Kiffin: 'I like to have fun with some things'

UT football coach addresses UT Tipoff Club

Lane Kiffin’s popularity might be plummeting elsewhere. But it’s soaring locally.

And Kiffin made it clear at the Big Orange Tipoff Club on Wednesday, that he doesn’t care much about “elsewhere.”

Kiffin sparked a barrage of criticism last week when he accused Florida coach Urban Meyer of a secondary NCAA violation. He and his assistant coaches also made fun of Alabama coach Nick Saban in addressing UT fans at the program’s recruiting celebration last week.

UT’s new football coach didn’t spice up Wednesday’s speech with any barbs for his rivals. But he didn’t ignore last week’s commotion, either.

Neither did UT men’s basketball coach Bruce Pearl or Lady Vols coach Pat Summitt, who preceded Kiffin at the dais.

“My goal was to be the least popular coach in the SEC,” Pearl said of his first season as UT’s basketball coach. “It took me one year. It took Lane Kiffin one week.”

Summitt followed: “When I was in Florida (for Sunday’s game), they were still talking about Coach Kiffin. You’re quite popular in Florida right now (referring to Kiffin).”

Their comments set the tone, which Kiffin continued.

“We’ll make sure that we don’t offend anyone in the conference or any other school,” he said for openers. “We’ll be very nice.”

Kiffin mentioned only one other SEC coach, South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier, in his speech, which was followed by a question-and-answer session.

“I like to have fun with some things,” Kiffin said. “The example I can give you is that Steve Spurrier came out the first day I was here and accused me of recruiting without having passed the test (as required by the NCAA).

“I didn’t call the (SEC) commissioner whining about it. I just shot back at him, joking around with him. We’ll make sure we’re aware of how sensitive people are around here.

“Here’s the point of it: This is about our players. We’re not going to win any games without them. We’re not going to be able to continue to recruit without a great fan base.

“The sense I’ve got is we have an energized fan base right now, and an energized state that’s excited about it. If it took that stuff to get that done, it’s working. And if it took that stuff to get our players motivated at 5:30 in the morning, it’s working. I like the way it’s going.”

Sports editor John Adams may be reached at 865-342-6284.

Get Copyright Permissions © 2009, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!

© 2009 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Comments » 401

letshave1more writes:

CBP has given TN Basketball a heart beat! You gotta love this guy and what he has done for TN Basketball! Go VOLS!

DingoVol writes:

I would NEVER say the famous F word on this site. With that, let's get Bryce Brown!

Basketball_Jones writes:

Good articel from ESPN about a kid from Cali who has Tennessee on his mind....

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/blog/i...

letshave1more writes:

in response to DingoVol:

I would NEVER say the famous F word on this site. With that, let's get Bryce Brown!

I heard an interview with BB on Sirius Radio this am and he "said" he did not think TN had enough talent to come here.
We would be better off with OKU if this is his attitude...

HtownVol writes:

Thats Funny

johnlg00 writes:

Wish I could have been at that meeting! As long as they stay here, CBP and CLK will keep things lively. I just hope they both stay long enough to get us back into the national picture.

smashmouth98 writes:

At least he realizes all of the commotion he has caused. CLK is right about not running to SEC Office about complaining, maybe Urban Cryer /FOOLEY could learn a thing or two.
It is very amusing!!!

Let's Go VOLS!!!

johnlg00 writes:

in response to letshave1more:

I heard an interview with BB on Sirius Radio this am and he "said" he did not think TN had enough talent to come here.
We would be better off with OKU if this is his attitude...

Brown and his "agent" give me the willies! Much rather have Oku at this point, but it won't kill us if we don't get either one this year. I would just prefer they both go out of the conference.

jakethevolguy writes:

in response to smashmouth98:

At least he realizes all of the commotion he has caused. CLK is right about not running to SEC Office about complaining, maybe Urban Cryer /FOOLEY could learn a thing or two.
It is very amusing!!!

Let's Go VOLS!!!

I don't think it was Urbie doing the cryin. It was the rest of the Gators. Urbie is probably got it puckered up right now with the news about the gymnist violation hitting the news stands. Why is there noting in KNS about it, by the way?

JWilly writes:

And another shot across the Urbanator's bow. LK makes me nervous but you have to love his lack of a filter between his brain and his mouth.

jakethevolguy writes:

See the article in the Salt Lake Tribune for more about the Urbie recruiting violation.

Orangebrewbasher writes:

in response to Basketball_Jones:

Good articel from ESPN about a kid from Cali who has Tennessee on his mind....

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/blog/i...

Kid sounds like a beast, we'll see if Kiffin has any ties left from the west coast

RoyaltyVol writes:

Finally something funny. Where's caveman when you need him? He probably got to close to the fire and fell in *LOL*

letshave1more writes:

in response to johnlg00:

Brown and his "agent" give me the willies! Much rather have Oku at this point, but it won't kill us if we don't get either one this year. I would just prefer they both go out of the conference.

I agree with you on OKU! If you get a chance you can hear the Sirius replay this afternoon. TN was the third or fourth school mentioned and he is going to announce March 12th. I think BB likes the attention...

orngbluded writes:

I love it

Caveman writes:

in response to RoyaltyVol:

Finally something funny. Where's caveman when you need him? He probably got to close to the fire and fell in *LOL*

Caveman say he like to look and listen to blogging- he only speak when Fire say so.

Fire say boo-hoo Myer coach is candy-butt. Fire says big NCAA chiefs still looking at phone call records of candy-butt; he may get hand burned yet. Fire waiting to pounce!!

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/st...

TommyJack writes:

CLK: Keep it up!

chrisw2967 writes:

I think BB needs to go on to the CFL so him and his fat agent can hurry up and get to the NFL so his agent can take his money.almost sounds like another Maurice Clarett or what ever his name was.we seen how that turned out.
Id much rather have Oku , at least he wouldnt be bringing troube with him , I hope so anyways.

swampbuggy writes:

in response to smashmouth98:

At least he realizes all of the commotion he has caused. CLK is right about not running to SEC Office about complaining, maybe Urban Cryer /FOOLEY could learn a thing or two.
It is very amusing!!!

Let's Go VOLS!!!

Again! Kiffin stated at the now famous breakfast:

“I’m going to turn Florida in right now in front of you,” Kiffin told his receptive audience."

He went on to say:
"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."

Now you can spin this any way you please, bottom line is that he fully intended to report it .... he said it. He called Meyer a cheat which we now know was a figment of his imagination.

We don't care how he handled the Spurrier situation, we DO care when someone lies and says we were cheating.

Pearl was using tact to tell Kiffin that he needs to tone it down.

swampbuggy writes:

And oh by the way ... we all like Bruce Pearl.

chrisw2967 writes:

i meant to say trouble , my keys are sticking for some reason, sorry. dont want the grammar cops out in force

Caveman writes:

in response to swampbuggy:

Again! Kiffin stated at the now famous breakfast:

“I’m going to turn Florida in right now in front of you,” Kiffin told his receptive audience."

He went on to say:
"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."

Now you can spin this any way you please, bottom line is that he fully intended to report it .... he said it. He called Meyer a cheat which we now know was a figment of his imagination.

We don't care how he handled the Spurrier situation, we DO care when someone lies and says we were cheating.

Pearl was using tact to tell Kiffin that he needs to tone it down.

Caveman say fire say all Gator fans boo-hoo like little girlchilds. Swampbuggy one of biggest boo-hoo people - Candy-butt!

StroVol writes:

in response to chrisw2967:

i meant to say trouble , my keys are sticking for some reason, sorry. dont want the grammar cops out in force

That cop has a name. It's JAYLIT. He'll be on shortly to humilate you. jk :/

jakethevolguy writes:

in response to Caveman:

Caveman say fire say all Gator fans boo-hoo like little girlchilds. Swampbuggy one of biggest boo-hoo people - Candy-butt!

Utes Blog:
Ute Football by Lya Wodraska

Wednesday, January 16, 2008
This Gator in hot water?
Everyone who follows college football knows the impact former Utah coach Urban Meyer has made at Florida, turning the Gators into a national caliber, and national championship team, after several years of unsatisfactory results. Now he apparently is making an impact on its gymnastics program too, and apparently some NCAA violations if
the story is correct.

In short, Meyer was recruiting junior college receiver Carl Moore, who attended Sierra Community College in Placerville, Calif., along with his girlfriend, Maranda Smith. Smith had competed for UCLA's gymnastics team in 2006, but quit after an injury.

Once Meyer realized he wasn't going to sign Moore without Smith attending Florida as well, he contacted Florida gymnastics coach Rhonda Faehn for help. She just happened to have a scholarship available. The couple are now Gators, with Smith scoring a 9.775 on the uneven bars in exhibition Friday.

Sounds shady, doesn't it? It might just be.

In the story, Smith relates how she talked to Meyer "every day" in November and how he wanted her to attend Florida and compete in gymnastics.

First of all, as a football coach, Meyer cannot recruit for another sport. By contacting Smith, he broke the rule that all phone calls must be made by a head coach or one or more assistant coaches who count toward the limits of coaches who can recruit in a sport, which is three in gymnastics. Also, since he was effectively acting as a gymnastics coach, he broke the rule that in gymnastics coaches are allowed to contact recruits only once a week.

It'll be interesting to see if this article brings any sort of punishment for Meyer and the Florida program. He has been known to stretch rules and recruiting ethics before, with numerous reports of how he still heavily recruited athletes after they'd given other schools oral commitments. I wonder how this is going to play out with the NCAA?

RoyaltyVol writes:

in response to Caveman:

Caveman say he like to look and listen to blogging- he only speak when Fire say so.

Fire say boo-hoo Myer coach is candy-butt. Fire says big NCAA chiefs still looking at phone call records of candy-butt; he may get hand burned yet. Fire waiting to pounce!!

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/st...

Thats good stuff cavey! I'm glad you didn't fall into fire

dvhill100 writes:

Okay, LK got a case of his mouth overloading his butt. He has apologized and been chastised. What more do you people want? I like his attitude, his staff and first year recruiting class.

Let him prove himself and his staff on the field. Will we be 12-0? No, and realizing the lower talent he inherited, accept it. I am looking for us being in every game fighting, scratching and clawing until the final gun sounds. Show improvement in execution, discipline and attitude. That is all I ask for the first year.

RoyaltyVol writes:

This is all about the $$$. Since Kiffin is firing up our base, it will result in a lot of ticket sales and $$$ for the university! What Kiffin has been doing is called free advertising.

swampbuggy writes:

in response to jakethevolguy:

Utes Blog:
Ute Football by Lya Wodraska

Wednesday, January 16, 2008
This Gator in hot water?
Everyone who follows college football knows the impact former Utah coach Urban Meyer has made at Florida, turning the Gators into a national caliber, and national championship team, after several years of unsatisfactory results. Now he apparently is making an impact on its gymnastics program too, and apparently some NCAA violations if
the story is correct.

In short, Meyer was recruiting junior college receiver Carl Moore, who attended Sierra Community College in Placerville, Calif., along with his girlfriend, Maranda Smith. Smith had competed for UCLA's gymnastics team in 2006, but quit after an injury.

Once Meyer realized he wasn't going to sign Moore without Smith attending Florida as well, he contacted Florida gymnastics coach Rhonda Faehn for help. She just happened to have a scholarship available. The couple are now Gators, with Smith scoring a 9.775 on the uneven bars in exhibition Friday.

Sounds shady, doesn't it? It might just be.

In the story, Smith relates how she talked to Meyer "every day" in November and how he wanted her to attend Florida and compete in gymnastics.

First of all, as a football coach, Meyer cannot recruit for another sport. By contacting Smith, he broke the rule that all phone calls must be made by a head coach or one or more assistant coaches who count toward the limits of coaches who can recruit in a sport, which is three in gymnastics. Also, since he was effectively acting as a gymnastics coach, he broke the rule that in gymnastics coaches are allowed to contact recruits only once a week.

It'll be interesting to see if this article brings any sort of punishment for Meyer and the Florida program. He has been known to stretch rules and recruiting ethics before, with numerous reports of how he still heavily recruited athletes after they'd given other schools oral commitments. I wonder how this is going to play out with the NCAA?

The Moore thing is old news. We reported it to the SEC and NCAA, they BOTH investigated it and said no problem.

Dang .... that was over a year ago. News is slow reaching "them thar hills".

Caveman writes:

in response to gatorzz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Caveman say he know how to spell Gator. All other words not important! Fire make Caveman learn this one word so all Gaturd Tribe not offended. Fire laughing for some reason...

invisiblekid writes:

in response to johnlg00:

Brown and his "agent" give me the willies! Much rather have Oku at this point, but it won't kill us if we don't get either one this year. I would just prefer they both go out of the conference.

Hate to bring bad news, but Oku is "represented" by Brian Butler as well.

http://potentialplayers.com/player_de...

swampbuggy writes:

in response to gatorzz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

~chuckle~

gavol74 writes:

in response to gatorzz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Why do you people continue to come on OUR web site ?? No one care's what you think or post so go play in the road or something but get the He$$ out of here...

RoyaltyVol writes:

in response to gatorzz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

If I were you I would be more worried about coach UM and all the allegations against him. I'd say Kiffin will still be at UT long after Meyer is gone from Florida.

KiffBoyBlunder writes:

It's easy to fun around when you've got a $5 Million dollar buyout for being a buffoon.

Where do I sign up?

lomas98 writes:

“We’ll make sure that we don’t offend anyone in the conference or any other school,” he said for openers. “We’ll be very nice.”

“I didn’t call the (SEC) commissioner whining about it. I just shot back at him, joking around with him. We’ll make sure we’re aware of how sensitive people are around here.

No barbs for other coaches is what the article said, but these statements are clearly directed at Urban. He didn't call anyone out by name but he is clearly focused on FL. I like these statements much better than calling someone a cheater. Just when you think this matter is over, he goes and says something else. This will be interesting everytime he speaks.

swampbuggy writes:

in response to JohnAdamsIsTrash:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Let's see if I got this right. You can go to the Gainesville Sun website and post, but we can't come here?
There are so many Vol fans on our sites that Pat Dooley has to tell them how to spell your coaches name.

You know you love it when we post. It gives you a chance to rant and rave.

Caveman writes:

Caveman say go away interlopers. Fire say he know how to bust thru KNS firewall, obtain interlopers IP address, bust thru interloper OS and hardware firewall and plant Big condom horse - oops Trojan - on interloper computer and make crash. Caveman not understand what all that means but Fire still laughing for some reason..

jobrando#216494 writes:

Heck, A positive story out of KNS..Keep up the good work...

gavol74 writes:

Breaking News: Lane Kiffin's Letter of Apology to Urban Meyer Leaked

swampbuggy writes:

in response to lomas98:

“We’ll make sure that we don’t offend anyone in the conference or any other school,” he said for openers. “We’ll be very nice.”

“I didn’t call the (SEC) commissioner whining about it. I just shot back at him, joking around with him. We’ll make sure we’re aware of how sensitive people are around here.

No barbs for other coaches is what the article said, but these statements are clearly directed at Urban. He didn't call anyone out by name but he is clearly focused on FL. I like these statements much better than calling someone a cheater. Just when you think this matter is over, he goes and says something else. This will be interesting everytime he speaks.

You hit the nail square on the head.

Glad we at Florida were able to oblidge you by forcing Kiffin to use a more civilized approach.

tbmccord#279221 writes:

It is about time that a Tennessee football coach shows that he cares about Tennessee AND couldn't care less about anything that isn't Tennessee. Fulmer had great love for the university. However, he looked like a wuss when Spurrier would throw out his jabs. LK has shown that he will throw it right back in their faces. We need that kind of fire in the program. Go LK. Go Vols!

gavol74 writes:

Dear Urban, Part 1

It’s the Kiff here. My boss told me that I needed to apologize for calling you a cheater, so here's the best I can do: You are welcome.

C’mon. You have to be grateful for the tidal wave of compassion you’ve gotten. Not only do you return an insanely talented defense, but you also bring back the quarterback-cyborg that is Tim Tebow. Add to all that two National Championships and your prime location in the nation’s recruiting hotbed, and yet you’re coming off as the victim in this situation. Crazy huh?

Have you ever been to Tennessee besides when you play us? It’s not exactly flush with football talent. I’m plowing through scouting reports of Jim Bobs and Bubbas. Phil didn’t exactly leave me with a stocked fridge (and that metaphor extends both literally and figuratively in case you were wondering).

So of course I’m going to come out guns blazing. I’ve got to get us back on the map. I mean, you saw our QBs. Jonathan Crompton? Really? Peyton Manning isn’t exactly walking through the locker room door.

GoVol writes:

It is amazing how many Gator fans that have mysteriously appeared out of nowhere the last few years? I guess they wanted to simply jump on the band wagon.

REAL football fans where Orange & White and have been fans for generations!

gavol74 writes:

part 2
But admit it. You like it. You need it. Do you really want to be the guy who tries to throw down with Mark Richt? That’s like wrestling a Tibetan Monk.

Face it, Urban, I’m the most refreshing thing since the Tim Tebow circumcision story broke last fall. The Florida Gators and this conference deserve a better class of antagonistic coaches, and I intend to be that guy.

Be honest: When Phil was the coach, did you really feel challenged? Did you feel validated as a coach for beating a guy who was more familiar with a post-game spread than a spread offense?

I mean, I guess it was nice to beat Grandpa Spurrier now that he has one foot in the tee box, but please don’t tell me that you feel a sense of accomplishment for beating the ghost of Gators past.

You and I both know that you were one more National Championship away from shoving Charlie Weis out of South Bend and fleeing the mullet-headed mouth-breathers filling up the Swamp. With me around, though, you’re having second thoughts. Think of the pride you’ll feel in tangling with my dad’s proven pro-style defense. Kind of overshadows feeling good about torching Hawaii and the Citadel's defense huh?

Sure, you have Nick Saban as a formidable opponent, but he’s out West, and you guys may tangle once a year if all the stars align and everything goes according to plan. I give you the guarantee of a royal rumble every year and early on.

I know I come off a little chirpy, but you’ve got to like that I’m not so eager to kow-tow to the wave of Olympic-caliber sprinters you’re rolling out. Whether you like it or not, you're the Yankees now. You're the man, the establishment. Florida is Cobra-Kai now. You're John Kreese, and Timmy T is Jonny Lawrence. I am Daniel-San, and my dad is Mr. Miyagi.

And you know what, Urban-Myth? You may try to sweep the leg, but I plan on crane-kicking you and Timmy right in the face.

But that's not all, Urbie. I’m coming into your backyard. I’m going after your recruits, and I swear to Pete Carroll that if we are bombing you by 40 and I have all of my timeouts with less than a minute left, I will call all three timeouts while Ed Orgeron power-bombs Albert the Gator and the entire team gets Kiffy with it in the end zone. I have never been more serious about anything in my life.

Anyways, I've got to run. Got a study session on SEC rules and regulations. Nu'Keese and Marsalis send their best.

Subversively yours,

Basketball_Jones writes:

Another visitor on Campus this weekend....

A Tennessee staff comprised largely of former NFL coaches will greet a prospect loaded with NFL DNA today when No. 18 ranked defensive tackle prospect Kwame Geathers of Carver’s Bay High School in Georgetown, S.C., makes a trip to Knoxville one week after national signing day.

senracjr writes:

in response to swampbuggy:

Again! Kiffin stated at the now famous breakfast:

“I’m going to turn Florida in right now in front of you,” Kiffin told his receptive audience."

He went on to say:
"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."

Now you can spin this any way you please, bottom line is that he fully intended to report it .... he said it. He called Meyer a cheat which we now know was a figment of his imagination.

We don't care how he handled the Spurrier situation, we DO care when someone lies and says we were cheating.

Pearl was using tact to tell Kiffin that he needs to tone it down.

waaaaaaaaa waaaaaaaaaa waaaaaaaaaa!

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to gatorzz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Maybe u should read the story. It gives a comparison of the two men. The reaction of Kif to Spurrier calling him a cheat and the reaction Cry Baby Myer to being called a cheat by Kif. Our coach just laughs it off and your big baby wants NCAA sanctions.

invisiblekid writes:

"We’ll make sure we’re aware of how sensitive people are around here."

You would think Meyer would be used to being called a liar and a cheat by now.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/37...

senracjr writes:

in response to gatorzz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

No one really gives a rats a--!

swampbuggy writes:

in response to senracjr:

waaaaaaaaa waaaaaaaaaa waaaaaaaaaa!

But isn't it funny how the SEC jumped all over Kiffin...publicly, and made him apologize?

Slive told Junior to report to time out and not come out until he can learn to play nice.

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features