Lane Kiffin is on message, the athletic department not so much...

I get a kick out of reading some of things out there regarding the NCAA wanting to talk to Lane Kiffin about his recruiting practices while he was at UT. This isn't new, but it sound's like some people just heard about this...

And that is a bit frustrating.

Like I said yesterday, this is the continuation of the same story that we read about months ago. The NCAA is now getting around to doing their interviews. That Kiffin is to meet with the NCAA should come as no surprise to anyone. This was always on the radar so no one should really be surprised.

Kiffin's message is loud and clear and he is as as confident now as he was then that he did nothing wrong...

"I have great confidence in what we did there, that we didn't do anything wrong," Kiffin said after Friday's practice. "I'm not concerned one bit about it."

Whether or not that is true is to be determined later but until the final verdict is in I am certainly not going to lose any sleep over this, I will worry about it if the NCAA comes back with some sort of major punishment. Until then...Meh.

But I am in the mood to vent...

This, on the other hand, does concern me...

A high-ranking USC athletic department official said he wasn't happy that the Tennessee story came out at a time when USC is trying to clean up its image. The football program is on probation for four years after receiving major NCAA sanctions in June, and the new administration is determined to make compliance a priority.

Wow! I guess these guys don't keep track of current events.

Whomever signed off on the hiring of Lane Kiffin had to know this was out there, this isn't new.

If we are to believe the rumor that Pat Haden signed off on the Kiffin hire, then he had to know about this, right? Even if he didn't sign off on the hire he still had to know. Pat Haden is a detail guy, this is what he does for a living. I mean it was splashed all over the place. Like I said this is not a new issue just the continuation of a dormant one, so any grumbling from "sources high up in the athletic department" is foolish and simply shows that said "sources" aren't 1) paying attention or 2) want to throw the coach under the bus.

So much for dynamic, new leadership...

I don't think they want to throw Kiffin under the bus, but if they cannot show Kiffin any support by saying "we were/are aware of the NCAA's investigation and we support coach Kiffin until we learn otherwise" or something to that effect then they should do one and one thing only...

Say nothing...

I mean its not like the administration doesn't have any practice saying "we can't comment on any ongoing investigations" like they have in the past.

This is Haden's baby now. He needs to control the message, unfortunately this ain't it. And it makes Heritage Hall look like the gang that can't shoot straight.

Whether or not you agree with Kiffin's hiring, Kiffin has done just about everything the administration has asked him to do and he has my support until he does something to set the program back. This particular issue is not it. Have there been a few minor head scratchers? Yes, but like other fan bases who support their coach when they do something controversial I won't throw the baby out with the bath water. To me there really isn't any other choice. The program has been through enough...

Recruiting hostesses are not a new the giddiness from certain corners of the UT fan base have been a hoot to watch. They were more than willing to support Kiffin when the issue of the hostesses came up while he was in Knoxville, but now that Kiffin has moved on to greener pastures they can't wait to see him get nailed...even if it is at the cost of the UT program.

Anti-Kiffin fans and USC detractors need to understand that this is an institutional issue.

Maybe some do, but it is clear that others don't.

There is some merit to the argument on whether or not the coach should be held responsible for infractions, even after he leaves, but that is a discussion for another day. Yes, the coach could always get tagged with something as minor as a letter of reprimand or something major like a show cause order but right now the school always takes the hit.

Tennessee is not going to be good this year and that is too bad, as they have a great tradition. But in wanting Kiffin to be nailed do they really understand what they are asking for?

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