O'Neill wants to bring Kiffin to UT-USC basketball game

Tentative date set for Dec. 21 at Thompson-Boling Arena

Southern California head coach Kevin O'Neill, left, and assistant coach Bob Cantu react to a call during the second half of their NCAA college basketball game against Tennessee, Saturday, Dec. 19, 2009, in Los Angeles. USC won the game 77-55.

Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

Southern California head coach Kevin O'Neill, left, and assistant coach Bob Cantu react to a call during the second half of their NCAA college basketball game against Tennessee, Saturday, Dec. 19, 2009, in Los Angeles. USC won the game 77-55.

INDIANAPOLIS - Kevin O'Neill isn't worried about being the center of attention when he brings his Southern Cal basketball team to Knoxville next season.

"I'm thinking I'm going to bring Lane (Kiffin) with me to the game,'' O'Neill said Wednesday at the adidas Invitational AAU basketball tournament. "That should keep the heat off of me.''

O'Neill, who coached the Tennessee men's basketball team from 1994 through 1997, pulled off one of the more impressive coaching jobs against the Vols last season.

The Trojans' 77-55 win over then-No. 9-ranked UT was the most lopsided loss in coach Bruce Pearl's tenure with the Vols at the time.

"We were ready for them,'' said O'Neill, whose team entered the game as an 11-point underdog. "I'm sure they will be ready for us this time.''

This year's game is tentatively scheduled to be played in Thompson-Boling Arena on Dec. 21.

"We'll probably be starting three freshmen,'' O'Neill said. "And it's two days after we play Kansas, so we might already be pounded into submission.''

As for Kiffin's attendance at the game in Knoxville, O'Neill admits he probably won't be able to convince the former UT and current Southern Cal football coach to attend the game.

"We'd have to wear Kevlar instead of suits if we did,'' O'Neill said. "But at least we can stay at his house in Knoxville. It's never going to sell; might as well turn it into a hotel.''

If anyone can appreciate Kiffin's situation, it's O'Neill, who left UT abruptly to take the head coaching job at Northwestern.

O'Neill now says he acted like an "immature baby" when he left, attributing his departure to a disagreement with then-UT athletic director Doug Dickey.

But that was long ago, and it's clear O'Neill bears no ill-will toward the Big Orange Nation as he moves forward with Southern Cal.

O'Neill said he believes Kiffin will be successful with the Trojans' football program.

"I've had a lot of dealings with Lane, and I like him a lot,'' O'Neill said. "Lane is taking over a tough situation, but he's aggressive and he recruits well, and I think he'll do a great job for us.''

O'Neill said he understands the Tennessee fans' disappointment.

"Like any other college town, there's a feeling there that you should always win and be on top,'' O'Neill said. "I think the Tennessee fans probably liked Lane while he was there and hated to see him leave.

"I understand that. In my experience, Tennessee was a great place to be and probably still is.''

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Comments » 65

matrosscbc writes:

didn't know he was coaching baseball!......uuurrrggg

dvols writes:

Coach O'neill is a trip....glad not ours!

juicetke#226846 writes:

Have you seen my batheball

Vols7Twins writes:

a baseball game in december ?

KNSsports (staff) writes:

Sorry, guys. A little slip of the fingers writing the headline. It's been fixed.

jzt writes:

Bring him we will beat both their asses.

TeamXer writes:

O'Neill was always a funny _________.

BigBadVol writes:

I like coach O'Neill. He is a tremendous coach. He has admitted he acted childishly while at TN. No need for hate here.

Jediphysics writes:

Think where Jerry Green would have been without all those recruits that O'Neill convinced to come to Knoxvegas... wish he'd stayed to enjoy them. Then again, would rather have Pearl coaching us any day of the week!

V_O_L_S_GO_VOLS_GO writes:

"We'll probably be starting three freshmen,'' O'Neill said. "And it's two days after we play Kansas, so we might already be pounded into submission.''

Sounds like early excuses to me. Bring on to TBA, ya' money grubbin' biznitches....

Huttdawg100 writes:

in response to RichRollin:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Exactly!!! Enough already.

rootin4volz writes:

in response to KNSsports:

Sorry, guys. A little slip of the fingers writing the headline. It's been fixed.

Don't you mean "the usual slip of the fingers writing the headline"?

rootin4volz writes:

O'Neill and Kiffin...two peas in a pod. No two coaches at an institution ever deserved each other more. It's tweedle dee and tweedle dum; frick and frack; azz and hole.

Razor784 writes:

Bruce will have revenge on his mind when USC comes to town, it could get ugly

VolsToTheWall writes:

so by "O'Neill wants to bring Kiffin to USC-UT basketball game" you mean, uncle kevy tried to make a funny about bringing kiffin but really wasn't serious at all. gotcha.

RichmondKyVol writes:

We need to be cheering for Holland in the World Cup. They wear the right color, even if they spell the word wrong. And, isn't there a Dutch Valley in Knox County?

worldwideturd writes:

in response to VolsToTheWall:

so by "O'Neill wants to bring Kiffin to USC-UT basketball game" you mean, uncle kevy tried to make a funny about bringing kiffin but really wasn't serious at all. gotcha.

My thoughts exactly...Why doesn't KNS rename themselves the "Big Orange Enquirer"

AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons writes:

Would he escape unharmed??

digthevols writes:

Whatever happened to the "story/investigation/rummors" with Lane Kiffin's car wreck near his home with female companions. Can't believe that went away. In light of the UGA AD, it's a good time to dig deeper into that. Somebody knows something but ain't talkin!

HoustonVol writes:

I have no issues with Kiffin. At least he faced the team and media after making his decision. He didn't drive off and tell his defensive coordinator (or in Kiffin's case Off. Coord) that he was leaving behind to call a team meeting to announce he left. This is what Coach Fran did to Alabama and it killed his career. The verdict is still out if the lies and backstabbing that Kiffin and especially Coach O did at UT will come back to haunt them.

digthevols writes:

Hmmmm. How could this just be forgotten!

http://renovomedia.com/sports-enterta...

keepitreal4vols writes:

I'll be there with a bag of Oranges and my T-shirt launcher.

ViperOrange writes:

I just read that USC saftey Byron Moore is leaving the team also. He's a redshirt freshman.

Voluvr writes:

The old lull them to sleep with compliments technique.

knoxtenn writes:

I'm looking forward to the day when O'Neil's coaching abilities match his keen sense of humor and loud mouth. Bet he gives a great job interview, a la Lane Kiffin.

I wouldn't let him carry Bruce Pearl's jock strap.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to digthevols:

Whatever happened to the "story/investigation/rummors" with Lane Kiffin's car wreck near his home with female companions. Can't believe that went away. In light of the UGA AD, it's a good time to dig deeper into that. Somebody knows something but ain't talkin!

No police report and no evidence. All hearsay and conjecture. Won't amount to a hill of beans.

PopsinCapetownSA writes:

"I think the Tennessee fans probably liked Lane while he was there and hated to see him leave". WRONG! We liked Lane while he was here but glad to see him go. More so each day!!!!! Pop$

VOLinATL writes:

I liked Kevin...although he was the king of the "potty" mouth. He mainly chafed at being 3rd on the list of coaches (behind Phil & Pat).

jakethevolguy writes:

in response to BigBadVol:

I like coach O'Neill. He is a tremendous coach. He has admitted he acted childishly while at TN. No need for hate here.

The thing that I remember most about the O"Neill coached teams is they could absolutely not inbounds the ball under pressure.

PetePanuskanator writes:

O'Neal was and is a good coach. I think he hit the nail on the head when he stated he acted like a baby. His ego was probably a lot bigger when he coached at UT. Years of experience a lot of times chop coaches down to reality. It might take a lot of years for Kiffin though

informedintennessee writes:

in response to VOLinATL:

I liked Kevin...although he was the king of the "potty" mouth. He mainly chafed at being 3rd on the list of coaches (behind Phil & Pat).

I never liked Kevin, but I do agree that he had the worst potty mouth I have ever heard. Seems like a lot of the problems he had with Doug Dickey were over the fact that O'Neill's language was so horrible, no one wanted to sit in the stands near the bench. I was told by those that had those pricey seats (read big boosters) that they asked Dickey to muzzle O'Neill so they could bring their families to the games. Next thing you know, O'Neill was gone. Best thing that ever happened to Tennessee basketball.

madrigal writes:

They both need to stay gone.

RJ_Vol writes:

Lane Kiffin is a has-been. When USC goes off probation, he will be dismissed. The real story that KNS needs to answer is what ever happened to the NCAA inquiry into his actions at UT?

lomas98 writes:

in response to jakethevolguy:

The thing that I remember most about the O"Neill coached teams is they could absolutely not inbounds the ball under pressure.

The thing I remember most is how painful they were to watch on the offensive end. They were great on the defensive end. O'Neill just didn't have the offensive players yet as they came after he left.

lomas98 writes:

in response to informedintennessee:

I never liked Kevin, but I do agree that he had the worst potty mouth I have ever heard. Seems like a lot of the problems he had with Doug Dickey were over the fact that O'Neill's language was so horrible, no one wanted to sit in the stands near the bench. I was told by those that had those pricey seats (read big boosters) that they asked Dickey to muzzle O'Neill so they could bring their families to the games. Next thing you know, O'Neill was gone. Best thing that ever happened to Tennessee basketball.

O'Neill did have some colorful language, but have you read Pearl's lips on the sidelines? The product on the court is why most families couldn't attend games. It didn't matter where you sat at TBA during O'Neill's years because you could hear him anywhere. Most college coaches use bad language at games. Coach K is worse than O'Neill.

GeneralNeylandsReturn writes:

in response to lomas98:

The thing I remember most is how painful they were to watch on the offensive end. They were great on the defensive end. O'Neill just didn't have the offensive players yet as they came after he left.

He had no offensive philosophy except to pass the ball around till the shot clock was almost over and throw up any kind of prayer...never forget the Auburn game that ended up in the 30's for both teams. KO was similar to Kiffin, everybody fell head over heals in love and then when the honeymoon wore off we found ourselves with "false-hearted lover"

HoraceMorris writes:

People in Knoxville are still eat up with Lane Kiffin, including the media. I'm tired of hearing about the man. He's a snake and I'm glad he's gone.

punkin writes:

in response to PetePanuskanator:

O'Neal was and is a good coach. I think he hit the nail on the head when he stated he acted like a baby. His ego was probably a lot bigger when he coached at UT. Years of experience a lot of times chop coaches down to reality. It might take a lot of years for Kiffin though

Great name. How did you come up with that?

tennrich1 writes:

in response to informedintennessee:

I never liked Kevin, but I do agree that he had the worst potty mouth I have ever heard. Seems like a lot of the problems he had with Doug Dickey were over the fact that O'Neill's language was so horrible, no one wanted to sit in the stands near the bench. I was told by those that had those pricey seats (read big boosters) that they asked Dickey to muzzle O'Neill so they could bring their families to the games. Next thing you know, O'Neill was gone. Best thing that ever happened to Tennessee basketball.

Carried my 9 year old child to a practice session before the SEC tourney one year when Kevin was still our coach....HAD TO LEAVE AFTER 10 MINUTES OF PRACTICE...I had never heard ANYONE curse so professionally as I did with him that day....Totally lost respect for him as a person then...hopefully he's different now!!!

Chris4Vols22 writes:

So, from what I understand, Kiffin's a-holedness is rubbing off on O'Neill and he's self-handicapping himself months before the season even starts. "Oh no! We may be too tired because we played Kansas 2 days before." Shut your mouth, you're a disgrace.

VOLliven2it writes:

Coach Kevin, heck you can bring Mike Garrett if he is still USC's AD, we will welcome him and Twinkie(CK)but not along the same lines we welcomed Malik Jackson and any future USC players Twinkie doesn't hypnotize into NOT coming to UT. It'll be an interesting time in TB Arena even if Twinkie doesn't accomany O'Neill.

scubadad1 writes:

in response to jakethevolguy:

The thing that I remember most about the O"Neill coached teams is they could absolutely not inbounds the ball under pressure.

i think that was buzz's teams. that used to drive me crazy. how many time outs he wasted trying to inbound the ball.

DaddyVol writes:

"I've had a lot of dealings with Lane, and I like him a lot,'' O'Neill said. "Lane is taking over a tough situation, but he's aggressive and he recruits well, and I think he'll do a great job for us.''

It continues to amaze me at HOW everyone glosses over the fact that Lane Kiffin is responsible for recruiting Reggie Bush to USC, and Lane Kiffin is to blame for their NCAA debacle.

He was honing his cheating/lying skills way back then, and it has finally caught up with him.

Be proud USC fans, you are now being coached by the very person who brought your empire crashing down in the first place!

concordvol writes:

Lanie will be free, no Bowl Game....

Virgil_Tutwiler writes:

USC
University of Sloppy Ceconds

oskie_score writes:

I too liked O'Neill but I too did not appreciate the manner in which he departed. However, knowing AD Dickey and how difficult (to deal with) he can be, along w/ the inflated ego of both men it was for the best.

That said, no complaints here...afterall, the chain of events led to the hire of CBP! The BB program is much better off now and will continue to be under Coach Pearl.

Hey O'Neill better bring a towel to suck on (ala Jerry Tarkanian) it's going to be a long, brutal night at TBA!

stevefrommemphis writes:

The announcement of O'Neill's departure from UT was quite interesting. If I remember correctly, when everyone was wondering what would happen, the announcement was made on a local sports talk radio show by a worker at a Pilot station on Alcoa Hwy who said: "Kevin O'Neill was just in here to get gas. I've got his signed receipt right here. He said he's getting on a plane to Chicago and he's not coming back." Five hours later, Northwestern was introducing him as new head coach.

gohawks1 writes:

O'Neill might be charged with accessory to murder if this arrangement is made good.

RJ_Vol writes:

in response to concordvol:

Lanie will be free, no Bowl Game....

Perfect line for Hamilton:
"Since USC doesn't have a bowl game to interfere w/ his schedule, we definitely welcome Coach Kiffin and his staff. Seats in the middle of the student body should suffice. They seem to have a special interest in him."

VolunteerLifer writes:

Bring it, O'Neill. And bring that brat with you, too. The Volunteers will be waiting to greet you when you take the court.

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