You know, Lane Kiffin always looked like the completely reasonable one in that whole Raiders debacle a few months ago, but he’s already ruffling feathers all around the SEC. When he was first hired, Steve Spurrier was on his case for allegedly having improper contact with a recruit.
Now, Kiffin’s on the other end of the allegations, claiming that Urban Meyer broke the rules by calling a recruit while the kid was on an official visit to Tennessee. The University of Florida responded quickly to the allegations and accused Kiffin of slandering its coach while calling on him to apologize. What did Kiffin say exactly to get such a strong reaction?
USA TODAY says that Kiffin has backed off his comments from earlier today, when he taunted UF with this doozy after the Vols beat them out for receiver Nu’Keese Richardson:
“Just so you know when a recruit is on another campus you can’t call him,” Kiffin told the audience. “But I love the fact that Urban had to cheat and still didn’t get him.”
Kiffin has now released this infamous “statement,” which is obviously
very heartfelt and sincere written by an assistant in the athletic department:
“At an energetic breakfast with some of our donors and alumni I made a statement that was solely meant to excite the crowd,” Kiffin said in a statement. “If I offended anyone at the University of Florida, including Mr. Foley and Urban Meyer, I sincerely apologize. That was not my intention.”
Because, you know, flat-out calling someone a cheater is never meant to offend anyone.
Not only did Meyer not commit a violation by calling the recruit, it now turns out that Kiffin was the one doing the violatin’. SEC commish Mike Slive says:
“Coach Kiffin has violated the Southeastern Conference Code of Ethics,” Slive said. “SEC Bylaw 10.5.1 clearly states that coaches and administrators shall refrain from directed public criticism of other member institutions, their staffs or players.”
“The phone call to which Coach Kiffin referred to in his public comments is not a violation of SEC or NCAA rules. We expect our coaches to have an understanding and knowledge of conference and NCAA rules.”
Well done, Lane. It’s only February and you’ve already got Spurrier, Meyer, and the commissioner of your conference angry.