Last week in an interview with ESPN, USC Coach Lane Kiffin said he’d received death threats from Tennessee fans when he departed Knoxville to take over as Trojans Coach. He claimed that many of the threats came after his cell phone number and address was posted on the web.
The pressure was apparently so intense from fans that Kiffin had three police officers stationed outside his family home after he announced he was leaving for USC.
This week the KNOXVILLE NEWS-SENTINEL reports that murderous missives have continued, thanks to Vols fans’ ingenious employment of 1980s technology.
Kiffin recently said on national television that he and his family had received death threats from fans irate about his departure. For the most part, he said, those threats have stopped.
“We still get an occasional fax or a message sent this way,” Kiffin said, “but those are a handful of people that I don’t think represent the majority of people there, who are great people.”
What’s amusing is that something Tennessee Athletic Director Mike Hamilton recently said seems to bother Kiffin more than threats made on his life. From Dave Hooker of the News-Sentinel:
Yet Kiffin seemed confused - and perhaps a bit dismayed - by UT athletic director Mike Hamilton’s public claim last month that Kiffin wasn’t a “good cultural fit” at UT.
“I don’t really know exactly what that means,” said Kiffin, who was UT’s coach for just 14 months. “I don’t think at the end of day that has anything to do with whether you score points or whether you win games. Where you’re from? I don’t know. That’s just my opinion.
Now here’s a very telling comment from Kiffin in his interview with ESPN:
They weren’t burning couches when coach (Pete) Carroll left, and he won two national championships. I joke sometimes that imagine if we’d actually won some championships down there what they would have done.”
Actually coach, they probably would’ve done nothing. Vols fans didn’t go nuts because they thought they were losing a great coach. They went nuts because you were a “yankee” and made no effort to assimilate. In fact, as your UT players have revealed, you went out of your way to actively resist local and team customs.
On top of that, you conducted yourself like an arrogant ass in public and misrepresented your commitment to the university.
Vols fans invested emotionally in what you were soliciting despite their instinctual trepidation, which we now know turned out to be well-founded.