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Tennessee takes pass on playing USC, Kiffin

Tennessee turned down a chance to face USC and coach Lane Kiffin in the 2011 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game.

Volunteers athletic director Mike Hamilton said Wednesday he's been approached several times by Chick-fil-A Bowl president Gary Stokan about a potential matchup in Atlanta.

Hamilton said it would be too much for the Vols' schedule, which already includes games with Cincinnati and North Carolina in addition to their Southeastern Conference opponents.

Hamilton said the decision wasn't related to any hard feelings toward Kiffin, who left Tennessee abruptly in January after one season as head coach to take the USC job. The two schools have a verbal agreement to play each other in Los Angeles in 2021.

•USC has apologized in a letter to Florida, Alabama and Washington for accusing those schools of breaking NCAA rules by contacting Dillon Baxter after the Trojans were hit with NCAA sanctions. Trojans AD Mike Garrett said the freshman tailback confirmed he did not receive a call from those schools.

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