating on them. Now, Bobby knows a thing or two about cheating, but nothing about how to do it online. Two shrugs and says to Monte, “Whatever. Tell Johnny that if he insists on wearing that shirt tomorrow, backstabber is one word not two like Johnny has had it spelled on the back.” Johnny overhears.

    Johnny gets angry, gets mad. Spitting snuff from his mouth, Johnny says to Monte. “Damn right I’m wearing this shirt tomorrow and there’s nobody here who is going to stop me!”

    Johnny puts his right index and middle fingers over his lips, spits through them ejecting a nice tight trajectory of a brown snuff juice spit package onto the President’s carpet. Monte tells Phu to find a spitoon for Johnny. Phu reaches into his burlap potato sack bag of tricks that he always totes with him, removes a vintage collector’s item Cambodian human skull, turns it upside down and puts it on the carpet right next to Johnny’s chair.

    Once a coach, always a coach, Johnny instructs Phu, “When Johnny is dipping and has to spit, Johnny likes to get some damn air under it! Johnny just doesn’t want to turn his face down, open his mouth and let it drool out by gravity like the ol’ boys in the nursing home do. Pick up that skull and move it back six feet over yonder and put it by Monte’s chair!” Johnny pulls out his Copenhagen snuff tin, takes a pinch and puts another dip between his cheek and gums.

    Before adjourning the little welcoming get together, Monte asks Johnny if he knows anything about fence building. Johnny says, “Hell, yeah! I’ve strung a lot of wire in my lifetime. In addition to my twelve gauge in the cab, I always carry stainless steel handled posthole diggers and a roll of rusty barbed wire in the back of my F-150.”

    Monte says that’s good and tells Johnny that the Plan of the Day for tomorrow is that after a very special surprise little opening act of entertainment that Monte has arranged to soften up the assistant coach troopers before the first full pads practice, Johnny is then up next to give his presentaion on the fine art of hating, digging postholes and stringing wire, then the full pad hitting will start. Monte tells Johnny to make sure that when he gets to the fence building part, make sure that Lane, Coach O and Lance are awake and paying attention. “Who are they?” Johnny asks.

    Zero dark thirty, Friday the Thirteenth, March 2009, Tennessee practice field inside the Green Zone, Knoxville:

    Before the opening dog and pony show starts, Monte tells Phu to lockdown the players inside the dressing room for now. What’s coming up is for assistant coach troopers’ eyes only. If the players saw it, there would be a full-scale riot like this Green Zone has never seen before. Both Monte and Phu smile…

    (to be continued…)

  7. shane#1

    Damn, Fla Dog, Pewtus Gloister meets Hunter S. Thompson. Now I don’t remember My comment. My thoughts seem lame now anyway. Again, Damn!

  8. NM

    Lil Kiff just did Five Good Minutes on PTI. The first couple minutes were about this story and other weird stuff he said, and Kiffy looked like a fifth grader in the principal’s office, eyes darting back and forth while unconvincingly saying he didn’t say what they said he said. If this video makes the Internet, check it out.

    Eventually he relaxed a little and had some fun, but let’s just say I’m not buying his denial any more than I was before I saw that — which is to say, not at all.

  9. Gamecockrock

    Lame, can I get that windshield for you? I know I have a degree from USC but I can check the oil, too.

  10. DawgBiscuit

    I can’t believe how many UT fans are not only defending Kiffin’s idiocy, but actually calling him a genius. I wonder how many games he’ll have to lose before Vol fans finally admit that the emperor has no clothes.