KNOXVILLE - Former University of Tennessee football coach Lane Kiffin ran his car off the road last year, but police and UT officials say they have no records to back up claims made about that wreck by various Web sites.
The wreck happened in August as Kiffin drove home from fall camp, UT spokeswoman Tiffany Carpenter said Tuesday. She said she didn’t have an exact date.
“He’d been staying in the office for 11 nights and was going home to see his family,” she said. “He slid off the road.”
Kiffin, who resigned last Tuesday after one season at UT to become coach at Southern California, told Volquest.com in August that he fell asleep behind the wheel “after the 10th or 11th day of camp.”
“I was driving home and was about a half mile from home, nodded off and slipped off the side of the road into the ditch,” he told the Web site. “So they joke around here that I am not allowed to drive anymore.”
Lexus of Knoxville released a statement Tuesday saying Kiffin had wrecked a car the dealership loaned to UT. The dealership didn’t return calls for more details.
“For the past 15 years, Lexus of Knoxville has been a proud sponsor of the Tennessee Fund and the coach’s vehicle program at the University of Tennessee for the men’s and women’s athletic programs,” the statement reads. “Former University of Tennessee head football coach Lane Kiffin was involved in a single car accident in one of our vehicles. The proper authorities were contacted and the vehicle was towed to our location. Coach Kiffin’s insurance was contacted and promptly paid the claim.
“We have no knowledge of any of the alleged facts surrounding the accident being reported on the Internet. Any further questions should be forwarded to Lane Kiffin at the University of Southern California.”
Carpenter, the UT spokeswoman, said that statement refers to the August wreck, which happened near Kiffin’s home on Tooles Bend Road. The university did no internal investigation of the wreck, she said.
“There was no reason for discipline to our knowledge,” Carpenter said.
Knoxville police, the Knox County Sheriff’s Office and the Tennessee Highway Patrol said they have no record of a wreck reported by Lane Kiffin in 2009.