Fulmer Finally Rips Into Kiffin: ‘Arrogant Attitude’

The man who Lane Kiffin replaced at Tennessee, Phil Fulmer, finally let loose with some criticism of the now-USC coach on CBS on Saturday:

Phil Fulmer

Tennessee is a very proud program as we all know with great traditions and the people of Tennessee felt betrayed to be honest with you. They were embarrassed, felt jilted with all the cost of the change there was. Kiffin, he left Tennessee with basically his hat in his hand and a bunch of NCAA compliance questions.

Many in our community are glad that he is gone. He never really embraced the traditions, the values of the program or the community for that matter. And often his arrogant attitude turned people off. The bigger question in my opinion is how does a guy like this end up with two jobs with historic football teams like Tennessee and USC.”

I wonder if the people who deal with Nick Saban inside the Alabama program think he’s arrogant? Or the people inside the UT program when Fulmer was there? (Yes and yes.)

Saban’s circumstances in leaving the Dolphins were every bit as indelicate as Kiffin’s in Knoxville, but I don’t hear anyone complaining in Tuscaloosa about Saban’s attitude. If there is any talk about it, it’s Alabama fans celebrating Saban’s gruff, intolerant nature.

Winning will do that.

Fulmer’s revisionist criticism, even if there is an underlying truth to it, is laughably hypocritical. If Kiffin had won at Tennessee he could’ve replace Smokey with the Taco Bell chihuahua and no one would’ve cared.

Fulmer also commented on the so-called new era of high-profile, mercenary coaches: Read more…

Report: Fulmer To Step Down As Tennessee Coach

Chris Low over at ESPN.com reports that Phil Fulmer will step down as Tennessee football coach at the end of the season.

SbB Girl Alex 50-yard Line UCLA Tennessee Game

(SbB Girl Alex at UT-UCLA game at the Rose Bowl)

Phillip Fulmer, who a decade ago brought Tennessee its first national championship in 47 years, will not return as the Volunteers’ coach next year, multiple sources told ESPN.com.

An announcement is being planned for later Monday at Neyland Stadium. Fulmer, who has won 150 games at his alma mater and is the dean of SEC coaches, met with Tennessee officials Monday morning, and they reached a mutual agreement that it would be best for all parties if Fulmer did not return next season.

The sides also agreed that Fulmer would coach the remainder of the 2008 season.

Can’t say that I’m surprised, after what I saw in person earlier this year. Read more…