The Orgeron imbroglio: Lane Kiffin 'believes' more than he 'knows'

New USC assistant called Tennessee recruits

Tennessee head coach Lane Kiffin talks with assistant coach Ed Orgeron during the Chick-Fil-A Bowl Thursday, Dec. 31, 2009 in Atlanta.

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess

Tennessee head coach Lane Kiffin talks with assistant coach Ed Orgeron during the Chick-Fil-A Bowl Thursday, Dec. 31, 2009 in Atlanta.

Yes, I did call recruits to clear up any questions they had.

Ed Orgeron

Orgeron's comments at USC press conference

LOS ANGELES — Lane Kiffin had just finished discussing the "magnifying glass" of operating in the Southeastern Conference, and how it had taught him the importance of "complete attention on the rules."

Then came a question about one of the assistant coaches who had come with him, and whether Ed Orgeron had initiated phone calls to players who had been recruited to Tennessee.

"I don't know that that's accurate.... I don't believe that has happened," Kiffin said Wednesday evening, just after he was introduced as USC's new head football coach. "I've told (Tennessee Athletic Director) Mike Hamilton I will not recruit the players that go there unless they call me."

It was more a question of ethics than of NCAA rules. Although this is a mandated "dead period" for college recruiting — four days when, as notices taped all around USC's Heritage Hall explained, face-to-face visits are prohibited and contact is limited — prospects are allowed to receive one phone call from each school.

Kiffin, noting that he had been gathering his family and been on a plane a good chunk of the day, promised he'd check into it, though — a pledge that soon became moot.

Off to the side a few minutes after Kiffin finished speaking, Orgeron, after much prodding, told reporters that he had indeed initiated phone calls to some of the 26 Tennessee recruits he and Kiffin had received commitments from.

"Yes, I did call recruits to clear up any questions they had," Orgeron said without identifying the players and declining to answer how many he reached. "In my knowledge, I followed the rules correctly."

However, there were also reports that Orgeron encouraged recruits who had signed up for spring semester courses at Tennessee not to attend their first classes this week.

NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn said rules stipulate that "An institution cannot contact a student-athlete enrolled at another institution without permission from the current school. A currently enrolled student-athlete who transfers must sit out a year before becoming eligible to compete. An enrolled student-athlete is one who is officially registered and enrolled in a minimum, full-time program of studies in any quarter or semester of an academic year, as certified by the registrar or admissions office, provided the student was present at the institution on the opening day of classes."

Osburn also said the NCAA may choose to work with USC and Tennessee to gather "relevant fact and data" regarding Orgeron's contact.

Asked if he advised Tennessee recruits to not attend classes Wednesday so they wouldn't face transfer rules, Orgeron said, "I'm not going to get into that.

"I make tremendously strong ties with families in recruiting," he added. "I always try to guide them in the right direction and provide information to them to help some young men who are wondering, 'Coach, what can I do? What are my options?'

"All I did was present their options. Families call me. I call them. I had answers. I gave them answers to their questions."

A father of one of the players said Wednesday that Orgeron had offered USC scholarships to some of the Volunteers recruits.

Jeff Bray said his son, former Kingsburg (Calif.) High quarterback Tyler Bray, was in a room Tuesday when Orgeron made his pitch to a group of players via speaker phone.

"He didn't think it was very cool," Jeff Bray said of his son's reaction to the presentation. "You're in the middle of all this turmoil and they're trying to pull players.... My understanding was a lot of (the players) got very angry and voiced their anger on the phone."

Mike Garrett, USC's athletic director, said he hadn't explored Orgeron's contact with Tennessee recruits and wasn't comfortable responding to questions about how he would handle the matter.

"I don't even want to get into it," Garrett said. "Are you kidding me? It doesn't even make sense."

Garrett said university compliance officials have reviewed violations that occurred at Tennessee under Kiffin's leadership — including female members of the school's "Orange Pride" unit visiting elite recruits at their high school campuses — and "we feel comfortable with it."

Tennessee had a highly touted recruiting class, but experts have predicted it will unravel in the wake of Kiffin's departure. National signing day for football is Feb. 3.

"Tennessee's going to lose a lot of players, without a doubt," said Tom Lemming, a recruiting analyst for CBS College Sports Network. "Tennessee has no coach with only two weeks left in recruiting. They're kind of left between a rock and a hard place."

As for USC: "Lane can't do much better than what they were doing," Lemming said. "All he has to do is maintain and add a few big names."

Many of USC's recruits seemed eager to meet their new coach. Lakewood High quarterback Jesse Scroggins and safety Dion Bailey reaffirmed their commitments in the wake of Kiffin's hiring, and Hillside (Ill.) Proviso West receiver Kyle Prater is expected to begin attending classes next week.

San Diego Mission Bay running back Dillon Baxter also seems excited about playing for Kiffin, his coach, Willie Matson, said.

___

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Comments » 146

graphpro#231211 writes:

Fry em' like chickens!

Madkels writes:

Simply scum. Good riddence. We will take a short term hit but I hope Hammy will get a long term coach with class and character. May USC get hit with huge sanctions from this event and the Reggie Bush investigation.

bfowler1161#262198 writes:

Let's get over the O and ethics. His past track record speaks for itself. Hamilton bought into this last year and now he is getting what he paid for, a mercenary. Kiffin knows this too. Finally, let's stop giving Monte a free pass here. If he were such a "good guy" he'd stick with his commitment.

MidTennVol writes:

True justice would be the NCAA bringing the hammer down hard on the USC program.

Ringside writes:

I believe everyone knew what Ed O was when he got here. Trash.

DannyVol writes:

Monte Kiffin can go to hell too. And please, would someone please tell Chris Walker to stop saying nice things about Lane Kiffin; makes the kid look flaky and gutless...I know he is trying to show class, but his coach just set the program back at least three years.

jobrando#216494 writes:

Completly unethical and fried in the SEC.

volsgirl writes:

That right ( lower then dirt) no class at all.....HEY VOLS FAN DON'T LET THIS GET YOU DOWN...WE GOT RICH TRADITON HERE THIS PROGRAM WILL BOUND BACK SOON.....GO VOLS

mmynatt writes:

I could hope those snakes are part of a BIG scandal at USC. I think the Kiffin family and his cohorts (especially Orgeron) are out-and-out crooks. We are better off in the long run that are gone ---- Monte Kiffin may have been the "greatest defensive guru" but he sure didn't raise his son very well.

crimsonviper writes:

They are busted the first day on the job.
The NCAA is going to blow through LA like a hurricane,
It will be sweet.

VolInIndy writes:

in response to crimsonviper:

They are busted the first day on the job.
The NCAA is going to blow through LA like a hurricane,
It will be sweet.

As one columnist said yesterday, with Kiffin in town, the NCAA investigaters can trade in the tents they have been living in for the past two years for permanent office space.

BustaRhymes writes:

Oregeron - you are a classless SOB - I can't wait to watch both you and Lame fail at USC. You guys have NO chance out there.

SandySpringsVol writes:

Orgeron is scum. He committed NCAA violations by contacting enrolled student-athletes at UT.

Contacting recruits who had not yet arrived on campus was OK, but speaking to them once they were on campus and offering them USC scholarships is a violation and USC should be sanctioned for it.

UT will ultimately be better off without this garbage, but it will not be pretty over the next several weeks.

Down_The_Field writes:

in response to DC_10point0:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

oh, please spare us, pope benedict.

it would take a flar-duh fan to know a scum bag and you pegged it. just look at your past of scum bags....

1981-1985 flar-duh team.
1990 flar-duh team.
ron zook.

is orgeron a scum bag? yes. i know of other scum bags that play DUI offenders in important bowl games......there are also scum bags that would play violent offenders but their violent offender player has to step in and do the scum bag coaches job and suspend himself.

yep, there's a lot of scum bag coaches out there.

JacksonvilleVol writes:

Kiffin's departure... if we lose enough recruits season ticket holders will back out and the local business and small stores associated with the VOLS are going to suffer. Thanks Kiffin -- leaving so late for your "dream job" is probably going to hurt the local Knoxville economy. Screw you.

CRFVols writes:

Hire lawyers now.....see what can be done...and if anything can be done....go after Orgeron. Let's see who can get the last laugh.

SATCHMOE writes:

Orgeron says that he makes strong ties to families.What a lie,the Orange Nation is one of the biggest families out there and he screwed us,along with JR., and his dad.Family,strong ties,what a joke,you guys are all about yourselves;liars and thieves.Jeff Bray has spoke the trurh concerning Orgeron and I feel sure that Ole Ed was under the direction of his lying boss.Thanks to the Brays for being honorable to their words,we are proud to have you in our Big Orange Family.As for the liars of USC's new staff,"You Reap What You Sow".The NCAA just loves to council with disfunctional families like yours.

corrinebrown writes:

THESE TWO ARE WHY ITS CALLED A DIRTY BUSINESS

crimsonviper writes:

in response to BIGGEST_BEAR:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

USC meets with the NCAA in FEB.
They will give them some idea of penalties(yes there will be some)
I think they have their sacrificial lamb.
Of course Lane can call on his brethren in the SEC for support..Bwahahaha.He is going to get his and soon.IMO....GBO

nocleats writes:

Sorry to say, the National Media is not attacking this story, by Fri it will only be mentioned in Tennessee and no where else. By Feb the national media will be talking about how rosey things are at USC.. The NCAA will do nothing to USC to amount to anything, Just look, The Reggie Bush getting a house for his parents was 4 years ago and the NCAA has done nothing.

RockinTop writes:

I think in the end, parents with good sense, will not let their sons play for these guys. Maybe I am naive, but it would appear to me that this will all bite both of them in the long run...

What parent could believe anything they say? What parent would trust either one of them? What young adult would? No way my kid ever plays for either of these two....or the daddy!

Go Big Orange!

chl1958 writes:

Hire Jon Gruden!

cloudodust writes:

Orgeron is the key to failure. This guy tightropes the rules but eventually, he'll fall. And when he does, the greasy spot he leaves behind will be a turning point for college football recruiting. I can see it now. The NCAA imposes a new rule called the Orgeron Violation...

proudveteran writes:

The Southern California people are not happy with the hiring of Kiffin either. Today's Los Angles Times offers a poll of some 26,000 people and slightly over 50% felt that the Kiffin hire was not good for USC. Check Kiffin out on his Los Angeles TV appearance...absolutely no expression of confidence and leaves the impression of a genuine "weasel" who knows it. If ever there was a genuine "punk" - Kiffin backs this up with his selection of Oregeron to go with him - plainly two peas in a pod or two birds in the same flock.

duncanvol writes:

spartanburg news saying cory miller did not attend class wed. and is thinking about his options. athletic director ham. is wrong. kids are not locked in unless they went to class.

TommyJack writes:

in response to DC_10point0:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

"I saw it as a sign from God that this was the right thing to do," Meyer told The Times of his daughter's reaction.

ctexorange writes:

Last week most of you worshiped the ground coach O walked on. Now the most vocal are flip floppers. It was OK when we did this to other schools. Time to get some values back at Tennessee. This inludes the fans! We need a coach and AD with integrity. Pat Robertson indicated UT made a pact with the devil and that is why this happened. LOL....

clvolfan writes:

Kiffin-"THE MAGNIFYING OF THE SEC RULES"
Yep USC operated under completely rules, and the NCAA certainly looks at them differentlt.

GreerVol22 writes:

in response to RockinTop:

I think in the end, parents with good sense, will not let their sons play for these guys. Maybe I am naive, but it would appear to me that this will all bite both of them in the long run...

What parent could believe anything they say? What parent would trust either one of them? What young adult would? No way my kid ever plays for either of these two....or the daddy!

Go Big Orange!

Rockin', I hear you , but most of the parents of these kids see nothing but dollar signs at the end of the rainbow, and have all their lives. Many high schools are so corrupt they find parents jobs to get their kids to move into a certain high school district. Very few parents are like Tyler Brays parents and do the right thing. Ed O and Lane understand this very well and work that side of recruiting.

TommyJack writes:

in response to crimsonviper:

USC meets with the NCAA in FEB.
They will give them some idea of penalties(yes there will be some)
I think they have their sacrificial lamb.
Of course Lane can call on his brethren in the SEC for support..Bwahahaha.He is going to get his and soon.IMO....GBO

Yep.Whatever penalties USC was gonna get, they just got doubled. Bwahahahaha

cloudodust writes:

in response to ctexorange:

Last week most of you worshiped the ground coach O walked on. Now the most vocal are flip floppers. It was OK when we did this to other schools. Time to get some values back at Tennessee. This inludes the fans! We need a coach and AD with integrity. Pat Robertson indicated UT made a pact with the devil and that is why this happened. LOL....

When Coach O was entrenched in Knoxville and attempting to sway commits of other schools to come to Knoxville, he did so on a Tennessee budget. This is fair and part of the game of recruiting. To then resign from Tennessee and try to pull the recruits he had committed to Tennessee to follow him is a case of considering recruits his personal property, not the university whose money he spent to bring them to Tennessee. Plain and simple, that's highly questionable tactics.

oldvolsarge writes:

in response to duncanvol:

spartanburg news saying cory miller did not attend class wed. and is thinking about his options. athletic director ham. is wrong. kids are not locked in unless they went to class.

Don't know that I agree with them having to go to class. Check the article out again. Osburn, the NCAA Rep, said that they only had to be present on campus on the opening day of classes. Hammie said that if they were on campus at 1201 a. m. yesterday morning that they are locked in for a year. Who is right, you or the NCAA Rep. and Hammie. Just asking?

99gator writes:

in response to TommyJack:

"I saw it as a sign from God that this was the right thing to do," Meyer told The Times of his daughter's reaction.

y'all hate on urban and saban all you want, but DC is right about this one.

fact is meyer and saban could leave tomorrow and their fan bases would shed tears about them leaving, but the fans would be grateful about what they accomplished.

meyer will leave florida better than he found it. saban will leave bama having returned bama to glory and better than he found it.

kiffin left tennessee in a world of s*** that it will take a long time to come clean.

people are still pissed to the point where they have not yet discussed what this means from a football standpoint.

tennessee won't even have 85 players on scholarship for about 2 or three years.

kiffin has done more to hurt tennessee football than any enemy of tennessee football could.

Couchdummy writes:

Kiffin & Oregron-- What a couple of scum bags! Hamilton was duped and we TN fans drank to kool-aid. Sham on us, but it was Hamilton's job to fill the position! Hamilton should at least admit culpability, but he does not. Is that not incredible?

duncanvol writes:

just read it in paper this morning dude. i live 1 mile from burns high school. i hope its not true but thats what paper said.

TommyJack writes:

in response to 99gator:

y'all hate on urban and saban all you want, but DC is right about this one.

fact is meyer and saban could leave tomorrow and their fan bases would shed tears about them leaving, but the fans would be grateful about what they accomplished.

meyer will leave florida better than he found it. saban will leave bama having returned bama to glory and better than he found it.

kiffin left tennessee in a world of s*** that it will take a long time to come clean.

people are still pissed to the point where they have not yet discussed what this means from a football standpoint.

tennessee won't even have 85 players on scholarship for about 2 or three years.

kiffin has done more to hurt tennessee football than any enemy of tennessee football could.

I'll save the hate for Urb. Just dislike for Saban. Urb is playing you guys, and more importantly, your recruits, like a fine violin.

As for "kiffin has done more to hurt TN football than any enemy of TN football could"....Thanks for that Capt. Obvious.

rockytop#413695 writes:

in response to duncanvol:

spartanburg news saying cory miller did not attend class wed. and is thinking about his options. athletic director ham. is wrong. kids are not locked in unless they went to class.

No, you are wrong. I just read somewhere (I've read so much in the last 24 hours not sure where but probably on this site) that an NCAA spokesperson said that if a student athlete was enrolled in 14 hours of class and was on campus on the day classes begin, they are enrolled officially and must sit a year before transferring. Miller was enrolled and here. He will have to sit if he wants to transfer. He has been all Vol and I think he will come back and be very happy with his decision once we get a coach in place.

VolHooch14 writes:

in response to TommyJack:

I'll save the hate for Urb. Just dislike for Saban. Urb is playing you guys, and more importantly, your recruits, like a fine violin.

As for "kiffin has done more to hurt TN football than any enemy of TN football could"....Thanks for that Capt. Obvious.

TJ
Word around the fire is that Meyer is going to resign in the future and the whole ruse of "taking a leave of absense" is just to avoid any signing day chaos, and to make the transition smoother for a successor.
Your take?

yabadabadoo1026 writes:

the scumbag said "I" will not recruit tennessee committments/recruits so he lets his fellow scumbag do it instead----------total sleeze , both of them----------would be fitting if they earned a significant violation before they even get moved into their offices

duncanvol writes:

in response to rockytop#413695:

No, you are wrong. I just read somewhere (I've read so much in the last 24 hours not sure where but probably on this site) that an NCAA spokesperson said that if a student athlete was enrolled in 14 hours of class and was on campus on the day classes begin, they are enrolled officially and must sit a year before transferring. Miller was enrolled and here. He will have to sit if he wants to transfer. He has been all Vol and I think he will come back and be very happy with his decision once we get a coach in place.

maybe sptbg. herald journal is wrong just telling you what i read.

99gator writes:

in response to TommyJack:

I'll save the hate for Urb. Just dislike for Saban. Urb is playing you guys, and more importantly, your recruits, like a fine violin.

As for "kiffin has done more to hurt TN football than any enemy of TN football could"....Thanks for that Capt. Obvious.

if urban wanted to leave or wants to leave, he will just leave.

how difficult is it to say i'm quitting or i'm taking another job.

leaving a school isn't very difficult. kiffin showed everyone how easy it is to leave a school when you want to.

if and when meyer doesn't want to coach the university of florida anymore, he will just leave.

and when meyer leaves, i will be grateful for what he did while he was the coach. when jeremy foley is asked to describe the urban meyer era a the university of florida, the response won't be "brief".

Volon writes:

He "believes more than he knows". Sad thing is he only believes in himself. Sadder thing is Vols "believed" in him, many hook, line, and sinker. When he was doing all his scummy things it was okay, and was definded by many on here, but he was a scubbag then, but he was our scumbag. Everyone on here needs to look at themselves, because we helped make him what he is. If you really want UT to become a class place again everyone needs to start having some class, and holding coaches up to having class.

Go4Two writes:

Guys you reap what you sow. Play with snakes you will get bit. Coach Fulmer may not have been the best x &o's guy but he was one of us. You new he had your back as a fan.

537081 writes:

I'm glad the shoe isn't on the other foot. I would not feel good about doing this to another school. I would feel bad about "theif in the night stuf" If Tennessee had snuck in like USC did. I feel like USC will be sorry in the long run, and we will think they did us a favor.

duncanvol writes:

go to www.goupstate.com and read for yourself.

scvols writes:

Kiffin knew and most likey told coach O to call them and recruit them to USC.

99gator writes:

if it makes anyone feel any better, mike and mike in the morning (espn radio) are tearing lane kiffin a new one.

they are using a "BSPN" translator to decipher kiffin's press conference.

HallowedHill writes:

Sounds like a minimum of 9 violations - one for every student athlete already enrolled.

VolHooch14 writes:

in response to imnotDC:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

DC,
I could not care less if Meyer stays or goes at Florida. What I DO care about is SEC football, and watching what transpires during the season, especially when it comes to recruiting.
And by the way, our focus is on finding a good coach right now, and not living on Florida's football board like you guys do on ours 24 / 7.

WNCVOL32 writes:

in response to DC_10point0:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

What happened to I won't post for a week!

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