Kiffin watch: won’t get fooled again

I love the righteous backtracking about Junior and Bryce Brown that the Tennessee media is indulging in these days.  Here’s Dave Hooker on former UT wide receiver Todd Campbell:

“I was not the biggest Lane Kiffin fan,” Campbell said with a chuckle on the News Sentinel’s radio show, The Sports Page. “Me and Lane? Nah.”

The bad blood dates back to last summer, when Campbell was abruptly informed that his No. 11 jersey had been given to incoming freshman tailback Bryce Brown.

“I didn’t get asked,” Campbell said of the number switch. “That was a situation where I come back in June and there’s a note on my locker that says you’ve been moved to ‘No. 85’. This is your combination to your (new) locker.”

Where was the indignation at the time it happened?  It took a backseat to winning the recruiting wars, of course.  And not just with the media.

… Campbell didn’t mind the switch per se, especially since the promised jersey number likely helped the Vols land Brown, who many considered the top prospect in the nation in 2009.

David Climer works himself up into a lather over the Laner and Brown, as well.

… Note, please, that none of this makes Brown a bad person. To the contrary, he seems to be a bright, pleasant young man as well as a talented football player. There’s no way he really was the No. 1 prospect in the nation as a high school senior, but that’s the fault of some recruiting know-it-alls, not Brown.

Meanwhile, we wait for closure.

This is more ugly residue from Lane Kiffin’s 14-month reign of error. Brown was considered Kiffin’s biggest recruit, and he came with strings attached.

Kiffin knew he couldn’t unseat senior Montario Hardesty as the Vols’ No. 1 tailback in favor of a freshman without risking a player rebellion, but he inserted Brown at No. 2 even though many believed Tauren Poole deserved the spot.

At the conclusion of spring practice, Poole said it was “nice to get a fair shot from these coaches,” an indication that he felt he was the odd man out in ’09.

“I deserved to be behind Montario last season,” Poole said. “But there were just some things that were out of my control.”

Translation: Kiffin made some promises when he recruited Brown.

He had to pay up with playing time.

Again, where was all this in the media when it was happening?  All we heard then were gleeful observations about Kiffin’s plans for world domination.

Which brings us to Seantrel Henderson, missing in action at Southern Cal.  And, yes, while you have to wonder what Junior’s and Coach O’s sales pitch was like – particularly since Henderson and his dad expressed concerns throughout the recruiting process about the possibility of NCAA sanctions – you’ve got to give the kid some credit for having the sense to take another look at whether it’s worth buying into the hype.  As the old saying goes, fool me once…


Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, Media Punditry/Foibles, Recruiting

9 responses to “Kiffin watch: won’t get fooled again

  1. JC in Powder Springs

    I know the point of the story is USC, but what has changed at TN since Dooley arrived? You’ve got to ask what promises were made when Rogers/Nance were convinced to change their commitments? I don’t see much of a difference between the way fulmer, kiffin and even Dooley operate – other than kiffin was a new low. TN doesn’t have much of a recruiting base. They have to go into other places and create a reason to go to their school – it’s an uphill battle, and I’ve always believed their methods (promises?) are questionable.


    • LT

      Dooley have Nance a scholarship. Thats all there is to it. Kiffen offered nance to get to Rogers and Dooley didn’t retract the offer to Calhoun’s second best QB who couldn’t throw a ball down field.


  2. Dog in Fla

    It’s a shame too because “Meet the Kiffins”

    had so much promise and such a bright future before the evac

    The last in line on the compound roof were Mike Hamilton and Lane’s brother-in-law before each learned, much to their surprise, that there was no space available for them on the chopper.


  3. Charles D.

    Let’s also not gloss over the fact that the Ufk have got to be hoping every day not to hear the phone ring from the NCAA office over Bryce Brown.

    Most folks know that the kid was being auctioned to the highest bidder by his pimp. If all Ufk ends up getting out of it is few lessons learned, they will have been lucky.


    • I agree, Charles D., the NCAA has been silent about the Toothless Nation ever since Chance the Gardener left.
      Regardless of who is the current coach, those suspicious recruiting practices remain in the air like a rancid fart.
      Are you listening, NCAA?

      On the other hand, the NCAA may have been satisfied to fry his arse at USC finally beating the old, “It’s so unfair that the coaches who do the violating never get punished because they already have new jobs, blah, blah, blah.” Of course, the schools conveniently forget that they tacitly permit these criminals to operate under their noses and claim plausible deniability.
      Are you listening, NCAA?


  4. You know, when Kiffin initially bolted I felt a slight tinge of sympathy for the peeps up there in Knoxville. But then I remembered all the “It’s all part of the plan” and “at least Tennessee football is fun again” rhetoric that the spouted to excuse the boorish behavior of Boy Wonder. It was after this reflection that I felt like Nelson in the Simpsons, just pointing and laughing with a high-pitched “Hah Hah!”. Or better yet, this is one of the most obvious “I told you so” moments in our lifetimes. Honestly, who outside of Knoxville didn’t see that coming?


    • Macallanlover

      You are dead-on. Many of us would have sympathized had the UT faithful not ridiculed us for “not getting it” while Junior pilfered their heritage, then spat in their faces. They must now pay the price but should expect no sorrow from other SEC programs who watched them whore themselves out. (I still expect to see Bryce Brown in ugly orange this fall, at which time I will lose much respect for Derek Dooley.)