Lane Kiffin claims no knowledge of alleged violation by former assistant at Tennessee

USC head coach Lane Kiffin talks with a referee during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Arizona State, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011, in Tempe, Ariz.

Photo by AP Photo / Matt York

USC head coach Lane Kiffin talks with a referee during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Arizona State, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011, in Tempe, Ariz.

LOS ANGELES — Lane Kiffin's controversial tenure as Tennessee's football coach continues to shadow him.

The USC head coach said Tuesday he had no knowledge of a former assistant allegedly reimbursing a talent scout for airfare to pay for a Texas prospect's unofficial visit to Tennessee in 2009.

Yahoo! Sports reported Monday that former USC assistant Willie Mack Garza, while he was an assistant with the Volunteers, wired $1,500 to Texas-based Will Lyles for an unofficial visit running back Lache Seastrunk and his mother made to Knoxville, Tenn. If true, that would be a violation of NCAA rules.

"All I can say on that is that the alleged incident, I had no knowledge of, or knowledge of a relationship at all," Kiffin said after morning practice. "I have always been committed, wherever we've been, to doing things the right way and cooperating with the NCAA, so that's all I've got on it."

USC recruiting coordinator Ed Orgeron, who held the same title at Tennessee in 2009, also said he had no knowledge of a payment made by Garza.

Neither Garza nor Lyles could be reached for comment.

The NCAA has been investigating Lyles' involvement with Oregon and Louisiana State. Seastrunk attended Oregon last year before transferring to Baylor.

NCAA rules allow schools to pay airfare for official visits during a prospect's senior year in high school. However, the report said Seastrunk's trip was taken before his senior year, which would be a violation.

Seastrunk, who is redshirting, was made available to the media upon transferring to Baylor, but an athletic department official said Tuesday he would not be made available again until he is eligible to play.

The Yahoo report said that Lyles met with NCAA investigators in Los Angeles on Aug. 30. Garza resigned his position at USC two days later, on the eve of the Trojans' season opener against Minnesota. In a statement released through the school, Garza said he was leaving because of "personal issues unrelated to USC that I need to address."

Asked Tuesday if it was common practice for assistant coaches to operate on their own without knowledge of the head coach or recruiting coordinator, Kiffin said, "I don't know. I don't know what people do."

Asked if he expected the NCAA to revisit his time at Tennessee, Kiffin said, "That's not for me to judge."

Last summer, the NCAA's Committee on Infractions put Tennessee on probation for failing to monitor and issued a "show-cause order" to former Volunteers basketball coach Bruce Pearl.

The committee found that Kiffin's staff had committed secondary violations but did not levy punishment against Kiffin, who left Tennessee for USC in January 2010.

In light of Lyles' allegations, the NCAA is investigating a new case at Tennessee.

"The NCAA looks into any credible information of potential violations," NCAA spokesperson Stacey Osburn said in a statement. "The NCAA enforcement staff has been reviewing the use of scouting services in the recruiting process and first became aware of potential recruiting violations at the University of Tennessee several weeks ago.

"We will continue to work with the school and (the Southeastern) conference to reach a conclusion."

USC Athletic Director Pat Haden has talked of creating a "culture of compliance" at USC.

"After talking with Coach Kiffin about this, Coach Kiffin said he had no knowledge of what the coach was doing," Haden said.

In regard to possible NCAA scrutiny, Haden said, "We'll deal with it as we have to deal with it."

___

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Comments » 50

thevoice writes:

Kiffin's comments are worth less than the subscription rate to this website.

xvolx writes:

His mouth is moving, He must be lying.

OrangeinCarolina2 writes:

Lane Kiffin claims no knowledge of how to run a clean program. Or a successful one. He is exactly where he needs to be. GO VOLS!

MtJ_Orange writes:

Thinking about dressing up as Brett Maverick for a costume party on Halloween. I need a dorky black hat, a JC Penny suit jacket, to learn... to... talk... like... a... robot, and I need to put on about 300 lbs. On second thought maybe I will just put on a mullet wig and some jorts and go as a Gator fan.

tennvolsman19651965 writes:

I read a poll on Bleacher Report about Kiffin under the USC sight. 68% of USC fans currently think that Haden should fire him before he and his band of thugs bring anymore negative light on USC.

MidTennVol writes:

If/when the NCAA gets their claws into him, Garza will flip on Ogre and Kiffin like a Waffle House omelette. Can't wait.

usafvol writes:

in response to MrDonCorleone:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Most Vol fans hated the Fulmer firing and were disgusted with the hiring of Kiffin. I had heard of this guy but didn't like him one bit. He's smug and has no humility, period! As a TRUE fan you pull for the team, no matter what; doesn't matter who's coaching, you're still a fan. I for one was elated when Kiffin, the old man, and the rest of his croanies scurried off in the middle of the night. CDD WILL turn this program around and WILL bring fear and respect back to Big Orange football!

Fall_Creek_Vols writes:

What else do you expect him to say?

Because he has proven to be a man without integrity, his efforts are defunct.

taylorsvolfan writes:

This jerk continues to pile up those shovel ready projects.

Prostar writes:

This won't go anywhere as far as UT is concerned. Didn't the NCAA approve a Georgia player who had airfare paid to go visit USC (west)? If Kiffen maintains that he knew nothing, then how is it lack of institutional control when a coach acts on his own and tells no one? Lack of Inst. Control is when you have the South Carolina compliance office signing off on a sweet (suite) hotel deal. There is no paper trail to the UTAD, only a rogue coach acting on his own long since departed.

hallsguy writes:

I think Garza left USC for "personal reasons" recently right after these allegations came to light.LK has seen the writing on the wall.
How he is dumb enough to Orgeron around???

VOODOOley-2011 (Inactive) writes:

Someone call the Fire Department, Kiffin's Pants are on Fire again.

I think his nose is growing too, isn't that Pinnoccio over there at USC?

Southland writes:

what a shameful year in UTs history He talked trash because that is what he was. He had supporters that liked that kind of stuff because .......

arkyvol writes:

thank you, hammy.

BigBadVol writes:

in response to MrDonCorleone:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I can't believe you actually posted something that I agree with on here. USC fans already hate Kiffin. I will give him one more year and he will be an assistant somewhere.

The_Ghost_of_Duke_DeLuca writes:

I watched an episode of Cops on TV last night. Police chased a suspect and got him on the ground. They asked him if he used drugs and he said, "no." When they searched his pockets, they found a handful of crack.

The perp's reaction: "That's not mine. I have no idea how it got there."

Lame Kiffin reminds me of that guy.

shoalcreekvol writes:

in response to The_Ghost_of_Duke_DeLuca:

I watched an episode of Cops on TV last night. Police chased a suspect and got him on the ground. They asked him if he used drugs and he said, "no." When they searched his pockets, they found a handful of crack.

The perp's reaction: "That's not mine. I have no idea how it got there."

Lame Kiffin reminds me of that guy.

That reminds me of the episode of Deputy Butterbean where the guy named "Frog" had a crack pipe in his pocket and claimed he just picked it up off the sidewalk b/c he didn't want some kid to find it. He said he was protecting the children and beautifying the streets. Give the man an award....

The_Ghost_of_Duke_DeLuca writes:

in response to arkyvol:

thank you, hammy.

Everyone and his brother knew Lame Kiffin and Ed Orgeron were dishonest. Highly credible rumors had been around for years. Heck, Al Davis even called a press conference and Mike Hamilton to warn us about him.

Doesn't anyone check references anymore?

Replacing Fulmer with Kiffin was a horrendous blunder by Mike Hamilton. The stain will remain on my alma mater for decades. I am both angry and sad.

I like Derek Dooley. He seems to have Coach Fulmer's integrity as well as his sound coaching philosophy. I hope Coach Dooley hasn't fallen into a hole that's too big to crawl out of.

CantStandCantStandSaban writes:

FIGHT ON!

Chappy writes:

Even if this is true (which I'm highly skeptical it is), the HC is still responsible for establishing and maintaining the expectations and standards of the program with his staff. As another poster commented "lack of institutional control".

In a few years Kiffin will be selling used cars. After everything that has come out, I can't imagine any program would take a chance on him after USC fires him.

The_Ghost_of_Duke_DeLuca writes:

Southern Cal AD Pat Haden in today's LA Times: "I wake up every morning with a knot in my stomach. Just when you think everything is behind you, it isn't."

http://www.latimes.com/sports/college...

pogiegovols writes:

Whether you are a fan of Derek Dooley and his coaching staff or not you should be thankful he is our new coach. Lane Kiffin is a self-promoter, he would have made a great used car salesman. He is a scam artist who in one year set this football program back several. Yeah he had some big name recruits and yes he won some football games but at what cost? I am of the believe that you recruit the right kids for your program not just the kids who are ranked in the top 20 by rivals.com or any other website. I believe that is what coach Dooley is doing, bringing in the right kids for the program. Its gonna take time for us to get back to where we were but this happens to all the big time programs. Look how long Alabama and Oklahoma stayed down and now they are legitimate national title contenders every year. It doesnt happen overnight and all the top programs go through these years of struggle. Now is Derek Dooley the long term answer for us? I dont know but I do believe he is the right answer for us today and he is the right guy to clean up our program.....GO VOLS!!!

MusicCityVol writes:

Tennessee's 2011 Recruiting Class: Surprises and Disappointments
http://www.checkerboardchatter.com/20...

UTKin1992 writes:

I am completely dumbfounded at the amount of unethical activity at UT during such a short period of time! How did they find enough hours in the day!?!?

Vol86 writes:

I think I once said that Lame wont be the problem but it will be someone he hires. I was thinking Ed Orgermoron.

FearTheVols1252 writes:

Let's see... Kiffin doesn't know anything about it, yet Garza magically resigns for 'personal issues'?!? Yeah, the NCAA won't have a field day with that little irony, I swear!

USS Kiffin leaves quite a wake!

USC will keep him until they've lived out their current punishment, then he'll be fired... especially if he continues to lose like he did last weekend. Kiffin Sr. can't seem to coach D any more.

givehim6 writes:

I had no sexual relations with that woman.

illinoisvolfan writes:

"Lane Kiffin claims no knowledge"

That says it all. The rest of the headline is merely filler.

Vol_From_Memphis writes:

I voted. It's now 71.2% who want to fire Kiffin ASAP!! Thanks for the post.

Vol_From_Memphis writes:

in response to SpongeBobOrangePantz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

LOVE your moniker!!!

Vol_From_Memphis writes:

in response to pogiegovols:

Whether you are a fan of Derek Dooley and his coaching staff or not you should be thankful he is our new coach. Lane Kiffin is a self-promoter, he would have made a great used car salesman. He is a scam artist who in one year set this football program back several. Yeah he had some big name recruits and yes he won some football games but at what cost? I am of the believe that you recruit the right kids for your program not just the kids who are ranked in the top 20 by rivals.com or any other website. I believe that is what coach Dooley is doing, bringing in the right kids for the program. Its gonna take time for us to get back to where we were but this happens to all the big time programs. Look how long Alabama and Oklahoma stayed down and now they are legitimate national title contenders every year. It doesnt happen overnight and all the top programs go through these years of struggle. Now is Derek Dooley the long term answer for us? I dont know but I do believe he is the right answer for us today and he is the right guy to clean up our program.....GO VOLS!!!

I agree with you 100%, except I believe that Dooley IS our long-term answer. 14-0 won't happen but every 50-100 years. 10-3 can happen with frequency. 9-4 is the minimum expectation. I don't care how many STARS a player or program has. Ever heard of Randall Cobb? So many others that are high quality players but not receiving the STAR treatment.

lafollette37766 writes:

in response to xvolx:

His mouth is moving, He must be lying.

I could not have said it any better.

Cash writes:

Lame sure is building that dynasty out there. He'll be history before too long. Then nobody will touch him or his band of goons.

patiently waiting...

lafollette37766 writes:

Read Orgeron's bio on Wikipedia. Very interesting character.

dk writes:

Liar, liar, pants on fire! Easy to tell when Kiffin is lying. His mouth will be moving.

spencer1989#206886 writes:

in response to Chappy:

Even if this is true (which I'm highly skeptical it is), the HC is still responsible for establishing and maintaining the expectations and standards of the program with his staff. As another poster commented "lack of institutional control".

In a few years Kiffin will be selling used cars. After everything that has come out, I can't imagine any program would take a chance on him after USC fires him.

"In a few years Kiffin will be selling used cars"

Or better yet....Pumping gas.

SummittsCourt writes:

"I have always been committed, wherever we've been, to doing things the right way and cooperating with the NCAA, so that's all I've got on it."

He has lied so much he actually has started to believe his own lies. I can only shake my head on this one.

lafollette37766 writes:

in response to spencer1989#206886:

"In a few years Kiffin will be selling used cars"

Or better yet....Pumping gas.

Do you seriously believe that Lame Brain Kiffin would have the smarts to figure out such a complicated piece of equipment like a gas pump? That would be one time he could honestly say he had no knowledge.

NeylandWest writes:

in response to CantStandCantStandSaban:

FIGHT ON!

lol

Volways writes:

I wonder how Layla is doing...

minnehan writes:

Poor Lane, he is either a pathological liar or is suffering from some cognitive impairment. So sad that he continues to lie. He has himself convinced, but no one else.

TheFuj writes:

Of course he had no knowledge. Kiffin is not dumb. He is a cheat, but not stupid. It is catching up with him real quick. If not successful at USC, then he may never work again in coaching. (May not need to with that money).

ProfessionalHandicapper writes:

in response to MtJ_Orange:

Thinking about dressing up as Brett Maverick for a costume party on Halloween. I need a dorky black hat, a JC Penny suit jacket, to learn... to... talk... like... a... robot, and I need to put on about 300 lbs. On second thought maybe I will just put on a mullet wig and some jorts and go as a Gator fan.

Ive met Brett a couple times doing interviews in Vegas. First off the guy is a genius and has won National Handicapper of the Year about three times. He wrote the book on Sports Handicapping. If you dress as him (remember he is in his 50's) you will need to pump some weight. Ive seen the guy bench press 550 lbs with ease in the gym at Hard Rock Casino Vegas. He will tell it like it is, and I promise the guy is a legend. He is not fat, the Dude is HUGE and ripped. Not sure why you picked him out to make fun of on this site. Best I remember from one of his books he published he played in the SEC and his son went to Knoxville and is now a Top Scout just like his Dad was for like 20 years. I dont know many people that wanna mess with that family or the ...(his friends). He would never be on this website. Maybe someone pretending to be him. Just my thoughts on the matter. I dont think you have any idea what your talking about.

Packer_Park_Orange (Inactive) writes:

in response to BigBadVol:

I can't believe you actually posted something that I agree with on here. USC fans already hate Kiffin. I will give him one more year and he will be an assistant somewhere.

If Kiffin is so bad where does that put us with Doolittle...Kiffin left Dooleyfoolie with two geat recruiting classes...the attrition is due to Doolittle's inability to relate to, or mentor elite blue chip players...Kiffin, with the loss of 30 scholarships has a better record at USC through his two years than Doolittle and will finish with a better record.

mytrifecta writes:

Kiffin is a liar, a cheat and represents everything that's wrong with college football recruiting. USC is on probation for his actions, we're on probation for his actions...he should be fired and banned from coaching college football period.

VolGrad writes:

"I know nothing; I hear nothing; I see nothing!"

VolGrad writes:

I was the coach at Tennessee? Really? When was this?

Uhhhh....

Flyfisherman writes:

Liar Liar Pants on Fire

tennvolsman19651965 writes:

in response to MrDonCorleone:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hey Don, where ya been since Florida got stomped by BAMA? I noticed that you didnt have all those people sitting on the bench when Brantley and Demps left the game. Bah ha ha ha. As usual, I was right about the Gators not having any depth on the bench.

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