John Adams: Lane Kiffin left behind mess for Mike Hamilton

John Adams

Lane Kiffin hadn't coached his first football game at Tennessee when he provided one of the all-time great sports metaphors. He abandoned a car he drove into a Knoxville ditch late one night, then left the scene of the accident.

About six months later, he abandoned UT for the head coaching job at Southern California. The program he left behind wasn't in a ditch, but it wasn't cruising down the interstate, either.

Since the Vols haven't received a final verdict from the NCAA, it's too early for the definitive review of Kiffin's one-year stand at UT. But nothing in that verdict is apt to change your opinion.

One opinion: He was good for the media and a gold mine for a columnist.

Another opinion: He was a lot smarter on the field than off it.

For example, he practically bragged about committing secondary NCAA violations, supposedly with the intent of drawing attention to a program that needed exposure. There's merit to that approach if you're squeaky clean when it comes to the more serious stuff.

The more serious stuff has just been spelled out in the NCAA's list of allegations against UT football. Nowhere in the report will you find the sentence: "That Kiffin dude is squeaky clean."

The story was different on the field. Kiffin and his staff took over a team that went 5-7 in 2009 and improved it significantly in a 7-5 regular season. The Vols were competitive against Florida, almost beat eventual national champion Alabama and pounded Georgia and South Carolina.

Three of their best players - Dan Williams, Montario Hardesty and Jonathan Crompton - had career years under Kiffin. The Crompton reclamation was stunning. The same player who struggled terribly under the previous staff became one of the most productive quarterbacks in the SEC over the last two-thirds of his senior season. He even got drafted.

But my lasting impression of Kiffin is based more on what he did to UT athletic director Mike Hamilton than what he did for Crompton.

Kiffin's career was hardly flourishing when Hamilton hired him after he had been fired as head coach of the Oakland Raiders. Yet Hamilton took a chance on him. It was a huge chance for a couple of reasons: Kiffin had never been a head coach at the college level, and Hamilton wasn't universally popular after firing longtime UT coach Phillip Fulmer.

This was a business deal, not an act of charity. And Kiffin was living off the Raiders, not on the street. So it's not as though he was interminably indebted to the risk taker who hired him.

I don't even fault him for leaving after one year. USC is one of the marquee jobs in college football, and there was a huge pay increase as well.

It's not that he left. It's the mess he left behind for Hamilton.

Never mind that Kiffin is more apt to be penalized than the Vols for his NCAA transgressions. Hamilton can't escape the fallout. He hired Kiffin and basketball coach Bruce Pearl, both of whom have committed major NCAA violations. His job is in jeopardy - in part, because of Kiffin.

That's how Kiffin repaid the man who gave him a plum job when he had no job.

I don't expect much from coaches, many of whom are single-minded, self-serving and often oblivious to whatever cumulative damage piles up in their wake. But Kiffin has fallen short of even those expectations.

Such behavior is easily rationalized. It's just business; Hamilton is accountable for his own decisions; "They would have never made it to the Chick-fil-A Bowl without me."

But somewhere between the Xs and Os rattling around in Kiffin's head and the formulation of his next sales pitch to a recruit, I'd like to think there's at least a faint voice telling him he owes Hamilton an apology.

John Adams is a senior columnist. He may be reached at 865-342-6284 or adamsj@knoxnews.com. Follow him at http//:twitter.com/johnadamskns.

Get Copyright Permissions © 2011, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!

© 2011 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Topics

Comments » 78

BigVolinCarolina writes:

I'll be surprised to hear if/when Lane Kiffin apologizes to Mike Hamilton. He most certainly should to him and to everyone involved with UT.

Nothing is impossible, but not everything is probable.

Witch_Doctors writes:

Witch Doctor say it foolish to blame Hamilton for the lies Kiffen was telling. Witch Doctor say his days in the profession is going to be much shorter than Pearls. Witch Doctor believe Jeff Fisher be back at USC shortly after the probation over(?Witch Doctor forget and too lazy to Google).
Bones never lie.

rockytopwestone writes:

The stupid buyout of the North Carolina contract is reason enough to fire Hamilton, that and $4.00 popcorn !

ghost_of_which_doctor (Inactive) writes:

Mr Adams duuuuude....

It's not like we shot the president

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to ghost_of_which_doctor:

Mr Adams duuuuude....

It's not like we shot the president

Witch Doctor say hey Layla_K.
Bones never lie.

born2ride writes:

Even with the NCAA penalties and him leaving, Kiffin was a better hire than Dooley.

If Kiffin had stayed we would be playing for the SEC title and National championship next year. Instead we are hoping for 6 or 7 wins and another trip to a tiny bowl and we are playing a weak non-conference schedule.

Kiffin was a big time hire. He brought excitement to the program.

Dooley is dull and was not ready for the SEC. Only one winning season in his career. Went 4-7 before Hammy hired him. Know we are stuck with Dooley and his mediocre teams and suffer with years of probation for football and basketball.

crutch1966 writes:

in response to born2ride:

Even with the NCAA penalties and him leaving, Kiffin was a better hire than Dooley.

If Kiffin had stayed we would be playing for the SEC title and National championship next year. Instead we are hoping for 6 or 7 wins and another trip to a tiny bowl and we are playing a weak non-conference schedule.

Kiffin was a big time hire. He brought excitement to the program.

Dooley is dull and was not ready for the SEC. Only one winning season in his career. Went 4-7 before Hammy hired him. Know we are stuck with Dooley and his mediocre teams and suffer with years of probation for football and basketball.

Are you HIGH?

The_Mayor writes:

in response to born2ride:

Even with the NCAA penalties and him leaving, Kiffin was a better hire than Dooley.

If Kiffin had stayed we would be playing for the SEC title and National championship next year. Instead we are hoping for 6 or 7 wins and another trip to a tiny bowl and we are playing a weak non-conference schedule.

Kiffin was a big time hire. He brought excitement to the program.

Dooley is dull and was not ready for the SEC. Only one winning season in his career. Went 4-7 before Hammy hired him. Know we are stuck with Dooley and his mediocre teams and suffer with years of probation for football and basketball.

I cannot think of a word dumb enough to describe your post. When you say "we", who are you talking about, son? If you're talking about the University of Tennessee, then you're too stupid to know that Kiffin just kicked "we" right in the balls, and you act like it felt good. I can't even count the levels of stupidity in your post.

The_Mayor writes:

in response to crutch1966:

Are you HIGH?

Thank you.

rockytopwestone writes:

in response to born2ride:

Even with the NCAA penalties and him leaving, Kiffin was a better hire than Dooley.

If Kiffin had stayed we would be playing for the SEC title and National championship next year. Instead we are hoping for 6 or 7 wins and another trip to a tiny bowl and we are playing a weak non-conference schedule.

Kiffin was a big time hire. He brought excitement to the program.

Dooley is dull and was not ready for the SEC. Only one winning season in his career. Went 4-7 before Hammy hired him. Know we are stuck with Dooley and his mediocre teams and suffer with years of probation for football and basketball.

Tell you what B2R, I drank the Kiffin Koolaid as gladly as anyone but looking back now I think we would be just like USC....ON PROBATION ! We may be anyhow!

FearlessFreep writes:

Hamilton reaped what he sowed. The decision to hire Kiffin was his alone, and it's he who should be held responsible. He got burned because he made a bad hire, and then failed to manage both basketball and football. No pity for Hamilton at all - his is a self-inflicted wound.

bigtimevol writes:

in response to born2ride:

Even with the NCAA penalties and him leaving, Kiffin was a better hire than Dooley.

If Kiffin had stayed we would be playing for the SEC title and National championship next year. Instead we are hoping for 6 or 7 wins and another trip to a tiny bowl and we are playing a weak non-conference schedule.

Kiffin was a big time hire. He brought excitement to the program.

Dooley is dull and was not ready for the SEC. Only one winning season in his career. Went 4-7 before Hammy hired him. Know we are stuck with Dooley and his mediocre teams and suffer with years of probation for football and basketball.

I give Kiff Boy credit for pulling a great year out of Crompton, and posting a decent year. But, Gen. Neyland would have had a hard time having a better year this last year than Dooley. I feel Dooley is in it for the long haul, is the right guy, and will win the RIGHT WAY!

99gator writes:

all aboard the lane train.

toot....toot!!!!

two things i will always remember from this idiot.

1. not being able to wait to renew the tradition of singing rocky top all year long after beating florida.

2. saying that he left tennessee better off when he left then when he arrived.

TommyJack writes:

in response to ztoshiningz2:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You're no gator, Cubicle Boy.

mercuryvol writes:

in response to ztoshiningz2:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Are you back in Green Bay,again? What's KNS doing up there?

VolunteerLifer writes:

One thing I've learned in life Mr Adams, is that with people Like Kiffin, there is no "faint voice telling him he owes Hamilton an apology." Never happen. He doesn't give a d@mn about Hamilton or Tennessee, and never will.

volgrog#210164 writes:

in response to 99gator:

all aboard the lane train.

toot....toot!!!!

two things i will always remember from this idiot.

1. not being able to wait to renew the tradition of singing rocky top all year long after beating florida.

2. saying that he left tennessee better off when he left then when he arrived.

On this we can agree, Gator. The guy was an idiot.

shipperman#280095 writes:

in response to FearlessFreep:

Hamilton reaped what he sowed. The decision to hire Kiffin was his alone, and it's he who should be held responsible. He got burned because he made a bad hire, and then failed to manage both basketball and football. No pity for Hamilton at all - his is a self-inflicted wound.

The AD at UT makes no decisions on his own. Big Jim Haslem makes the call. Do NOT kid yourself into believing otherwise

TNVol71 writes:

I hope Mike Hamilton isn't holding his breath for that thank you bouquet of flowers from the current USC coach. It is interesting reading some of the blogs about these allegations on the LA Times site. It looks like there a are a lot of USC folks that aren't real crazy about LK leading their football staff.

BigOrangeSlim writes:

in response to born2ride:

Even with the NCAA penalties and him leaving, Kiffin was a better hire than Dooley.

If Kiffin had stayed we would be playing for the SEC title and National championship next year. Instead we are hoping for 6 or 7 wins and another trip to a tiny bowl and we are playing a weak non-conference schedule.

Kiffin was a big time hire. He brought excitement to the program.

Dooley is dull and was not ready for the SEC. Only one winning season in his career. Went 4-7 before Hammy hired him. Know we are stuck with Dooley and his mediocre teams and suffer with years of probation for football and basketball.

Let the chips fall where they may. Kiffin came to Knoxville to create a name for himself. His reputation was not the greatest after the fall out from Oakland. I drank the water just like a lot of fans and saw a glimpse of the way it was in the Fulmer early years. Kiffin was loyal to himself just as the rest of the assistant coaches were loyal to him. He took a job (at USC) where he did not have to work as hard. Enter Derek Dooley. I was not excited about the hire. I felt it was rushed because of signing day. However, it is the smartest thing Hammy has done in his tenure as AD. Derek is smart, honest and above all loyal. In the end this will pay off big time. Maybe other coaches would have had a better year but most predicted a losing season and no bowl. The talking heads on ESPN were saying at the beginning of the 2010 season if Derek Dooley goes 6 and 6 with this team he should be SEC coach of the year. Well history tells us he did what most felt was impossible. Coach Dooley is a different type of Coach he looks at the player’s attitude and his character first. If you ask me in the end it’s all about how the players look at the coach and how they will put it all on the line for a coach. Several players stepped up for CDD and it only a sign of things to come. I think Coach Dooley will be at Tennessee for MANY YEARS TO COME. With that said we will have the program we all wanted in the end!!

volfan73120#211815 writes:

in response to born2ride:

Even with the NCAA penalties and him leaving, Kiffin was a better hire than Dooley.

If Kiffin had stayed we would be playing for the SEC title and National championship next year. Instead we are hoping for 6 or 7 wins and another trip to a tiny bowl and we are playing a weak non-conference schedule.

Kiffin was a big time hire. He brought excitement to the program.

Dooley is dull and was not ready for the SEC. Only one winning season in his career. Went 4-7 before Hammy hired him. Know we are stuck with Dooley and his mediocre teams and suffer with years of probation for football and basketball.

born2ride-It would be a blessing if you would just ride right on out of here, and never return.

brauhuff#295403 (Inactive) writes:

I am proud of DD and to be a vol but LSU and especially UNC still stings and Hamilton should be gone and hire a good AD but Phillip should have been given 1 more year and I never liked Kiffin or his dad and Orgeron

volsfannsc writes:

I'm not willing to throw rocks at just Mike Hamilton. I for one, have made mistakes in business decisions. I would not be surprised if we all have. I'm sure Hamilton had no way of knowing Kiffin's mode of operation. What I will fault Hamilton for is not overseeing that first year. When I hire someone for a position, I watch that employee through a magnifying glass for the first four or five months. Thats how I determine if I've made a good decision and if something needs to change. Although not all Hamilton, seems Kifin was given carte' blanche to do as he pleased. We have a director of football operations, Hammy, and compliance officers that should have been overseeing every move that was being made. I don't fault Hammy for the hire- but it's what didn't happen when junior was let loose at the toy store. Now would be a good time to clean house with ALL those involved with oversight, as it seems they obviously don't know how to do their job.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to FearlessFreep:

Hamilton reaped what he sowed. The decision to hire Kiffin was his alone, and it's he who should be held responsible. He got burned because he made a bad hire, and then failed to manage both basketball and football. No pity for Hamilton at all - his is a self-inflicted wound.

So may I take it that you aren't one of those who think Hammy is a helpless tool of the big-money donors? The two main factions in the anti-Hammy movement seem to be those who think he owes his job to the Haslams and others and thus merely follows their orders and those who ALSO think he is big-money's minion but has gone off the reservation in his hiring decisions. You would seem to be among the latter group. Almost no one these days seems to think that he earned the job on merit and makes all his own decisions, though some may be perfectly willing to use him as a scapegoat.

Mule_Days_King writes:

in response to DukeDeLuca:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Mal Moore at Bama?

jdcdjc writes:

in response to DukeDeLuca:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I agree 100%. This all goes back to Hamilton!!!

Huttdawg100 writes:

in response to BigOrangeSlim:

Let the chips fall where they may. Kiffin came to Knoxville to create a name for himself. His reputation was not the greatest after the fall out from Oakland. I drank the water just like a lot of fans and saw a glimpse of the way it was in the Fulmer early years. Kiffin was loyal to himself just as the rest of the assistant coaches were loyal to him. He took a job (at USC) where he did not have to work as hard. Enter Derek Dooley. I was not excited about the hire. I felt it was rushed because of signing day. However, it is the smartest thing Hammy has done in his tenure as AD. Derek is smart, honest and above all loyal. In the end this will pay off big time. Maybe other coaches would have had a better year but most predicted a losing season and no bowl. The talking heads on ESPN were saying at the beginning of the 2010 season if Derek Dooley goes 6 and 6 with this team he should be SEC coach of the year. Well history tells us he did what most felt was impossible. Coach Dooley is a different type of Coach he looks at the player’s attitude and his character first. If you ask me in the end it’s all about how the players look at the coach and how they will put it all on the line for a coach. Several players stepped up for CDD and it only a sign of things to come. I think Coach Dooley will be at Tennessee for MANY YEARS TO COME. With that said we will have the program we all wanted in the end!!

Good post Slim. My thoughts exactly.

I was listening to Rivals Radio yesterday (which is much improved WITHOUT Bill King). A frequent call (chuck from Knoxville) really hit the nail on the head for me: my diploma says The University of Tennessee, not the University of Bruce Pearl, or the University of Lane Kiffin. Although Hamilton can't be blamed for Kiffin's or Pearl's disrespect for the NCAA, he hired both coaches who have embarrassed my beloved university because of their selfish, ignorant and unethical behavior. This is all under his watch: The lowest point in the history of Tennessee Men's Sports. There will be integrity on the Hill. I love Bruce, but we must part ways at this point. Hamilton must be fired too. Earnie Grunfield for AD.

scvols writes:

I do not see it happening ....

LaneBrains writes:

Please John! We had plenty of offers, and the brilliance of the AD was that he moved in fast and made a great offer. With the "Package" that included the best defensive football mind ever, the best recruiter ever and the obvious talent of the new head coach, Mike had the easiest decision ever! We were not the mess we were the mop the cleaned up the Mike / Phil problem.

We took the heat off Mike, The President of the University and the Haslam.

How quickly you forget! And the second best AD to Mike just confirmed the brilliance of the "Package"...He bought it too and at a much better price!

Don't blame us, we were the solution. And don't blame Mike, he's still the solution

CLK, Monte and Ed

dk writes:

in response to DukeDeLuca:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hamilton's biggest sin was sticking with Fulmer too long. Giving him another year would only mean that the program would have sank even further and take longer to get back to normal expectations. As it turns out, Kiffin was a bad hire, but you all were loving it when he was bragging about beating Florida and Alabama (which he never beat) and never losing to Georgia. Thank goodness that he is USC's problem now.

LaneBrains writes:

in response to Euro_Vol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Euro:

Do you really have to call names? It would be nice to hear your opinions without it.

NashvillePreds writes:

My thought is Pat Haden, whom did not hire Kiffin, is already meeting with legal counsel, to determine USC's options.
Also, I disagree that USC is a "marquee" job, and Tennessee is simply a "plum" job. You are a distant third, fourth, or even fifth thought at USC. If you are the coach of the Tennessee Volunteers, you are the most recognizable person in the state, save the Governor.
Also, if you are the coach at USC, you have to live in California, and pay ~55% of your income to cover that mis-managed state's billions of dollars in debt.

gillblog writes:

in response to FearlessFreep:

Hamilton reaped what he sowed. The decision to hire Kiffin was his alone, and it's he who should be held responsible. He got burned because he made a bad hire, and then failed to manage both basketball and football. No pity for Hamilton at all - his is a self-inflicted wound.

Agree completely.

What I will never understand is how Hamilton could have ignored all the red flags flying around Kiffin, and his entourage. If Hamilton ever even met him, he SHOULD have at least felt uncomfortable with a kid so obviously consumed by a 'little-guy' syndrome. Just the lack of eye-contact alone should have told Hamilton something was wrong.
I'll never understand it.

CrankE writes:

Hell hath no fury like a columnist who has lost his meal ticket.

Regime Change at the Knoxville News-Brotherhood. Fire John Adams!

CrankE writes:

Lord Hamilton, The Indecisive stuck with Fulmer for far too long. Just like he did with Buzz. Just like he's doing with Pearl-wishing-hoping that everything will work out when all the evidence, signs, and past history indicates that it won't.

As far as not winning a title on probation, Alabama was on probation in 2009, right? Auburn seems to be headed in that same direction. It only took them half a decade, but they finally caught up with USC. Look at it this way; It's hard to win a title if you DON'T get onto probation. Recent history seems to bear this out. In NASCAR-speak, "If you ain't cheatin', you ain't tryin'." Just saying.

orangeman1 writes:

in response to dk:

Hamilton's biggest sin was sticking with Fulmer too long. Giving him another year would only mean that the program would have sank even further and take longer to get back to normal expectations. As it turns out, Kiffin was a bad hire, but you all were loving it when he was bragging about beating Florida and Alabama (which he never beat) and never losing to Georgia. Thank goodness that he is USC's problem now.

Thats your opinion. Mine is that Fulmer would have turned it back around like he always did before. He had to replace a great off co. and install a new offense. Fulmer never went more than a year without winning at least 9 games. He also had a top 10 recruiting class coming in and over 20 players wouldnt have quit the team because of coaching changes. Fulmer was tied for the best record in the SEC less than a year before he was fired, and had the lead over the eventual National Champs LSU late in the 4th quarter. He would've turned it back around given time imo.
Now on to the Hamilton issue. How can he not be blamed for the Kiffin hire. Kiffin had no loyalty. He had already left his "dream job" when he was offensive co at USC. You know during the time the staff was under investigation for improper conduct about Reggie Bush. Also Orgeron was know to be shady. Heck, UT even turned him in when he was coaching Ole Miss for violations. Hamilton knew all of this already and so did everyone else so how can anyone say they were surprised when they started running rogue and left UT? Kiffin took a team loaded with talent, simplified the offense, and still lost 6 games getting blown out by VT and Miss. I guess its good for Hamilton that so many fans like to keep their heads buried in the sand. The whole thing is his fault form the firing of Fulmer to the hiring of Kiffin.

kenbomania writes:

In keeping tradition of naming UT streets for coaching greats, let's name one for Kiffen. The alley street that leads to the dumpster could be called Kiffen Lane. It has a ring to it don't you think?

AllforTenn writes:

in response to born2ride:

Even with the NCAA penalties and him leaving, Kiffin was a better hire than Dooley.

If Kiffin had stayed we would be playing for the SEC title and National championship next year. Instead we are hoping for 6 or 7 wins and another trip to a tiny bowl and we are playing a weak non-conference schedule.

Kiffin was a big time hire. He brought excitement to the program.

Dooley is dull and was not ready for the SEC. Only one winning season in his career. Went 4-7 before Hammy hired him. Know we are stuck with Dooley and his mediocre teams and suffer with years of probation for football and basketball.

How stupid!

eaglehim2 writes:

in response to born2ride:

Even with the NCAA penalties and him leaving, Kiffin was a better hire than Dooley.

If Kiffin had stayed we would be playing for the SEC title and National championship next year. Instead we are hoping for 6 or 7 wins and another trip to a tiny bowl and we are playing a weak non-conference schedule.

Kiffin was a big time hire. He brought excitement to the program.

Dooley is dull and was not ready for the SEC. Only one winning season in his career. Went 4-7 before Hammy hired him. Know we are stuck with Dooley and his mediocre teams and suffer with years of probation for football and basketball.

When Kiffin was hired, his record was not as good as Dooley. He had not been a head coach at college level AND his won/loss was not impressive. The only "big time" about Kiffin was his mouth and lack of judgement. Dooley is a class act and will show that his class will be good for UT. We were fortunate to minimize the damage that Kiffin did to the program. College football is more than winning games.

orangeman1 writes:

in response to TennVolFan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You are incorrect that he lost his touch in recruiting towards the end. A top ten class is far from losing his touch. The top ten class I was referring to was the one he had ready to sign when he was fired during the week before the Wyoming game. You think that may have been a distraction to the staff and players? Thats the reason they lost to Wyoming. Hamilton shouldve waited to the end of the year, and thats what cost us the game. Apparantly your memory is shorter than mine cause all you can remember is the bad games and his last season. You ignore that he had UT tied for the best record in the SEC and in the SEC Champ game less than a year before he was fire. He had 2 seasons out of 17 years that he didnt win at least 8 games. Won the SEC East 2 of his last 5 years. 75% winning percent, a National title, beat many ranked opponents, finished ranked 14 out of 17 years, won the SEC East 5x(most recently the year before he was fired when Hamilton gave him that new contract) SO, I would say he knew how to use talent. UT fans just got spoiled by his unmatched success up till 2001, and expectations were too high. Other SEC schools got alot better after 2000 which made it harder to compete, and it will continue to be hard to compete at a level he did pre 2001 for any coach. I do agree with you about Dooley and Kiffin. I like Dooley and hope fans dont hold him to as high expectations as they did Fulmer.

tvol71 writes:

in response to born2ride:

Even with the NCAA penalties and him leaving, Kiffin was a better hire than Dooley.

If Kiffin had stayed we would be playing for the SEC title and National championship next year. Instead we are hoping for 6 or 7 wins and another trip to a tiny bowl and we are playing a weak non-conference schedule.

Kiffin was a big time hire. He brought excitement to the program.

Dooley is dull and was not ready for the SEC. Only one winning season in his career. Went 4-7 before Hammy hired him. Know we are stuck with Dooley and his mediocre teams and suffer with years of probation for football and basketball.

Is this Lane Kiffin making this post, or Layla? If not, its someone even more clueless. Just a note, Kiffin had a losing record when he was hired. And by the way, we wouldn't be playing for any championships when Kiffin had us on probation.

Southland writes:

in response to born2ride:

Even with the NCAA penalties and him leaving, Kiffin was a better hire than Dooley.

If Kiffin had stayed we would be playing for the SEC title and National championship next year. Instead we are hoping for 6 or 7 wins and another trip to a tiny bowl and we are playing a weak non-conference schedule.

Kiffin was a big time hire. He brought excitement to the program.

Dooley is dull and was not ready for the SEC. Only one winning season in his career. Went 4-7 before Hammy hired him. Know we are stuck with Dooley and his mediocre teams and suffer with years of probation for football and basketball.

do you still want a coach that acts trashy and would draw the worst sort of people to the program? Surely you do not want to win a few games and then have the football programd destroyed. Dooley isnt there to entertain you with smart aleck comments. Kiffin will not last at USC.

tvol71 writes:

in response to orangeman1:

Thats your opinion. Mine is that Fulmer would have turned it back around like he always did before. He had to replace a great off co. and install a new offense. Fulmer never went more than a year without winning at least 9 games. He also had a top 10 recruiting class coming in and over 20 players wouldnt have quit the team because of coaching changes. Fulmer was tied for the best record in the SEC less than a year before he was fired, and had the lead over the eventual National Champs LSU late in the 4th quarter. He would've turned it back around given time imo.
Now on to the Hamilton issue. How can he not be blamed for the Kiffin hire. Kiffin had no loyalty. He had already left his "dream job" when he was offensive co at USC. You know during the time the staff was under investigation for improper conduct about Reggie Bush. Also Orgeron was know to be shady. Heck, UT even turned him in when he was coaching Ole Miss for violations. Hamilton knew all of this already and so did everyone else so how can anyone say they were surprised when they started running rogue and left UT? Kiffin took a team loaded with talent, simplified the offense, and still lost 6 games getting blown out by VT and Miss. I guess its good for Hamilton that so many fans like to keep their heads buried in the sand. The whole thing is his fault form the firing of Fulmer to the hiring of Kiffin.

I generally agree with the comments about Hamilton hiring Kiffin and about Kiffin and friends, but Fulmer's teams were going down for a number of years except when Coach Cut came back and revived the offense. Then he left, and it was headed down again. Fulmer did not adjust to the times.

orangeman1 writes:

in response to tvol71:

I generally agree with the comments about Hamilton hiring Kiffin and about Kiffin and friends, but Fulmer's teams were going down for a number of years except when Coach Cut came back and revived the offense. Then he left, and it was headed down again. Fulmer did not adjust to the times.

Fulmer's big mistake was thinking he had time to get players and install a whole new offense. I'm pretty sure if he didnt know he would be fired a few months after receiving a new contract or he wouldve went with a more conventional offense, but he wanted to go outside the box and it bit him in the end. Fulmer had some great years without Cutcliff(2001) and some good years and a couple of bad ones, but I think he deserved the opportunity to turn it around. The past is the past now, and I hope Dooley isnt held to the same standard as Fulmer cause I dont want Hamilton to hire another arrogant,jerk, like Kiffin again.

Classof72 writes:

In one sense, Kiffin did leave the Vols better than when he arrived. When he arrived, Kiffin was the coach. When he left, he wasn't. That's better. He'll soon leave USC better than the day he arrived. I'll always associate Kiffin with those black shirts. He left a black stain on the Big Orange. We'll see if that stain sticks to Mike Hamilton.

RJ_Vol writes:

John Adams and many pushed for CPF to be fired. It happened. Take responsibility for your part in the mess, Mr. Adams. Lane Kiffin was your boy. This has been a total train wreck.

theoldbear writes:

In December of 2008, just after the hiring of Lane Kiffin, I rode a bus to the Las Vegas Airport with the father of an Oakland Raiders player.

He told me that Lane Kiffin would go down as the worst hire in the history of the Southeastern Conference. I believed him then. I believe him now.

The embarrassment of Kiffin, topped by the buy-out of North Carolina, and now the betrayal by Bruce Pearl, is enough. Mike Hamilton needs to go.

And, at the end of his son's senior season, so does Bruce Pearl. NIT or NCAA, even if they win a championship, Pearl needs to go. And Hamilton, too.

Juzkruzin writes:

in response to born2ride:

Even with the NCAA penalties and him leaving, Kiffin was a better hire than Dooley.

If Kiffin had stayed we would be playing for the SEC title and National championship next year. Instead we are hoping for 6 or 7 wins and another trip to a tiny bowl and we are playing a weak non-conference schedule.

Kiffin was a big time hire. He brought excitement to the program.

Dooley is dull and was not ready for the SEC. Only one winning season in his career. Went 4-7 before Hammy hired him. Know we are stuck with Dooley and his mediocre teams and suffer with years of probation for football and basketball.

What made Kiffin a big time hire? The firing from the Raiders or the recruting violation of Reggie Bush, which cost Bush his Hiesman he had to return in shame. Your handle says born2ride, well why not ride to LA., and spend some time with your buddy Sniffin Kiffin and stay there with him or the Div 2 or Div 3 team he will be coaching soon. You must ride a moped!!

Juzkruzin writes:

in response to NashvillePreds:

My thought is Pat Haden, whom did not hire Kiffin, is already meeting with legal counsel, to determine USC's options.
Also, I disagree that USC is a "marquee" job, and Tennessee is simply a "plum" job. You are a distant third, fourth, or even fifth thought at USC. If you are the coach of the Tennessee Volunteers, you are the most recognizable person in the state, save the Governor.
Also, if you are the coach at USC, you have to live in California, and pay ~55% of your income to cover that mis-managed state's billions of dollars in debt.

I hope he has to pay more than 55% in taxes. He is about as good of a football coach as the last Governor they had was a Govenor. Neither knew s***t about the job and proved it once they got their jobs. Garrett was one helluva running back at USC, but hiring Kiffin for 4 million a year shows he is as good of an AD as Mike Hamiliton is. They both bought Kiffin's BS and both are now paying dearly for it!!

bigkluvsorange writes:

in response to born2ride:

Even with the NCAA penalties and him leaving, Kiffin was a better hire than Dooley.

If Kiffin had stayed we would be playing for the SEC title and National championship next year. Instead we are hoping for 6 or 7 wins and another trip to a tiny bowl and we are playing a weak non-conference schedule.

Kiffin was a big time hire. He brought excitement to the program.

Dooley is dull and was not ready for the SEC. Only one winning season in his career. Went 4-7 before Hammy hired him. Know we are stuck with Dooley and his mediocre teams and suffer with years of probation for football and basketball.

you are a nut sir!!!

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