Daily Archives: February 5, 2009

Stepping up in class

I used to think the most delusional fans on the Internet were South Carolina’s (with Georgia Tech’s a very close second), but in the wake of l’affaire Kiffin,  the Volunteer faithful are serving notice that they intend to be a force to be reckoned with, too.

Check out the insanity on this thread, topped by this classic:

Ouch Nothing!

Do you know how much free publicity this has been?

As they say, the secret to great comedy is timing.



Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, General Idiocy

Last recruiting post of the day (I promise)

Here’s something I don’t get.  Amidst all the lionizing Paul Johnson is receiving for yanking Dontae Aycock’s scholarship offer because the kid had the temerity to schedule an official visit to Auburn, why isn’t anyone calling Johnson out for not making the same threat to Walter Stephen Hill when Hill indicated he was having second thoughts about Georgia’s offer?

The only distinguishing characteristic between the two that I’ve seen offered in Johnson’s defense is that Aycock was planning a visit and Hill wasn’t.  So what?  Isn’t the issue here simply over whether a school is willing to tolerate last minute wavering?  After all, an official trip isn’t the same thing as decommitting.  If anything, you could argue that Hill’s position was the more serious problem of the two, as he acknowledged he was weighing a change in his commitment.

To me, both recruits were in the same boat – committed to Tech but having some late questions about their decision.  I don’t see why travel plans make any difference in Johnson’s call.  So what’s the real story here?


Filed under Georgia Tech Football, Recruiting

Urban Meyer isn’t a happy man today. Lane Kiffin doesn’t care.

It’s inevitable when you have a young, loaded team:  a few recruits are going to take a good look at your depth chart (or, more likely, be invited by some other coach to take a good look at your depth chart) and decide that yours isn’t the best program for them to commit to.

Welcome to Florida, 2009, where Urban Meyer suffered the indignity of having a few recruits redirected away from Gainesville to rival locations like Knoxville (yeah, that’s gotta sting a little) and Tallahassee.  Shit happens, right?

Not to Urban Meyer it doesn’t.  Or at least it shouldn’t.

On the difficulty of recruiting after so much success:

“We see it here all of the time. One thing you find out is when every school is comparing themselves to you [Florida], they take a shot at your academics, at your coaching staff, win and loss record, offense, defense and that we don’t run the ball. We certainly do run the ball and we do it very well. You hear things and just kind of sit back and say ‘Wow.’ It is a good place to be, though, a place that people are trying to catch right now. The problem is and the thing we can’t let happen is to let them go out there and catch us. They are out there trying, and there are a bunch of guys working their tails off with a bull’s eye on the Orange and Blue. It was really bad this year. I don’t want to say it is all negative. It is just that guys are trying to steal our guys and I’m convinced a couple of guys were recruited by some schools just because they said yes to Florida…

Those last minute decommits are so frustrating.  And it’s the NCAA’s fault.

On the amount of decommitments in the past month and his position on early signing period:

“What it also makes me rethink is they have basically taken the head coach out of recruiting. I always like to recruit the back half because I knew the players through text messages from spring recruiting. Basically a head coach, now, is not allowed to spring recruit and not allowed to text message and basically gets one phone call a week. It’s hard to develop relationships that way. I am going to fight like crazy to get them on campus even more so in the spring. You don’t get that relationship with a high school coach and you certainly don’t get it with a player. When a head coach goes out, you’re seeing seven schools and you never get to just sit down like an area coach does. I have thought about that early signing, I’m not as opposed to it as I used to be.”

What Urban doesn’t understand is that if the NCAA were to abolish the new texting rules tomorrow, Junior would just go out and hire himself the best damned texter on the planet for a couple of hundred grand a year.  Because that’s the way they roll in Knoxville these days.


UPDATE: Junior either has the biggest pair in the conference or is flat out certifiable.  Check out this post from ESPN’s Chris Low, who notes that Junior publicly accused Urban Meyer of a blatant recruiting violation with regard to UT signee Nu’Keese Richardson, took a shot at Richardson’s high school  (from where presumably he might want to recruit again someday) and then went on to bait Nick Saban like this:

… Kiffin also took aim at Alabama coach Nick Saban and suggested that Saban should “thank” new Tennessee assistant Lance Thompson for the Crimson Tide’s No. 2-ranked class. Thompson was one of Saban’s best recruiters at Alabama before leaving to join the Tennessee staff in January.

Thompson even got into the act and assured the crowd that Saban wasn’t going to get another one of his players.

SEC Media Days will be awesome this year.


UPDATE #2: According to UF AD Jeremy Foley, Junior doesn’t know what he’s blathering about.

University of Florida Athletic Director Jeremy Foley responded to Kiffin’s accusations saying, “There was no rule violation and we have confirmed this with Southeastern Conference.

“It is obvious that Coach Kiffin doesn’t know that there is not a rule precluding phone contact with a prospect during an official visit on another campus during a contact period. His allegations are inappropriate, out of line and, most importantly, totally false. It is completely unfair to Urban Meyer, our coaching staff, our football program and our institution. The appropriate action at this time in my opinion is for Coach Kiffin to make a public apology. His comments not only slandered our coach, but he violated SEC rules by publicly criticizing another coach and institution.”

This is getting more enjoyable by the hour.  (h/t Saurian Sagacity)


UPDATE #3: The SEC weighs in.

In a statement, SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said the following:

“Coach Kiffin has violated the Southeastern Conference Code of Ethics,” Slive said. “SEC Bylaw 10.5.1 clearly states that coaches and administrators shall refrain from directed public criticism of other member institutions, their staffs or players.

“The phone call to which Coach Kiffin referred to in his public comments is not a violation of SEC or NCAA rules. We expect our coaches to have an understanding and knowledge of conference and NCAA rules.”

Junior better hope his staff is squeaky clean on the recruiting trail, because he’ll never hear the end of it otherwise.

I’m looking forward to that apology.


UPDATE #4: Ask and ye shall receive.  Here’s Junior’s apology in all its humble glory.

“At an energetic breakfast with some of our donors and alumni I made a statement that was solely meant to excite the crowd,” Kiffin said in a statement.

“If I offended anyone at the University of Florida, including Mr. Foley and Urban Meyer, I sincerely apologize. That was not my intention.”

Well, gosh, I guess that’s settled now.  Sure it is.


Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, Recruiting, The NCAA, Urban Meyer Points and Stares

Houston Nutt’s mad math skillz

Did anyone notice that Ole Miss signed more recruits yesterday than Florida and Georgia – combined?


Filed under Recruiting, SEC Football

Mr. Kiffin, tear down that fence!

I have to admit that I may have been a little premature in awarding Stephen Hill the coveted GTP recruit of the year award yesterday, because the response to Hill’s last minute soul searching comes off as a mere tempest in a teapot in comparison to the response that Marlon Brown’s decision to sign with Georgia generated.

There are way too many links on the UT message boards for me to point to in one post.  If you’ve got a couple of hours – and it will easily take you that much time to navigate through all of the bitching and moaning – go on over to Volquest and Vol Chat and revel in it all.  My favorite thread is the one where a bunch of morons express the hope that Eric Berry lays one on Brown in the game next year bad enough to put him in the hospital.  The fact that Berry is guilty of the same offense as Brown – leaving his home state to play for a rival – completely escapes them.  It’s classic.

But if that were all there was to this, it wouldn’t be enough to put Marlon Brown over the top.  What really distinguishes his case is how the UT coaches, past and present, reacted to his decision.  At least according to the denizens of the UT boards, that is.  Here’s a summary of what was posted:

  1. Phil Fulmer, who evidently drank an extra glass of “BWAHAHAAH!!” yesterday before appearing on CBS’ national signing day show, assured his listeners that if he were still the head coach, Marlon Brown would have been safely tucked into bed last night wearing orange and white pajamas.  Needless to say, in Fulmer’s opinion,  it was a big loss for the UT program.
  2. Ed Orgeron didn’t hit it off with Brown or his very religious grandmother, to say the least.  The scuttlebutt is that Coach O dropped a few “GD” bombs into the conversation and may have shown up with a case of whiskey breath (from what I know about Orgeron, the former may be the case, but I doubt the latter).
  3. Brown said on a late afternoon radio show that he didn’t like Orgeron.
  4. Junior, in his signing day presser, called out Brown’s grandmother as the reason Brown didn’t sign with UT.

With regard to the last one, well, that’s got some traction.  It sounds like Junior did throw grandma from the train.

“Every kid that we offered (in state) and continued to recruit through this process … we were able to sign except Marlon (Brown),” Kiffin said. “We wish Marlon the best of luck. He called last night and said that he loved it here but his grandmother wouldn’t let him come. So I don’t know what you do about that.”

That should go over well in the future.  If Kiffin is shocked by negative recruiting now, wait ’til he hears what other coaches do with that quote.

What’s getting thrown back in Junior’s face is his proclamation at his first presser that his top priority was to erect that proverbial fence around the state line and keep the top recruits in Knoxville.  Brown was the first kid that he visited after that announcement.  Evidently, Junior’s got work to do on his fence building skills.  If you’re keeping score on the top two recruits in the class of 2009, Tennessee edition, it’s Mark Richt 2, Lane Kiffin 0.


UPDATE: Orson is offended.  He’s not the first person.  That Roy Adams (aka ‘Tennstud’) – what a card!


Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, General Idiocy, Georgia Football, Recruiting