Lane Kiffin’s unleashed hypocrisy over the Vols’ recruiting tactics
In 2011, Tennessee football was under investigation by the NCAA due to recruiting violations during their year under head coach Lane Kiffin. Now, as head coach of the Ole Miss Rebels, Kiffin dares to question the Vols’ recruiting tactics because he lost to them in a battle for a better prospect.
Last week on The Rich Eisen Show, Kiffin picked Rocky Top without naming them when discussing how Name-Image-Likeness deals are changing the landscape of college football. The story centered on five-star quarterback Nico Yamaleava, who signed to UT in March.
Based on reports from The Athletic, rumors have swirled that Yamaleava has received an NIL deal worth up to $8 million. Kiffin, with his comments, was clearly targeting Tennessee football in relation to this deal. Here is what he said.
“You’re going to have this whole locker room dynamic, you’ve got a player coming into school there in East Tennessee for $8 million who hasn’t played a down. You have a locker room that says, wait, and if the guy doesn’t play, how is it going to work? How is the donor going to feel who paid all that money when the guy is not playing. You have many things that have not been understood at all.
Whether the deal is true or not, to paraphrase Will Smith, Kiffin should KEEP THE NAMES OF THE FLIGHTS OUT OF HIS MOUTH!!! Given his past recruiting tactics that got UT in trouble, the fact that Yamaleava’s is unconfirmed, and his own history of rule-taking, his comments ooze hypocrisy.
Going back to that NCAA investigation in 2011, Kiffin left UT in early 2010 after one season, going 7-6 in 2009. It was bad enough that he fired tons of players from Phillip Fulmer to make room for his own recruits, only to see half those recruits either become busts or take them with him to USC.
What made it worse was that he left Derek Dooley with a mess on top of that attrition because of the violations he and his staff committed there. They were responsible for 12 secondary violations, and Dooley had to manage that over his head for every class he had to sign.
By the time Rocky Top was cleared of those violations in August 2011, the damage was done, and Dooley had spent all of his time coaching Tennessee football with a short stick as a result. How could Kiffin, of all people, be the one then questioning UT’s recruiting now?
It’s also all speculation at this point to suggest that Yamaleava got that deal. You might say it’s speculation to infer that Kiffin was referring to The Flights with his quote, but which is more likely? It’s pretty obvious that Kiffin is talking about him.
There is also no argument for what Kiffin says. First off, based on his own violation history, it’s clear he doesn’t care that certain players get special perks. It’s no different from how it works with disparity in the NFL. Josh Heupel can solve this problem just like Kiffin.
When it comes to taking advantage of existing rules, which Kiffin also hinted at, he really has no room to speak. Last year, Kiffin and Ole Miss brazenly applied the tactic of faking injuries to slow teams that are picking up the pace. That’s how they beat Tennessee football.
Given all of this, Kiffin has no right to discuss the Vols’ recruitment methods. His concern isn’t even genuine, so what is his real motivation? The only logical conclusion is that he wants to create a rift in the UT locker room because he lost Yamaleava.
Since quitting Tennessee football, Kiffin couldn’t resist trolling them every chance he got. One would think he was the one who harmed the Flights instead of the other way around. This is another example of that, but he has a ton of nerve commenting on that.