Hamilton: Southern Cal's penalties 'a gut check that we needed'

Athletic director Mike Hamilton talks to reporters about the resignation of football coach Lane Kiffin Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at the University of Tennessee.

Photo by Saul Young

Athletic director Mike Hamilton talks to reporters about the resignation of football coach Lane Kiffin Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010 at the University of Tennessee.

Lane Kiffin stood at the microphone last week and addressed the hard-hitting NCAA sanctions levied against his football program.

Mike Hamilton was relieved it wasn't his football program, too.

But the University of Tennessee men's athletic director said he took no satisfaction in the adversity faced by the coach who jilted UT in favor of Southern Cal last January after only 14 months on the job in Knoxville.

"I don't revel in anyone's failures or those kinds of things," Hamilton said Monday on the News Sentinel's radio show, The Sports Page. "But there's a rulebook and we have to follow the rules. When those schools don't, then there are repercussions for that.

"With the public nature of what was involved at SC. ... if the NCAA had not levied a pretty stiff penalty, I think it would have sent a wrong message to other schools around the country. So I think they had to do that."

USC's penalties included the elimination of 30 scholarships and a bowl ban for two years for extra benefits accepted by former star Reggie Bush from a sports agent.

Hamilton hired Kiffin in late 2008 to resurrect UT's fortunes, only to see Kiffin bail out after a 7-6 season when the USC job unexpectedly came open. Hamilton said the penalties Kiffin inherits will have repercussions for years - at Southern Cal and elsewhere.

"It was a gut check that we needed to have in the NCAA," he said. "Thirty scholarships over three years and a two-year postseason ban, those are serious implications."

Hamilton said he and Kiffin briefly discussed the possibility of USC's pending punishment when Kiffin called to say he was leaving to take over the Trojans. To Kiffin, the thought of such sanctions was barely a bump in the road.

"I think the reality is he wanted to leave, and I think the reality is he wanted to be at SC," Hamilton said. "I think he had made up his mind on that for sure, and was going to go there regardless.

"Now, I hope for his own sake he had asked some questions (about the ongoing NCAA investigation), and perhaps he did, but now he'll have to live with that a little bit."

Understandably, Hamilton was more comfortable talking about his current coach than his former one. Now that Hamilton has had five months to observe Derek Dooley up close, he's seen one of the coach's strongest traits: his attention to detail and hands-on approach.

"I think it's good and bad in the sense that you want to set the right kind of foundation," Hamilton said. "You want to send the right kind of message through your program, but you've got to make sure that you understand what the little things are and what the big things are and find some balance in there.

"I think a lot of this early on is setting the foundation to get out of the gate. He's always going to be a detail oriented person because that's who he is - and details win ball games.

"The margin of error in our league is very, very small, and if that leads to a win against someone that leads you to a BCS bowl or national championship several years down the road was it the right thing? Yeah, probably, but you can't be so consumed with it that you don't do some of the bigger things that you need to spend time on."

Get Copyright Permissions © 2010, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!

© 2010 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Topics

Comments » 89

richvol writes:

We had a saying in the business I worked in for 25 years..."don't major in the minors". I believe that is what Hamilton is saying to Dooley and it is likely related to the criticism Dooley recieved from the slow start out of the gate in recruiting. That said,I would be more inclined to approve of Dooley's methods in laying the foundation of success if it works as well for him as it has Saban.

GOD is in the details and the excellence of a football team lies in the execution of the details by careful hand picking of the right kind of athlete. Look at the problems that Haynesworth is causing for his team now. Would anyone want that kind of upheaval on their team. I believe Dooley will do a great job in restoring or fortunes on the gridiron...just give him a little time.

civilianvol_formerly_marinevol writes:

Any Brittany Jackson news today?

V_O_L_S_GO_VOLS_GO writes:

Unlike Hammy, I ABSOLUTELY REVEL IN THE MISFORTUNES OF LANEY BOY AND U $ C. I hope they get piss-whipped every game this season.

AllVols writes:

I hope we can get over Lane Kiffin SOMETIME SOON. This topic seems to be haunting the UT program, which sadly, is expected.

USC probably deserved the sanctions. If they did not receive them, UT probably would have received some sooner or later. Kiffin and Orgeron go in dark waters when it comes to recruiting players.

AllVols writes:

UT won't be taking any junior or seniors from USC. Kiffin will preach them into staying with the program. Moreover, on behalf of the players, it's not really worth the transition.

voloffaith writes:

in response to civilianvol_formerly_marinevol:

Any Brittany Jackson news today?

SUGGEST REMOVAL AS OFF TOPIC

voloffaith writes:

Not one to revel in someone's sad situation. What goes around comes around so be careful what we wish/hope for others....On topic ,rules are there to guard and protect and punish. We missed taking the big hit when lane jettisoned us for apparently safer haven. NCAA still lurking with our hostess twinky gate situation, but not as hot since the pot stirrer is gone.

AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons writes:

in response to voloffaith:

SUGGEST REMOVAL AS OFF TOPIC

Dang that sure is harsh...

Georgia_Dave writes:

All you posters like to put it to Hammy, but he's absolutely right in this. I think he was sending signals to CDD in these comments. GBO

bugman (Inactive) writes:

in response to voloffaith:

SUGGEST REMOVAL AS OFF TOPIC

SUGGEST REMOVAL AS OFF TOPIC

voloffaith writes:

in response to bugman:

SUGGEST REMOVAL AS OFF TOPIC

Thank you for your timely comment which would also be OFF TOPIC. Watch out for RAID....

I commented in my post prior to the one you took objection about the NCAA sanctions etc.

gohawks1 writes:

in response to AllVols:

I hope we can get over Lane Kiffin SOMETIME SOON. This topic seems to be haunting the UT program, which sadly, is expected.

USC probably deserved the sanctions. If they did not receive them, UT probably would have received some sooner or later. Kiffin and Orgeron go in dark waters when it comes to recruiting players.

I disagree - that topic is not haunting the UT program. Some fans will dwell on it longer than others, and some (myself included) will enjoy a seeing a little misery heaped upon Kiffin's head, but the current status of the UT program itself is not represented by a few comments from the fans on an article.

tnsportsman writes:

in response to V_O_L_S_GO_VOLS_GO:

Unlike Hammy, I ABSOLUTELY REVEL IN THE MISFORTUNES OF LANEY BOY AND U $ C. I hope they get piss-whipped every game this season.

AMEN BROTHER! ROFLMAO, hey Liar Surfer Dude hows that USC job working out for you DUMB AZZ?

The Football Gods were watching and took care of Liar Surfer Dude!

GO VOLS, WE ARE UT!

punkin writes:

in response to civilianvol_formerly_marinevol:

Any Brittany Jackson news today?

Or photos would be nice.

VolinCalif writes:

in response to AllVols:

UT won't be taking any junior or seniors from USC. Kiffin will preach them into staying with the program. Moreover, on behalf of the players, it's not really worth the transition.

If you're warming the Pine, which a lot of good players do at So. Cal, then it is a god send and well worth the transition.

Psychovol writes:

in response to AllVols:

UT won't be taking any junior or seniors from USC. Kiffin will preach them into staying with the program. Moreover, on behalf of the players, it's not really worth the transition.

Wrong! They've had two defect already. One to Boise and one to UGA.

voloffaith writes:

in response to iamnotDCtoo:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

So the assumption is that there are 'good' gator stories? Now we all know that there is no such thing as a 'good' gator story with one exception........anytime the reptiles lose is a good story! You were way to kind to set the table for that one.

On topic, the article was about the USC program and not the new HC who inherited the mess. He was a natural throw in. So your use of 'lil' is also old so come up with a new one with a better chomp to it.....

voloffaith writes:

in response to steviejanowski:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Thanks I'll do the best I can to watch my weight. I don't need those doughnut jokes thrown at me that used to go to Coach Fulmer. So I'll keep an eye on the scales to 'lighten up'.

GerryOP writes:

in response to iamnotDCtoo:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

DasBoone writes:

God I can't wait till kickoff. I am going to be stoked when kickoff finally happens

GerryOP writes:

in response to DasBoone:

God I can't wait till kickoff. I am going to be stoked when kickoff finally happens

Hang in there DasBo...

79 -- Fear The Dooley Dude...

VolGrad writes:

in response to civilianvol_formerly_marinevol:

Any Brittany Jackson news today?

Funny. She's probably auditioning for WWE or whatever it is called these days.

GBO!

smyrnavol writes:

in response to voloffaith:

Not one to revel in someone's sad situation. What goes around comes around so be careful what we wish/hope for others....On topic ,rules are there to guard and protect and punish. We missed taking the big hit when lane jettisoned us for apparently safer haven. NCAA still lurking with our hostess twinky gate situation, but not as hot since the pot stirrer is gone.

preacher. think we can raid hooters for some real O P girls or have they just graduated to hooters. G.B.O

flatrock writes:

Any truth to story that Knox Kiffin's name has been changed to Smog Kiffin?

wazzya69vol writes:

in response to V_O_L_S_GO_VOLS_GO:

Unlike Hammy, I ABSOLUTELY REVEL IN THE MISFORTUNES OF LANEY BOY AND U $ C. I hope they get piss-whipped every game this season.

I totally agree! Anyone who says otherwise is not a true Vol fan, and should move to the Left Coast with all the other "politically correct" people--tell it like it is!!! Kiffin stuck it to us and now he can bend over the next few years. I hope he pumps gas and lets Big Ed hold the hose. Nothing like getting "hosed" by the surfer dudes on the California shores. What Laney boy,,,we can't hear you!!!!! :)

OrangePride writes:

I bet Scroggins is thrilled with his choice by now. No bowls, a bunch of people he was told would be there who have bailed, the head coach is gone, and the entire program going in the wrong direction. Yep....sometimes it just s**ks to be you. And it can't get bad enough for U$C to suit me. GO VOLS!

OrangePride writes:

in response to AllVols:

UT won't be taking any junior or seniors from USC. Kiffin will preach them into staying with the program. Moreover, on behalf of the players, it's not really worth the transition.

What? It seems to me if you are quality player who is looking for an NFL slot and you find out you are going to lose all those scholarships to bring in quality players as well as bowl appearance telecasts, it might be WELL worth the transition....especially when you don't have to sit out a year. I agree Kiffin will tell whatever lies he has to in order to keep them, but can't quite agree on the transition not being worth it.

BigBadVol writes:

in response to richvol:

We had a saying in the business I worked in for 25 years..."don't major in the minors". I believe that is what Hamilton is saying to Dooley and it is likely related to the criticism Dooley recieved from the slow start out of the gate in recruiting. That said,I would be more inclined to approve of Dooley's methods in laying the foundation of success if it works as well for him as it has Saban.

GOD is in the details and the excellence of a football team lies in the execution of the details by careful hand picking of the right kind of athlete. Look at the problems that Haynesworth is causing for his team now. Would anyone want that kind of upheaval on their team. I believe Dooley will do a great job in restoring or fortunes on the gridiron...just give him a little time.

This is an excellent post!

AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons writes:

in response to iamnotDCtoo:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Seriously, the good gaytur stories WILL come out, but after the first UF loss.

Headlines:

Urbie hospitalized with no Timmy there to hold his hand!

That's good UF stories!

AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons writes:

in response to iamnotDCtoo:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Wow. The offers were only from Texas A&M, Connecticut, Stanford, Louisville, Minnesota, South Florida and Georgia Southern.

If those were the only offers from a UT recruit you guys would trash him.

KiwiLuvsUT writes:

I agree.
Headlines: UF Losses To UT 35-0!
Or,
UF hasnt won a game
Or
Urban Meyer is lost just like his football team!
LOL!!
GBO!

nocleats writes:

in response to triumphtheinsultcomicdog:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Triumph,
Its not the UTAD.. It IS the KNS for sure. They have had a burr in their britches ever since Coach Dooley realized they couldnt be trusted with off the record info or keep a story quite for 48 hours, and he booted them out of the football wing of the AD. This is the KNS way of a petty payback.

KiwiLuvsUT writes:

I saw on this site that we'll be playin USC in 2021 & 2022.
http://www.tributetotroy.com/season/f...

bballvol1234 writes:

hooker....you are a f****** joke

always_vol (Inactive) writes:

I find this curious that Hamilton is busting Dooley's balls about too much attention to detail.

Unhappy with his employee already?? That isn't even a 6-month honeymoon.

Some people are really attentive to small details because it gives them a modicum of control in an otherwise chaotic world. Perhaps that is how Dooley is.

tsaecesnitsebhtruof writes:

in response to KiwiLuvsUT:

I agree.
Headlines: UF Losses To UT 35-0!
Or,
UF hasnt won a game
Or
Urban Meyer is lost just like his football team!
LOL!!
GBO!

Wake up!!

uwishuwereassmartasme (Inactive) writes:

in response to VolnotHAMILTONfan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

He is good at his job. Better than you are at yours, I'd guess.

ThirdWeekNOct writes:

I think this should also be a personal "gut check" for Hamilton on new hires.
You sleep with dogs, you get fleas.

537081 writes:

in response to civilianvol_formerly_marinevol:

Any Brittany Jackson news today?

I think Ms. Jackson gave her all for Tennessee. We all have hard times in our lives. He who is without sin cast the first stone.

Biggie writes:

in response to bartlett79:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Nope. Don't want 'em...let them live with their decision.

GerryOP writes:

in response to iamnotDCtoo:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

My 1st reaction was, "Why are the Gatas recruiting a fullback?" Then I remembered, your fullback is now in Denver ... along with your leading rusher and QB. Ya'all better keep recruitin'!

BTW, more good Gata stories:

http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2009...

http://www.utefans.net/lies.php

GerryOP writes:

in response to DukeDeLuca:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

But at least we are no longer being led deeper into the woods.

KevDVol writes:

in response to civilianvol_formerly_marinevol:

Any Brittany Jackson news today?

Hot child in the city...

GerryOP writes:

in response to VolnotHAMILTONfan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Just think, if Hamilton had been allowed to make the decision many, including Adams, believe he wanted to make after the '05 season, we would have completed the rebuilding process and be well on our way to the top. Instead, we are just starting the recovery.

Volunatic writes:

in response to Psychovol:

Wrong! They've had two defect already. One to Boise and one to UGA.

Jarvis Jones transferred to Georgia because USC was not going to clear him to play due to a severe neck injury.

AsianView writes:

Was Kiffen involved in any of the USC infractions when he was assistant HC there?

TommyJack writes:

in response to iamnotDCtoo:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You're wearing that "Marlene" chit out, KNS.

ALL_VOL75 writes:

in response to always_vol:

I find this curious that Hamilton is busting Dooley's balls about too much attention to detail.

Unhappy with his employee already?? That isn't even a 6-month honeymoon.

Some people are really attentive to small details because it gives them a modicum of control in an otherwise chaotic world. Perhaps that is how Dooley is.

I found that odd as well...Hamilton needs to keep his trap shut and turn up his "attention to detail"IMO.

gnm53108 writes:

in response to always_vol:

I find this curious that Hamilton is busting Dooley's balls about too much attention to detail.

Unhappy with his employee already?? That isn't even a 6-month honeymoon.

Some people are really attentive to small details because it gives them a modicum of control in an otherwise chaotic world. Perhaps that is how Dooley is.

As long as coach Dooley's attention is on scoring more points than we're allowing Hamilton should leave him the he## alone....well atleast until we see if his plan is gonna work.

nocleats writes:

in response to bigorangekoolaid:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Link ?

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features