INDIANAPOLIS - The football portion involving Tennessee's former coaches at today's hearing with the Committee on Infractions wrapped up in time for a late lunch after more than four hours of deliberations.
Former Vols football coach Lane Kiffin, who now serves in the same position at Southern Cal, spoke with reporters for two minutes before departing the Downtown Marriott and boarding a flight back to Los Angeles.
"It was a very fair process," Kiffin said. "I'm glad that it's over. I'm going to get back to (Los Angeles), get back to our camps that are going on right now. Under the direction of the NCAA, we can't comment about (the hearing) at all."
Only two of the 12 major violations alleged in February's Notice of Allegations involve the Vols football program. Kiffin faces a charge of failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance within the football program and failure to monitor the activities regarding compliance of several assistant coaches, while former assistant David Reaves faces “allegations relating to impermissible contacts with prospective student-athletes.”
Reaves, now the offensive coordinator at New Mexico, left the hearing without commenting.
Asked if he felt comfortable with the information he presented to the Committee on Infractions, Kiffin simply said, "very."
"I'm just happy that it's over," Kiffin said. "Happy that we got to get the truth presented. We're going from there.
"(There are) so many people that had so many different connections ... It feels a little bit different."
Kiffin said he reached out to UT men's athletic director Mike Hamilton, who resigned Tuesday, both before the hearing and after the session broke for lunch. Kiffin released a statement Tuesday that expressed his gratitude for Hamilton.
"I just wanted to make sure to tell him what I said before in the statement," Kiffin said. "I feel really bad for him. It's an unfortunate situation. I enjoyed him being my boss and I think he's a great man."
After each party presented their opening statements, former men's basketball coach Bruce Pearl, his former assistants and their respective legal teams were allowed to leave the hearing while the focus centered on football. Pearl spent much of the morning going over paperwork with his attorney in the downstairs lobby.
The hearing will reconvene at 2:15 p.m. There is no set time for the session to end.
Andrew Gribble may be reached at 865-342-6327. Follow him at http://twitter.com/Andrew_Gribble and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/gribble