Adams: No such thing as bad publicity

John Adams

The World Series begins Wednesday, and Lane Kiffin is down to his last strike. Let the drama unfold.

Actually, there won't be much drama with Tennessee's first-year head football coach, who has been reprimanded for the second time by the SEC office. You know how he rolls.

Translation: A third strike is inevitable.

He will go down swinging from the heels with a smirk as wide as the state of Tennessee. The only question: Will his target be an SEC official or coach? He already has taken shots at both, which brings us to Monday's public reprimand from SEC commissioner Mike Slive.

Quoting the commissioner: "Coach Kiffin has violated the Southeastern Conference code of ethics. SEC Bylaw 10.5.4 clearly states that coaches, players, and support personnel shall refrain from all public criticism of officials.

"This is the second reprimand for Coach Kiffin in this calendar year. Coach Kiffin is on notice that for any further violations of SEC policies will subject him to additional penalties, including suspension?"

Suspension? Anything but that, right?

Wrong.

Imagine what a suspension would do for the street cred of a coach who needed only a couple of months to establish himself as the SEC's resident maverick and ESPN's must-have college football interview. Better yet, imagine what it would do for recruiting.

Kiffin already has recruited by billboard and rent-a-copter. Recruiting by suspension would be even more creative. The lure would be irresistible.

A possible scenario:

Following a victory or defeat against South Carolina on Saturday, Kiffin compliments the officials for performing "less hideously" than the Alabama crew, which was "so vision-impared, it didn't notice a 354-pound man without a helmet."

Just to make sure his barbs didn't go unnoticed, Kiffin could continue his commentary at Sunday's post-practice media session.

Reporter: "Coach, now that you have had a chance to see the video, what do you think of Saturday's officiating?

Kiffin (deadpan): "I think it's amazing how much fairer the officiating is when you aren't playing a conference team in the running for the national championship."

Reporter: "Are you saying that the officials are favoring the league's best teams?"

Kiffin (deadpan): "Of course not. I'm just kidding. And I'm sure Bobby Petrino and Dan Mullen can appreciate the humor."

Reporter: "Aren't you afraid of getting in trouble with the conference office?"

Kiffin (smirking): "What are they going to do, suspend me?"

The next day, the SEC would suspend Kiffin for the Vanderbilt game. The day after that, Kiffin would cancel practice so that he could spend the entire day and night on ESPN.

You might argue that UT would be at a disadvantage if its head coach couldn't be on the sideline. And you would be right if we still communicated via cave scrawl.

But Kiffin could call the offensive plays by cellphone. Better yet, he could do it live on ESPN.

The network wouldn't even need a color commentator. Kiffin could provide the color. When he wasn't calling plays, he could second-guess the opposing coaches and, of course, the officials.

The worst thing that could happen? He could get suspended for the Kentucky game, too.

You can't buy that kind of publicity.

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

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Comments » 87

FatherVol writes:

I am SO proud of our coach. As we have been hearing: Fear the Kiffin; We're in the Fast Lane.

tulelakevol writes:

Go get 'em Coach Kiffin. He not only fanned the conspiracy flames, he is burning up the message boards. Great publicity. I hope we stomp the guts out of the chickens.

scott_m99 writes:

wow...i don't know how to respond

hueypilot writes:

I had no idea that the SEC by laws had repealed the first amendment. Why can't you call a spade a shovel? Kiffin is right, Dan Mullen is right, Mark Richt was right and Slive is wrong. The emperor is buck naked and Kiffin and Mullen have called him out. I'd appreciate Richt weighing in since he got hosed two weeks ago. Go Vols.

Brillovol writes:

Maybe he could go all baseball manager on them on Saturday:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ggy6WG...

One of the best ejection tirades of all time.
GBO!

teampenny#658108 writes:

Less talking and more winning. Well talking is easier than winning. Good job LK

bugman (Inactive) writes:

dumb

UT4ever writes:

Adams need to leave town now, before we tar-and-feather him........he's a total joke-for-a-journalist....it's clear now that they only reason that he was so complimentary of Kiffin in the beginning was just to take backshots at Fulmer......Adams leave now!!

TommyJack writes:

in response to hueypilot:

I had no idea that the SEC by laws had repealed the first amendment. Why can't you call a spade a shovel? Kiffin is right, Dan Mullen is right, Mark Richt was right and Slive is wrong. The emperor is buck naked and Kiffin and Mullen have called him out. I'd appreciate Richt weighing in since he got hosed two weeks ago. Go Vols.

Richt wouldn't say chit if he stepped in it.

kiffownsfla writes:

And clk may take a suspension then we would be all over espn. young and up coming players want a coach that has thier back. so dont be suprised if a one or 2 game suspension were to happen lol! CLK IS A BRILLIANT GUY! GO VOLS TIME 4 USTO GET SUM ROOSTERS SATURDAY LOL!

stratocaster54 writes:

in response to hueypilot:

I had no idea that the SEC by laws had repealed the first amendment. Why can't you call a spade a shovel? Kiffin is right, Dan Mullen is right, Mark Richt was right and Slive is wrong. The emperor is buck naked and Kiffin and Mullen have called him out. I'd appreciate Richt weighing in since he got hosed two weeks ago. Go Vols.

Well said! The emperor is nude and his clothes were old anyway!

bobbytodd writes:

That may prove a point but it wouldn't help recruiting. Stupid article.

MTSUVOL writes:

Coach Kiffin is the Best. You have my support. Keep up the great work.

TurnUpTheVOLtage writes:

I'm ok with most of the talking, but for cryin out loud(pun intended), don't get suspended Kiffin! That's some really bad pub that I'm pretty sure would hurt us in recruiting. I don't see how that would do anything positive for the university.

vtvol#210290 writes:

Kiffin would be that talk of every sports medium in the nation if that happened. He could further his cause by showing up for interviews in a black and white striped shirt (with his signature UT visor of course). Fear the Kiffin!

Futurecoach16 writes:

in response to UT4ever:

Adams need to leave town now, before we tar-and-feather him........he's a total joke-for-a-journalist....it's clear now that they only reason that he was so complimentary of Kiffin in the beginning was just to take backshots at Fulmer......Adams leave now!!

He's not a journalist, he's a columnist. There's a difference. If he was actually one that went to games and wrote strictly on the game facts, then yes he's a bad journalist. However, being a columnist, he's getting paid to write only his opinion. Because of this, he is doing his job properly.

tulelakevol writes:

in response to Witch_Doctor:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Love your posts Witch_Doctor. KNS needs to hire you as a columnist, maybe you could write the daily "Wisdom from Witch_Doctor" column. Witch_Doctor wife would enjoy extra income. Everybody wins. Peace.

UT4ever writes:

in response to Futurecoach16:

He's not a journalist, he's a columnist. There's a difference. If he was actually one that went to games and wrote strictly on the game facts, then yes he's a bad journalist. However, being a columnist, he's getting paid to write only his opinion. Because of this, he is doing his job properly.

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

MTSUVOL writes:

hiresanders, are you gelous? You should be, because next year will be kicking your teams tail all over the football field. The Lane Train is coming!!!!!

we3vols#281863 writes:

in response to hiresanders:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

WOW. Just had a great idea. We will keep our coaches and YOU GO HIRE SANDERS...Now who is the clown? Go VOLS...Go to H3LL Trolls!

rootin4volz writes:

But there IS such a thing as bad journalism, and YOU, Mr. Adams, are the poster-boy for that. Maybe CLK could take his next shot at YOU...but I doubt Slive would care about that one...he'd just figure you had it coming, I'm sure.

colt writes:

All Middle Tennssee fans support Coach Kiffin. The team just gets better and better. Hang in there coach.

jsm67vol writes:

Hopefully this team will be dominating everybody the rest of the season and Kiffin won't have to say anything about the officiating. The officials of the SEC this year are giving the conference a bad name. Witch Doctor have these officials been spending alot of time at your herbal farm? If so, I bet Kiffin could get some calls to go the way he wants if he would keep some twinkies in his pockets during the game!

cdonsbach writes:

Mike Slive is a turd sandwich who needs to keep his officials in check. GO VOLS!

dvols writes:

monte get u some viagra... gonna like havin u around for a few.. welcome to gods country kifins!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

MoralVictory writes:

Your happy about our coach whining like a girl? Who are we and when did we become victims? Didn't we benefit from refs screwing UF in the Dallas Baker incident in 03? Short memories? Lane Kiffin should be in ro wrestling sooner than later..get it over with

MoralVictory writes:

What will we support next ..withdrawl from the SEC? Join the ACC? if we didnt get a huge break on the onside kick this game would not have been close, and if we could get a ball off the ground more than 4 ft we might have won

tulelakevol writes:

Love the attitude and swagger from the staff and the increased troll activity from the jealous ones. Life is good if you are a VOL fan!

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

in response to MVuniv:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

does anyone care? probably beats your chicken legs and hairless chest.

MiserableFloridaVol writes:

We have more than capable coaches on the sidelines if that were to happen. I like the idea!!!

vut56#231073 writes:

Here's the thing: comments are dead on that JA is a columnist, nor a beat reporter, except that he seems to mix it up. He goes on the road and may post a "happening" in his usual style and same day, post an op-ed that is usually sarcastic; never really witty nor funny. JMO.

What is missing in this whole debate is: what are the collegiate rules governing the helmet thing? The offical announcement from the SEC is one thing, and LK has given his. I ask: if the ball was in play, and the helmet came off, how can it not be a penalty and how can there be no further play. It would seem someone could check the tape and see if the ball was "covered/grounded" before the helmet came off...or not. If so, case closed. If not, exactly, from "the book" what is the rule?

That would seem journalism and thus far, I have failed to see the paragraph, page and wording that would govern an official's call in Tuscaloosa, South Bend, LA or Jefferson City. Can an experienced referee on this site chime in?

Razzle writes:

in response to MVuniv:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I've already told you this once Milli Vanilli. Kirk played for Ohio State. So he is going to pick Ohio State in any game. Herbstreit knows more about football than you ever will, you D.A.

notoriousBIGorange writes:

in response to MVuniv:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The same Urban Meyer that will turn tail and R-U-N-N-O-F-T to Notre Dame next year??

jcherrie#219531 (Inactive) writes:

Unfortunately, there is such a thing as bad journalism.

John, John, John, usually you're pretty good - a bit of sarcasm, good wit, good insight. But this really $ucks. This is one of those articles that one reads and goes, "I think he was trying to be funny."

Razzle writes:

All the trolls coming out from under their rocks now. The Gaytards, Alabubbas, Commodedoors, Game Clucks and Tiger Highs. Kiffin's got you guys running scared. LMAO

ArealVolFan writes:

in response to MoralVictory:

What will we support next ..withdrawl from the SEC? Join the ACC? if we didnt get a huge break on the onside kick this game would not have been close, and if we could get a ball off the ground more than 4 ft we might have won

Wow, you just don't get it. Ignorance is bliss I guess

VOL03_NC writes:

Lane Train is making some noise as the company is rolling in to a town near you....

GO VOLS!!!

jcherrie#219531 (Inactive) writes:

in response to MoralVictory:

Your happy about our coach whining like a girl? Who are we and when did we become victims? Didn't we benefit from refs screwing UF in the Dallas Baker incident in 03? Short memories? Lane Kiffin should be in ro wrestling sooner than later..get it over with

Listen M(ale) Oral Victory - First of all the contraction of 'You are' is 'You're'. Perhaps you didn't learn that at UF. Second of all, don't refer to the Tennessee coach as 'our coach'. Earlier you predicted 1 SEC victory for the Vols so between that and you're (are you catching on?) UF grammar you've (getting the hang of contractions?) already proven that you're (okay, seeing the pattern?) a stupid troll.

So go have a M(ale) Oral Victory with DC.

ddbirdvol writes:

No offense but the older crowd on here is clueless. For most college aged kids (18-22) there is nothing more intriguing than a coach willing to stick up for what he believes.

Call it classless, but a suspension would not hinder recruiting (unless he went completely insane) and would more than likely boost it

GreeneVol_TN writes:

Like the coach or hate him, you have to sit back and just watch the way the team is playing. I don't care what the record is, this is a different team from last year. Last year they were hanging their heads and quitting, but this year they have fire in their bellies and they are hitting. Keep it up coach!

NVRambo writes:

I can't blame Coach Kiffin at all. Far better to point out problems with officiating, headsets, conference favoritism than to sit down and address why his team is 3-4 with a real possibility of being 5-7 at season's end.

Keep up the good work, Coach. Burn those bridges faster than you can build them.

VoL4LiFe86 writes:

As long as Kiffin is bringing in top 10 recruiting classes no UT fan should be criticizing how we get our publicity! Who cares if it looks like he's whining? No 6 in recruiting right now. Right behind bamma and just in front of FL. Rather have a whining coach with top notch athletes than a classy coach with mediocre athletes.

pikavol writes:

onward and upward..

let's repair our season.

let the two no. 1's play their way out.

we have BIG GAMES coming up.. gonna need that effort each and every game.

Second half of the season... GET 'EM UP KIFFIN!

I AM PROUD TO GIVE MY ALL FOR THE VOLS TODAY!

f the naysayers... let's get some wins!

clariail#233203 writes:

in response to ArealVolFan:

Wow, you just don't get it. Ignorance is bliss I guess

Until a career record 8-19 improves dramatically shut up.

crimsonviper writes:

in response to hiresanders:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I know you are not going to get on the LaneTrain.
I do wish you would lay down on the tracks in front of it.

jandjhome#228397 writes:

We have a coach with large ones. GO BIG ORANGE.

bigorangeslice writes:

I love our coach....keep the smack talk comin'...who cares if you don't know the rules of the game!

golfballs03 writes:

What is Adam's point?

steamboatticket#484773 writes:

There is a lot of potential truth in this John Adam's spoof, which cracked me up laughing. Thanks, J.A. You were good for the health on this day.

GreerVol22 writes:

Funny read Adams. As long as Kiffin is right, then do what ever it takes. The officials are making Slive look more idiotic by the week and all he can do is threaten to suspend a coach for calling them out..wuss move Slive..manage you officials or get out.

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