New Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin wasted no time getting in trouble on the recruiting trail, alienating other SEC coaches and earning claims of recruiting violations for simulated press conferences, let alone the claims he made against other SEC programs. Well, now he and his staff have decided to work outside the box by getting, well, weird. According to a report from the ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, Kiffin’s staff tried to impress a crop of junior recruits last week by ripping off their shirts, Superman style. Crazier yet, the move may have actually worked.
(Can you imagine what they would have done if Layla Kiffin ripped off her shirt?)
Here’s how one recruit described the crazy scene:
“By now, three or four coaches had their shirts ripped off.” top defensive line prospect Garrison Smith said of a presentation by assistant coaches. Then, around 10 Tennessee players, including All-America defensive back Eric Berry of Atlanta and quarterback Jonathan Crompton, ran down from behind the recruits to meet the coaches on the floor. “Eric and the rest of the players were chanting ‘U-T, wild boys … U-T, wild boys … U-T wild boys.’”
Considering the fact that a full 100 top prospects were in attendance at the event, the ridiculous gamut may have actually been a stroke of brilliance from legendary recruiter turned Tennessee assisstant Ed Orgeron.
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?
The ink hasn’t even dried on Lane Kiffin’s contract with Tennessee, and he’s already embroiled in controversy at his new school. Naturally, the Ol’ Ball Coach is the one stirring all this up. Just because Phil isn’t there to kick around anymore doesn’t mean Spurrier’s going to stop giving UT the business.
Spurrier is claiming that Kiffin’s contact with recruit Jarvis Giles on Sunday violates NCAA rules because Kiffin hadn’t yet passed a required certification test that allows contact with recruits. Giles had pulled out of a verbal commitment to the Vols after Fulmer’s departure was announced, and he was reportedly deciding between Nebraska and…yes, South Carolina.
Prized high school linebacker and Hawaii native Manti Te’o is visiting Notre Dame, one of the schools the Rivals.com No. 9 overall prospect has listed among his finalists. It’s a long flight from Honolulu to South Bend, Ind., and the Notre Dame student body wanted to make Te’o feel a bit more welcome by handing out leis to some 8,000 fans at Saturday’s game against Syracuse.
(Prep linebacker Manti Te’o. In lei terms, he’s a stud)
Nice idea, right? Well, it was until, as reported by the CHICAGO TRIBUNE, the Notre Dame athletic department channeled the Seinfeld Soup Nazi, and stopped the Irish fans’ lei distribution plan in its tracks. “You want leis? You like leis? No leis for you!”
There must have been excitement around the school as Stallworth Charter Academy fielded their first football team ever this year. To help fill out the roster, the Stockton, California, school accepted seven transfer students from nearby Franklin High School. Someone at Stallworth either didn’t do their homework, or hoped the school board wouldn’t do theirs, because the seven players had been at the center of a recruiting scandal that had rocked Franklin just last year. Whoops!
The seven players were among a group illegally recruited from American Samoa, whose ineligibility caused Franklin to forfeit 19 victories and receive a four-year playoff ban. Stallworth wishes they had gotten off that easily; the California Interscholastic Federation voted unanimously this week to suspend Stallworth’s entire athletic department for the next two years.