UPDATE: Kiffin apologizes after SEC reprimands coach for comments about Florida, Meyer

Fans who attended Tennessee’s recruiting celebration early Thursday morning didn’t need coffee. New UT coach Lane Kiffin and his staff provided plenty of stimulation.

Kiffin took shots at defending national champion Florida and Alabama, recruiting coordinator Ed Orgeron talked about winning a national championship, and assistant coach Lance Thompson vowed that UT would “own Memphis” in recruiting.

It was that kind of morning. And the sellout crowd of almost 1,000 fans at the Knoxville Convention Center ate it up.

Their loudest applause came when Kiffin called out Florida coach Urban Meyer on an alleged NCAA recruiting violation in the recruitment of Nu’Keese Richardson, a wide receiver from Pahoke, Fla., who committed to Florida but signed with UT.

“I’m going to turn Florida in right now in front of you,” Kiffin told the crowd. “Nu’Keese was here on campus (on his recruiting visit) and his phone kept ringing.

“One of our coaches said, ‘Nu’Keese, who’s that?’ He said, ‘Urban Meyer.’

“Just so you know, when a recruit is on another campus, you can’t call him. I love the fact that Urban had to cheat and still didn’t get him.”

Florida didn’t take Kiffin’s comments lightly. It released a statement from athletic director Jeremy Foley on Thursday afternoon.

“There was no rule violation and we have confirmed this with the Southeastern Conference,” Foley’s statement read. “It is obvious that Coach Kiffin doesn’t know that there is not a rule precluding phone contact with a prospect during an official visit on another campus during a contact period.

“ His allegations are inappropriate, out of line and, most importantly, totally false. It is completely unfair to Urban Meyer, our coaching staff, our football program and our institution. The appropriate action at this time in my opinion is for Coach Kiffin to make a public apology.

Later, SEC commissioner Mike Slive issued a public reprimand to Kiffin for the comments.

“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.”

His comments not only slandered our coach, but he violated SEC rules by publicly criticizing another coach and institution.”

A little more than an hour later, UT issued a statement in which Kiffin apologized to the SEC and Florida for his remarks.

“I've been made aware by the Southeastern Conference that my comments this morning at a breakfast with our donors violated a conference policy. In my enthusiasm for our recruiting class, I made some statements that were meant solely to excite those at the breakfast.

“I apologize to Commissioner Mike Slive and the SEC, including Florida AD Jeremy Foley and coach Urban Meyer. My comments were not intended to offend anyone at the University of Florida.”

UT spokeswoman Tiffany Carpenter told The Associated Press that UT would not file an official complaint with the NCAA.

Florida wasn’t Kiffin’s only target Thursday. He also took a dig at Alabama, which was No. 1 in the country this past season before losing to Florida in the SEC championship game.

“Nick Saban (Alabama’s coach) should have started his press conference (Wednesday) by saying, ‘Our great class that we signed ... I’d really like to thank Lance (Thompson) because Lance signed eight of those guys.’ ”

Thompson was an assistant coach and star recruiter for Saban before joining Kiffin’s new staff at UT. And he’s about as shy as his head coach.

“He ain’t getting any more of my (recruits),” Thompson said of Saban.

Thompson also compared UT’s recruiting in Memphis to Alabama’s recruiting in Mobile, Ala., before he arrived.

“Everybody said, ‘Auburn beats us in Mobile,’ ” Thompson said. “Y’all beat us anymore, Eddie (referring to former Auburn assistant coach Eddie Gran, who’s now on Kiffin’s staff).

“Y’all say the same thing about Memphis in Tennessee. We’re going to own Memphis.”

Kiffin and his assistants made it clear they don’t take the recruiting services’ evaluations of players as gospel. That set up Thompson for another Alabama shot.

“Just for your information, Utah had no five-stars (recruits), and they kicked the lining out of our tails,” said Thompson in reference to Alabama’s loss to Utah in the Sugar Bowl.

The recruiting celebration didn’t end as the fans filed out of the Convention Center. In fact, it was just getting started.

Kiffin and his staff were scheduled to address UT fans in Nashville and Memphis later Thursday.

Sports editor John Adams may be reached at 865-342-6284 or adamsj@knoxnews.com.

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Comments » 888

classic writes:

any video?

BIGEJ writes:

Go gettum'

tnbigg writes:

BRING IT ON BABY! Kick some serious Bammer and gator BUTTS! Crybaby sissy morons...even the Dawgs have piped down...now its just the gayters and the bammers running their big flappers! Go VOLS! The one and only NFL farm team!

ArealVolFan writes:

Love it...I know Bama and the Florida guys will say he doesn't have the right hasn't won anything, but this is the attitude we have been missing on Rocky Top...and honestly he isn't wrong.

rusty_shackleford writes:

I like the enthusiasm!

Hunter writes:

I kinda love it, but you don't tug on Superman's cape....Urban doesn't need any more motivation to WAX US this fall with Tebow back. I'm not drinking the Kool-Aid this morning - yesterday was NOT a success.

vols_fan_n_tx writes:

Call 'em out CLK!!! Recruiting wars should be fun to watch in the coming years.

10volunteers98 writes:

CAN`T WAIT TO SEE HOW KIFFIN & CO. DO NEXT YEAR IN RECRUITING WITH A SEASON OF UT FOOTBALL UNDER THEIR BELTS.I`M EXCITED ABOUT THE FUTURE OF UT FOOTBALL.THIS IS A GOOD RECRUITING CLASS TO START WITH.THANKS TO ALL THESE YOUNG MEN WHO SIGNED WITH UT,AND THE BEST OF LUCK.GO,VOLS!

civilianvol_formerly_marinevol writes:

I kind of need to catch my breath for a minute after reading that. Nothing subtle about this guy. Hope he knows what he's doing.

RoyaltyVol writes:

Hey someone needs to tell Kiffin and Thompson some good bama jokes for them to use next time! I love it!

annemarie writes:

That's our Kiff! I'm glad he has been able to overcome his shyness. :)

ahillen writes:

Click on the Sports Overtime logo on the bottom on our GVX home page and there is a brief clip from WVLT.

robvols#366273 writes:

The war of words makes for a fun read, but when it comes down to it, Fla. and 'Bama waxed us this year. I'll be sold when we beat these teams the only place it counts, on the field.

VolTex writes:

The beatdown the Gators will give the Vols next year is going to be epic.

DennisVols writes:

A coaching staff with an attitude!!! Bring it on coach CLK we have missed the swagger.

troopervol writes:

in response to Hunter:

I kinda love it, but you don't tug on Superman's cape....Urban doesn't need any more motivation to WAX US this fall with Tebow back. I'm not drinking the Kool-Aid this morning - yesterday was NOT a success.

Well yesterday was not a failure either. So what was it then?

And since when do you need more motivation to go out on the field and beat somebody?

utvolnatl writes:

Obviously we have interlopers among us. At least show your self for what you are VolTex and Wlvol. Sounds like a wolf in sheep's clothing to me from your posts. Sounds like CLK is at least up for the challenge of Meyer and Saban. Saban has consitently shown himself to be dishonest, and now Meyer appears headed to the same category.

golfballs03 writes:

FANTASTIC

TommyJack writes:

Yesterday WAS a success. Don't mind a little bluster out of CLK...better than cower in the corner like CPF. Fear the Kiffin.

Kiffin_fan writes:

Some pretty good reading... I am so ready for the O/W game. Go Vols!!!!!!!!

http://myespn.go.com/blogs/sec/0-4-13...

wtvol writes:

sic'um smokie

civilianvol_formerly_marinevol writes:

I like the confidence and swagger of the new coach, but I'm afraid he has crossed the line by disrespecting rival coaches. I hope he knows what he's doing. We'll soon see.

gbrown2 writes:

TENNESSEE BACK ON TOP!!!!! GO HEAD LANE!!!!! KEEP CALLING EN OUT LEFT AND RIGHT!!!! GO VOLS SINGING ROCKY TOP!!!!!

VolTex writes:

in response to utvolnatl:

Obviously we have interlopers among us. At least show your self for what you are VolTex and Wlvol. Sounds like a wolf in sheep's clothing to me from your posts. Sounds like CLK is at least up for the challenge of Meyer and Saban. Saban has consitently shown himself to be dishonest, and now Meyer appears headed to the same category.

I'm a Vols fan so I'm not sure what you are getting at. I just don't see a need to pour gas on this fire. Florida owns the Vols arse and I'm sure you know that. This type of stuff just gives them more reason to step on the Vols. If you don't think this kind of stuff will be brought up as extra motivation you don't know much about 18-20 year old kids.

Kiffin_fan writes:

in response to VolTex:

I'm a Vols fan so I'm not sure what you are getting at. I just don't see a need to pour gas on this fire. Florida owns the Vols arse and I'm sure you know that. This type of stuff just gives them more reason to step on the Vols. If you don't think this kind of stuff will be brought up as extra motivation you don't know much about 18-20 year old kids.

If you don't stir it up then nothing ever happens. Don't you think it will motivate our guys as well??? We've been the doormat for other stirring it up so long its hard to remember Phil with any swagger... Lets go Vols... I can't wait. .

littleorange writes:

VolTex and Wlvol can't be true Vol fans I believe we have gators and bammers in our mist!

volfan1967 writes:

in response to wlvol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

givehim6 writes:

Great enthusiasm, back it up with some great coaching, and play calling plus a 8-10 win season in fall. And you'll kick butt next singhing class!

utvolnatl writes:

Funny how bama987 always shows up at the most opportune times. I wonder if we could get the archive tape on his posts prior to the Utah beatdown when he was talking his typical arrogant smack. I hope you are in class getting a an education somewhere besides Tuscaloosa. Here is a little gift to remind you that every team has its ups and downs.

http://bumpshack.com/2009/01/03/undef...

Greyback_Vol writes:

Just hope Kiffin and Co. back it up on the field.

If not, they look like just a bunch of babbling idiots.

volfan1967 writes:

in response to VolTex:

I'm a Vols fan so I'm not sure what you are getting at. I just don't see a need to pour gas on this fire. Florida owns the Vols arse and I'm sure you know that. This type of stuff just gives them more reason to step on the Vols. If you don't think this kind of stuff will be brought up as extra motivation you don't know much about 18-20 year old kids.

So I guess your take is that we should continue to lay down and take phooey from other teams? What phooey GO VOLS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

StroVol writes:

in response to VolTex:

I'm a Vols fan so I'm not sure what you are getting at. I just don't see a need to pour gas on this fire. Florida owns the Vols arse and I'm sure you know that. This type of stuff just gives them more reason to step on the Vols. If you don't think this kind of stuff will be brought up as extra motivation you don't know much about 18-20 year old kids.

Give me a break, gas and fire garbage. It reads alot better than "We're gonna try like heck to get better next week" yawn

TommyJack writes:

Doubt seriously that bama666 has been near a classroom since being punted out of the 8th grade.

vollowme writes:

i went to a fight the other day and a message board broke out.

feathersax writes:

in response to wlvol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

CLK isn't afraid to go to the mattresses! Not sure about wlvol's description of Phil's "tough talk". Methinks that got by me & other Vol fans. Urban Myth & Nick Satan had best just coach their teams & "Don't Tread on Me!"

StroVol writes:

in response to bama987:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Don't get all excited, you know it was funny. Now go worry about who might be able to throw the rock for you. I would be a little nervous about your situation.

feathersax writes:

in response to bama987:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You'd best put another roll of toilet paper on that stick when things "hit the fan".
GO VOLS!

spivol writes:

Run Forest, run.....

jandjhome#228397 writes:

Praise the Lord. A coach with guts.

dma38256#264746 writes:

in response to bama987:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

It shows.....

Brentwoodvol writes:

in response to VolTex:

I'm a Vols fan so I'm not sure what you are getting at. I just don't see a need to pour gas on this fire. Florida owns the Vols arse and I'm sure you know that. This type of stuff just gives them more reason to step on the Vols. If you don't think this kind of stuff will be brought up as extra motivation you don't know much about 18-20 year old kids.

You must not know much about 18-20 yr old kids. That last about 1 min. worth on the field. I like the fact he has B.... to say it. It's what were all thinking. Don't back down and do not be ashamed. He hasn't won yet, but he has not lost either. We need a new leader that picks us up. I for one think it's fine. We will have to back it up, and in time we will. When he does how cool will it be for him to say I told ya so.

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to bama987:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Every time you come on this site I think of the Utes kicking your teams tail. Do you still remember? I watched the entire azz kicking.

12packvolfan writes:

ATTA BOY LANE POUR IT ON SOME MORE I LIKE IT ALOT COACH

kman29 writes:

in response to utvolnatl:

Obviously we have interlopers among us. At least show your self for what you are VolTex and Wlvol. Sounds like a wolf in sheep's clothing to me from your posts. Sounds like CLK is at least up for the challenge of Meyer and Saban. Saban has consitently shown himself to be dishonest, and now Meyer appears headed to the same category.

How has Meyer shown to be dishonest? Because he called Richardson? Who is to say he knew he was in knoxville? As it was reports said he was going, he wasnt going then he showed up. So Kiffin can beat his chest all he wants, but right now all he is doing is pissing off the two best coaches in the league without winning a game yet.

Raynoch writes:

Just beat Bama

Hounddog writes:

in response to bama987:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hey Bama, look around your class and see if you can count a total of 3 teeth in the room, not counting your 2.

bclay1012 writes:

in response to bama987:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

go away bammer jammer.....

anyways. i love lane's enthusiasm.

volsdontsuck writes:

I am feeling much better about the possibility of 8 or 9 wins next season. Our defense should be as good as last season if not better(Eric Berry nuff said). Also our offense can only get better. Good job on a solid recruiting class. The Kiffinator and co. will put a solid product on the field and that is what really matters.Who is going to remember 25th or whatever the final ranking will be when we are beating or hanging with FLA. GA. and Bummer

rockytopcowboy#645263 writes:

in response to VineVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Pure classic!!!

You can start in Chattanooga. I have a pretty long list. Let me know if you need a little help!

Basketball_Jones writes:

You people crack me up....This is no different than Spurrier jabbing at Fulmer back in the day. It caused him to have an eating disorder.

This was just a way for Kiff to fire up the fans at the event. Both Meyer and Saban understand this. The truth is, Volunteer nation needs something like this. We've used up all of our magic dust and workin like heck, we need someone who bring hell fire and brimstone to get the fans fired up.

I know being a Vol homer this sounds typical but I truely hope this program gets back to where it once was and were back to fighting it out with Ga, Fla, Bama, etc for SEC bragging rights. Its good for UT and its good for the SEC. I miss the Spurrier trash talking days.

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