Kiffin watch: Six ‘a one, half dozen ‘a the other

I don’t know if Chip Towers is trying to impress us with his ability to count, is simply doing the usual AJ-C blog fishing expedition or honestly believes this is all the same deal:

Maybe Lane Kiffin isn’t such a renegade after all. Or perhaps Mark Richt is.

They have, after all, committed the same number of NCAA violations in the last year…

The Bulldogs’ were as follows (by date reported by UGA):

  • Jan. 9: Matthew Stafford and three teammates received complimentary tickets to an NFL game from an NFL player, a Level I violation.
  • Jan. 21: Assistant coaches Mike Bobo and John Jancek left messages for the same prospect on consecutive days (can call just once a week), a Level II violation.
  • March 17: New England Patriots tight end and UGA alum Ben Watson (deemed representative of athletics interest) telephoned signee Arthur Lynch to congratulate him on signing with the Bulldogs, a Level I violation.
  • July 13: Coaching staff members “inadvertently” called prospective student-athletes (PSAs) before the permissible period and twice called the same PSA in the same week, a Level I violation.
  • August 5: A recruiting graduate assistant telephoned high school coaches regarding transcripts, a Level I violation.
  • Nov. 17: A coaching staff member evaluated a PSA more than once during the fall evaluation period (level undetermined as incident is still being evaluated by NCAA regulators).

Tennessee’s violations in general involved Kiffin more directly but also are considered secondary:

  • In February he mentioned prospect Bryce Brown by name in a live radio interview.
  • He mentioned prospect J.C. Copeland on his Twitter page.
  • Twice the Vols were cited for impermissible game-day simulations.
  • Kiffin was videotaped on an “Outside the Lines” piece while meeting with two recruits.
  • Insofar as I  can find the last violation is Kiffin calling the South Carolina signee/prospect at the center of his alleged “pumping gas” remarks to ask the player if he’d actually said those things.

Now maybe Towers’ point with this information is that people shouldn’t be merely focusing on the number of violations themselves as the key to judging Kiffin’s transgressions.  And if that’s the case, that’s actually a very good argument.  But I get the impression that it’s more of a false equivalence he’s demonstrating here, based on this:

Tennessee’s brash young football coach has been hammered by the national media — and more than once in this space — for his penchant for breaking NCAA rules. The Volunteers have been cited for six secondary violations in the year since he was tabbed their new coach on Dec. 1, 2008. Now they face at least two more violations as the NCAA continues an ongoing inquiry into the possible misuse of recruiting hostesses, impermissible visits and other infractions.

Those numbers sound roguish, but they can’t really be placed into context without some perspective.

And the context for Towers is that Georgia has been hit with as many secondary violations in 2009 as Tennessee has, and that six isn’t a particularly unusual number in a given year.  There are problems with that logic, though.  First of all, look at the violations he lists.  How many times do you see Mark Richt’s name there?  And how many more times do you see Kiffin’s?  Beyond that, how often have we heard Mark Richt challenge other coaches’ recruiting practices, or conference enforcement of the rules as we’ve frequently heard from his UT counterpart?

The issue isn’t that Tennessee or Georgia is a rogue program.  The data he shows us doesn’t prove that one way or the other.  But it does show that in one case you’ve got a coach who doesn’t have a problem showing his arse to his peers or to the people responsible for enforcing the rules.  That he’s ruffled enough feathers along the way to get the benefit of the doubt no longer shouldn’t come as a surprise to Towers or anyone else.  The bed is made, and now Junior and his school get to lay in its orange-colored sheets.



Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles, Recruiting, The NCAA

12 responses to “Kiffin watch: Six ‘a one, half dozen ‘a the other

  1. Prov

    It’s all about the page clicks


    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      Reading through the list of “violations” supposedly committed by UGA folks the main thing that comes through is how ridiculously petty and cumbersome NCAA recruiting regulations have become. Come on, its a violation for an alum who plays pro ball to congradulate a recruit AFTER he signs up? Its a violation for an NFL player to give a free ticket to a game to a college kid? That’s F’d UP! Petty rules like that undermine the integrity of the process because it makes it appear that nitsh!t stuff like that is equal to the really bad stuff that some are doing. If what the Senator and some other of you guys have been saying is true about the NCAA being a non-factor in the BCS, bowls, conferences and TV revenue, why do we even need the bastards, anyway?


  2. Scorpio Jones, III

    Kiffin’s secondary violations sure make better copy than ours.

    Babes, tweets, egad, what next? Billboards? Skywriting? Smoke in the tunnel?

    I will say I find the paraphrasing of Spurrier’s “can’t say Outback without UT” ungentlemanly. True, but still not the sort of thing a gentleman dawg should tweet.

    Georgia’s self-reported, which is the key here, violations are boring in comparison.


  3. heyberto

    I’m still baffled by the lack of UT’s administration and Atheletic Department’s continued free reign for Kiffin. This is hilarious and I’m loving watching it unfold.


  4. Dog in Fla

    “Wanted Dead or Alive: Lane Goes Rogue”

    Secondary Violations Level I – Animated Conversations with Lane

    Does not include non-secondaries like the Prius caper

    or the excellent adventures of the Orange Pride…yet


  5. almightytmc1

    Richt and Kiffin.
    Huge difference.
    Richt has quietly earned the respect of his peers.
    Kiffin…. er…. not so much.


    • Macallanlover

      It just feels dirty to see Mark Richt mentioned in the same paragraph as a slime like Junior. Towers should be ashamed for stooping to this level of thinking. The two situations are world’s apart in their nature, intent, and causation….and he knows that. Who still reads anything associated with the AJC?


  6. X-Dawg

    I heard that twerp, Jeremy Schapp, on ESPN radio this afternoon throw Lane K. under the bus over the “hostesses” incident. If he can do to Kiffin what he did to Harrick, then CLK will be ex-CLK within 2 months.


  7. Will Trane

    This type of discussion about UGA or UT coaches serves no purposes other than to harm a football program that you supposedly care a great deal about. The obession about Kiffin among writers and bloggers is a mystery…but then again we have seen it with Coach Spurrier. There are much better topics and points of interest other than recruiting violations. Most would agree they go on at all programs, but go ahead and air them out. I’m confused how everyone ranks the recruiting each year. Kindly take the time to explain to me where TCU, Boise State, and Cincy have been. Sort of like how you guys were on the DC for 2 years and the OC was given a pass, especially in ’08 when skill position do not get much better than UGA. I could care less about Kiffin’s conduct and his program.