Kiffin asked for it
If this were any other coach, the Tennessee Titans would be making too much over the way USC hired Kennedy Pola. But we are talking about Lane Kiffin, a man who has shown a complete disregard for decorum, ethics and professionalism to his fellow coaches.
Kiffin took one potshot after another at SEC coaches during his brief tenure at Tennessee, incorrectly accusing several of cheating. When he and assistant Ed Orgeron left for USC, Orgeron allegedly called their Tennessee recruits and asked them to come along to Los Angeles — just weeks before signing day.
This is simply karma coming back at Kiffin. The appropriate way to inquire about an assistant is to give word to the head coach or athletic director first.
Once again, Kiffin flouted the rules. Tennessee has every right to unleash its full fury on him and his school.
Titans go over the top
Being in charge of BP's environmental protection program is an easier gig than defending USC these days, yet the Titans' lawsuit against Lane Kiffin and Co. seems over the top.
Are they just trying to get more UT fans to Nashville? Isn't Kennedy Pola the real villain here?
The suit would seem to have a chance of succeeding only where it was filed — Tennessee's Davidson County Chancery Court.
It may have been unprofessional, ill-timed, considering the sanctions, and unfair to newly named USC athletic director Pat Haden, who didn't need this on his image-restoration agenda.
But malicious? This is the NFL and major college football, where everyone has a price and sleazy exits can be deemed business as usual.
Suing? That's extreme
A lawsuit? Really? A breach of contract claim? Seriously? Over hiring an assistant running backs coach?
Yes, the Titans are suing USC and Lane Kiffin for luring Kennedy Pola to the Trojans a week before training camp opens. And although Pola may develop into the greatest coach since George Halas, legal action seems a bit extreme for someone in his position.
But the real issue here is Kiffin, who always seems to play the role of the pebble in someone's shoe. First, it was his childish behavior at Tennessee, accusing rivals of cheating and talking them down to recruits. Then it was the way he bolted UT after one season for the USC job. Makes one think Al Davis had cause to fire him after one year in Oakland.
So, on second thought, perhaps a lawsuit over Pola's poaching is appropriate, if only to make Kiffin have to walk a bit with a pebble in his shoe.
Singing the Kiffin blues
Los Angeles Times
Well, there's a new one on me: "maliciously intending" to induce a coach to leave one job for another, but there's no time like yesterday, today and tomorrow to throw the book at USC coach Lane Kiffin.
Kiffin is vilified in Tennessee for a variety of reasons. Kiffin deserves most of what he gets because he brings it on himself. His life reminds me of the classic blues song refrain, "Nobody loves me but my mother, and she might be jiving me too."
It seems to me teams "maliciously intend" to steal coaches all the time, but I'm no Clarence Darrow. Yet to be determined is whether this latest escapade is just monkey business or the Monkey Trial. If there is a trial, though, book me a seat up front.