Kiffin unapologetic in meeting with SEC coaches

DESTIN, Fla. — Lane Kiffin didn’t back down or hand out apologies Tuesday before he met his fellow SEC football coaches — many of whom he has called out and insulted.

The new Tennessee coach and his SEC colleagues gathered in Destin for face-to-face meetings at the annual spring conference. All the coaches individually addressed the media before the sessions began.

In his first few months on the job, Kiffin has taken verbal jabs at several of the SEC heavyweights, including Florida’s Urban Meyer, Alabama’s Nick Saban and South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier.

Kiffin called Meyer a “cheater” on signing day in February.

Meyer said before meeting Kiffin on Tuesday that he expected their first contact to be “professional.”

“That’s the way we’re supposed to act in this league,” Meyer added.

If Meyer was looking for an apology from Kiffin on Tuesday, there was none forthcoming. Kiffin, who issued a public apology to Meyer and the SEC almost immediately on signing day, said Tuesday that was it.

“I don’t have a relationship with coach Meyer, but I did ask for adjoining (hotel) rooms,” Kiffin said with a laugh.

Kiffin’s one-liners didn’t stop there Tuesday.

He had told Alshon Jeffery, before the recruit committed to Spurrier and the Gamecocks, that he “would be pumping gas for a living” if he signed with South Carolina.

“I have no problem with coach Spurrier,” Kiffin said Tuesday. “I just saw him in the elevator. He never apologized to me for saying I started recruiting without passing the NCAA recruiting test.”

Saban, who on signing day read Kiffin’s public comments that said, “Nick Saban should have started his press conference by saying, ’Our great class that we signed ... I’d really like to thank Lance (Thompson) because Lance signed eight of those guys.”

Thompson left the Alabama staff to work for Kiffin.

“Everybody has to have their own way of handling things and heavens knows I’ve made my share of mistakes with the media,” Saban said. “But we try to represent our organization in a first-class way and do it with loyalty and integrity.”

Kiffin’s story, and he’s sticking to it, is that his actions was to create national attention for a struggling program. The result for a school coming off a 5-7 season is a top 10 recruiting class.

“Do I love everything I had to do to get us to this point?” Kiffin said Tuesday. “No, I don’t. But we had to make an immediate impact. We couldn’t have sat back in the weeds and hoped we signed a top 10 class in a couple of years.

“I don’t think if we took a conservative approach there’s no way we would have signed that class and the No. 1 player (running back Bryce Brown) in the country. Kids we’re recruiting have responded to the confidence our staff has shown.”

Bobby Petrino of Arkansas and Houston Nutt of Ole Miss, a couple of the coaches that Kiffin hadn’t insulted yet, are amused by the situation.

“I’ve laughed about it, it has put a smile on my face,” said Petrino, who was on the staff with Kiffin with the Jacksonville Jaguars in the NFL. “Maybe if we want to quit talking about it, those guys (Meyer and Kiffin) can go jump in that Ultimate Fighting ring. That would sell some tickets.”

Nutt said that even though Kiffin was trying to fire up the Tennessee fans, the coaches Kiffin called out have long memories.

“Coaches may not said it affects them, but it is put in the back of their minds,” Nutt said. “And your players know more word-for-word of what was said.”

The one person who hasn’t been amused by the public give-and-take between coaches is SEC commissioner Mike Slive. He said his message to Kiffin and the rest of the coaches at this meeting is clear.

“In 2004, all of our football and basketball coaches passed a set of principles that are still in effect, a prescription our league has for dealing with these matters,” Slive said. “We expect everybody to follow our rules. The best interest of this league is to focus on our student-athletes.

“What’s good for one institution in this league is good for all institutions in this league. We’re all in this together.”

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Comments » 384

TonyGeist writes:

I, for one, love having an energetic, young coach. It'll booster the spirits of the student section. Maybe he shouldn't have said some things, but at least he's letting everyone know that A. He's trying to turn around the program. B. He can recruit like hell. And C. He's going to do what it takes to win.
Something the program hasn't seen in a while.
I think Lane's the kind of guy that values winning so much that if he realizes he can't win here, he'll quit for the betterment of the program.

gnm53108 writes:

The sec media days should be interesting.

samjrr writes:

Good job coach Kiffin.

TSNSD4UT writes:

who hasn't stuck the old foot in the mouth every now and again. myself like the new fire on the hill.

mkil5 writes:

in response to TarHeelsRule:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

It's a relief from the way Kiffin handles things as apposed to Fulmer for so long.
And why do you care? Shouldn't you be talking about basketball?

LifetimeVolFan98 writes:

in response to TarHeelsRule:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

So we can watch people like you make idiots out of yourself with your assinine comments...clowns wear "baby" blue, real men wear orange.

TSNSD4UT writes:

in response to mkil5:

It's a relief from the way Kiffin handles things as apposed to Fulmer for so long.
And why do you care? Shouldn't you be talking about basketball?

you shuld have said putin down CBP

TonyGeist writes:

It's not lost on me that everyone outside of Orange Nation thinks Kiffin is a "clown"; maybe he is, maybe he isn't. His antics have revived the major network's coverage on the program. He's getting UT out there.
To all the Florida fans, I'm a UT student, but I'll be realistic with you: I don't see us beating you in the Swamp. I would love it if we did, but with most of the starters on a national championship squad returning, I would never bet my money on that. Yes I am a die-hard UT fan, but I'm not a blind UT fan.

secsecsec writes:

Interesting link from the Birmingham News website regarding Spurrier's conversation with Kiffin today as they waited on the elevators: http://blog.al.com/solomon/2009/05/sp...

InertGas writes:

yada yada yada...let's tee it up.

TSNSD4UT writes:

in response to Agent_Orange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

TSNSD4UT writes:

my bad no name just original article

chrisw2967 writes:

Kiffin owes nobody an apology or should he back down from anyone.this program hasnt had anything to get excited about for years and now we got a coach with a little spunk and who cares if Spurrier or Meyers or whoever else gets their feelings hurt.If we lose to fla this year,big deal. we are suppose to lose.But it will be a huge deal if Fla doesnt win.

TSNSD4UT writes:

in response to chrisw2967:

Kiffin owes nobody an apology or should he back down from anyone.this program hasnt had anything to get excited about for years and now we got a coach with a little spunk and who cares if Spurrier or Meyers or whoever else gets their feelings hurt.If we lose to fla this year,big deal. we are suppose to lose.But it will be a huge deal if Fla doesnt win.

totaly agree...walk loud and proud go vols

panties4tebow writes:

Go Lane Kiffin and Staff! Great Job! GO BIG ORANGE!!!!!!!

rudy123 writes:

in response to TonyGeist:

It's not lost on me that everyone outside of Orange Nation thinks Kiffin is a "clown"; maybe he is, maybe he isn't. His antics have revived the major network's coverage on the program. He's getting UT out there.
To all the Florida fans, I'm a UT student, but I'll be realistic with you: I don't see us beating you in the Swamp. I would love it if we did, but with most of the starters on a national championship squad returning, I would never bet my money on that. Yes I am a die-hard UT fan, but I'm not a blind UT fan.

I totally agree with you.
The past few years, we were
beaten by several point by Florida. Do you really think
that if Kiffin had been super nice to Meyers, that we
would only lose by 3 points?
With no Q.B., we will have to run the ball alot. Once we fall behind, we won't be able to score quickly enough
to catch up.
In the forth quarter, our defense will be tired and Meyers and Co. will score even more to rub it in.
This will be Meyers last year at Florida though. He doesn't want to wait around for Tennessee to get strong and start beating him every year.
Meyers is as good as gone!!

TSNSD4UT writes:

in response to rudy123:

I totally agree with you.
The past few years, we were
beaten by several point by Florida. Do you really think
that if Kiffin had been super nice to Meyers, that we
would only lose by 3 points?
With no Q.B., we will have to run the ball alot. Once we fall behind, we won't be able to score quickly enough
to catch up.
In the forth quarter, our defense will be tired and Meyers and Co. will score even more to rub it in.
This will be Meyers last year at Florida though. He doesn't want to wait around for Tennessee to get strong and start beating him every year.
Meyers is as good as gone!!

I for one dont want him to leave just want to beat him now and always

TSNSD4UT writes:

i'f ya want ta beat the big dog you gotta fight the big dog you see.

1manningfan writes:

in response to BobbeaVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

TSNSD4UT writes:

I think this staff is bringing the bad arse tude back to the men in orange.

secsecsec writes:

Sensible coverage from the Sporting News:
" Now it's a bunch of sound bites from booster events; cheesy potshots designed to make a national splash. The only problem: The 24/7 media cycle has eaten it up to the point that -- I swear I'm not making this up -- one television bobblehead here asked Kiffin whether he was going to "apologize to Coach Meyer."

Have we all lost our collective minds?

Why in the world would any coach, at any point in time, apologize for gigging another? Rivalries are the backbone of the game; they make college football so deliciously dynamic and drastically different from any other sport.

Think The Bear would've apologized to Shug Jordan for calling Auburn the "Cow College?" Think Spurrier would apologize to Phil Fulmer for saying you can't spell Citrus without "UT?" Think it still sticks in Fulmer's craw?

You better believe it does.

Maybe that's why Kiffin, when asked if he were going to apologize to Meyer, shot back with, "I'm still waiting for my apology from Coach Spurrier."
http://www.sportingnews.com/yourturn/...

learnron#236127 writes:

in response to chrisw2967:

Kiffin owes nobody an apology or should he back down from anyone.this program hasnt had anything to get excited about for years and now we got a coach with a little spunk and who cares if Spurrier or Meyers or whoever else gets their feelings hurt.If we lose to fla this year,big deal. we are suppose to lose.But it will be a huge deal if Fla doesnt win.

Chris, I don't think Coach Meyer or Coach Spurrier want or expect an apology. They will attempt to embarrass Tenn on the feild and Tenn will try to prevent it.

smokyredbone writes:

in response to TarHeelsRule:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Why are you on this board? Enjoy that bland old man Butchy boy and hope you never end up on our schedule!

smokyredbone writes:

in response to learnron#236127:

Chris, I don't think Coach Meyer or Coach Spurrier want or expect an apology. They will attempt to embarrass Tenn on the feild and Tenn will try to prevent it.

That should be their goal regardless of what CLK says. I promise you this,Kiffin will do his best to embarrass them! It's his freaking job Dork!

learnron#236127 writes:

in response to rudy123:

I totally agree with you.
The past few years, we were
beaten by several point by Florida. Do you really think
that if Kiffin had been super nice to Meyers, that we
would only lose by 3 points?
With no Q.B., we will have to run the ball alot. Once we fall behind, we won't be able to score quickly enough
to catch up.
In the forth quarter, our defense will be tired and Meyers and Co. will score even more to rub it in.
This will be Meyers last year at Florida though. He doesn't want to wait around for Tennessee to get strong and start beating him every year.
Meyers is as good as gone!!

Rudy, It's Meyer not Meyers. I think Urban will be at UF for a long time. Coach Kiffin needs to win some big games before the rest of the SEC fears UT. Coach Kiffin has started well with his first recruiting class, but time will tell. It's going to be a fun football season.

TxFatBoy writes:

in response to TarHeelsRule:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Because, unlike tarheels fans, UT fans want a winner and expect a winner. Tarheels are basketball fans and are pretty much out of the running for a NC before the first game of the season! So you worry about your basketball coaches and let US worry about our football coaches!

GerryOP writes:

102 -- Fear The Kiffin...

allvol32 writes:

Man it's great to see all of these posters, opposing coaches and anonymous AP writers so worried about Lane Kiffen and UT!!!

TSNSD4UT writes:

chest bumping bad mouthing pump my team put your team down it's all about pumping your team up make em proud and man by all means look good in front of the recruits.

1manningfan writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

smokyredbone writes:

in response to gatorz5:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

learnron#236127 writes:

in response to smokyredbone:

That should be their goal regardless of what CLK says. I promise you this,Kiffin will do his best to embarrass them! It's his freaking job Dork!

Smokeyredbone, Just stating an opinion. Name calling unnecessary and I don't think Tenn has the horses to embarrass UF this year.

smokyredbone writes:

in response to allvol32:

Man it's great to see all of these posters, opposing coaches and anonymous AP writers so worried about Lane Kiffen and UT!!!

Amen brother!!! Exactly what he intended!

smokyredbone writes:

in response to learnron#236127:

Smokeyredbone, Just stating an opinion. Name calling unnecessary and I don't think Tenn has the horses to embarrass UF this year.

Probably not! But your still a Dork!

TSNSD4UT writes:

The other coaches know this the only problem is CLK is doing the job so well they dont like it.

kman29 writes:

in response to rudy123:

I totally agree with you.
The past few years, we were
beaten by several point by Florida. Do you really think
that if Kiffin had been super nice to Meyers, that we
would only lose by 3 points?
With no Q.B., we will have to run the ball alot. Once we fall behind, we won't be able to score quickly enough
to catch up.
In the forth quarter, our defense will be tired and Meyers and Co. will score even more to rub it in.
This will be Meyers last year at Florida though. He doesn't want to wait around for Tennessee to get strong and start beating him every year.
Meyers is as good as gone!!

Wow! being such an expert on what Urban MEYER will and won't do, you would think you would actually know how to say his last name properly.

TSNSD4UT writes:

in response to 1manningfan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

what

Greer_Vol_22 writes:

in response to TarHeelsRule:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

dude, we just fired the clown.

chrisw2967 writes:

in response to learnron#236127:

Chris, I don't think Coach Meyer or Coach Spurrier want or expect an apology. They will attempt to embarrass Tenn on the feild and Tenn will try to prevent it.

I see Fla winning this year against tn but spurrier, i dont think he will get his wish.

teampenny#658108 writes:

in response to TonyGeist:

It's not lost on me that everyone outside of Orange Nation thinks Kiffin is a "clown"; maybe he is, maybe he isn't. His antics have revived the major network's coverage on the program. He's getting UT out there.
To all the Florida fans, I'm a UT student, but I'll be realistic with you: I don't see us beating you in the Swamp. I would love it if we did, but with most of the starters on a national championship squad returning, I would never bet my money on that. Yes I am a die-hard UT fan, but I'm not a blind UT fan.

What you say is true, but what confuses me is that we sold less season tickets. I thought he would have fans so juiced it would offset the economy. Go Vols

TSNSD4UT writes:

in response to 1manningfan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

dude check my posts I have never posted anything twice

teampenny#658108 writes:

in response to chrisw2967:

Kiffin owes nobody an apology or should he back down from anyone.this program hasnt had anything to get excited about for years and now we got a coach with a little spunk and who cares if Spurrier or Meyers or whoever else gets their feelings hurt.If we lose to fla this year,big deal. we are suppose to lose.But it will be a huge deal if Fla doesnt win.

It is a big deal every time Florida loses. Hope soon it will be a big deal every time we lose. I hate every loss. Go Vols

vol_chaz writes:

Herban will bolt after this year. He sees the writing on the wall, they will fade as the Vols and Bama rise again. He'll go to ND next year. Gatorzz will start stalking his new team once UF goes down hill.

rich182x writes:

I like the UFC idea... HAHA! I got twenty on Kiff. THrow his wife in there too for some good muddin' with Urbies' lady.

TSNSD4UT writes:

in response to teampenny#658108:

It is a big deal every time Florida loses. Hope soon it will be a big deal every time we lose. I hate every loss. Go Vols

It's already a big deal to the UT fans now maybe it will be a big deal to the team no more laughing on the sidelines when you screw up...

rockytopspottedbirgdog writes:

He shouldn't apologize.

mbible1utk#324980 writes:

I have no problem with someone saying they'll deliver until they prove to me that they don't. I'm okay with Kiffin doing what it's going to take to get in the news. I seem to remember a coach at UT who once came out before Tennessee ever played Florida in Basketball and guaranteed us as students that the team was going to kick Florida's (rear). So far, he's 7-1 against the Gators, the one loss being without our best player, and AT Florida. I'll take that.

TSNSD4UT writes:

craps started i'm gone goooooooooovolssssssss.

TD_4_UT writes:

Needless to say you can tell a lot of tension between certain coaches going on. Can you imagine how many fans around the country will tune in to the FL & ALA games this year? Gotta love it!!! GO VOLS!!!!!!!!!!!!

gcscvol writes:

in response to gatorz5:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

DON'T REALLY GIVE A RATS ARSE WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY. FIND A Gator SITE AND STAY THE HELL THERE

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