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A Breakdown of Lane Kiffin's "violations" at Tennessee

My friend BRDCSTR once again cuts to the chase...cutting out the background noise to get to the heart of the matter.

Lots of peas but not a lot of steak...

I decided to research just what those six violations were, and quite frankly, was surprised to discover just how trivial they actually were - considering how often they're referred to in the media as evidence of his callous disregard for following the rules.

Sheesh...two of the six violations weren't even committed by Lane himself... but we're rarely, if ever, told of that.

There's a reason even the NCAA defines a secondary violation as...

"an isolated or inadvertent violation that provides or intends to provide only minimal recruiting, competitive or other advantages. Secondary violations occur frequently and are usually resolved administratively."

In no particular order, here are his six violations. Note the first one listed, ESPN not only set the trap for the violation, but didn't withhold airing the piece, even though they were aware it was a violation before putting it on the air.

Here is the rest...

1) By Tennessee's own self-reported count, Kiffin has already committed five secondary violations since being hired by the school in January. (I don't have statistics to back this up, but I'm sure this is not an egregious number for a major program.) But his controversial reign has people buzzing, which is why ESPN decided to do an "Outside The Lines" segment on hima segment that included a few seconds of Kiffin having a sitdown meeting with couple of recruits. And guess what ... that's another violation!

Why is that a violation? Because the media may not observe a coach having contact with a recruit. So in a story that discusses Kiffin's recruiting violations, ESPN helps him commit one, airs it on television, then calls him on it after the fact. (Bob Ley pointed out the possible violation at the end of the segment.) Even though the camera crew may not have been aware that it would be a violation when they filmed it, the producers clearly knew that it was before they aired it. So what's up with that? Isn't tWWL essentially complicit in this rule breaking?

2) Tennessee plans to self-report another NCAA secondary violation after a high school recruit was mentioned by name Tuesday on Lane Kiffin's Twitter page.

Tennessee athletic director Mike Hamilton said it wasn't actually Kiffin who penned the post in question but an employee in the football office who was updating Kiffin's Twitter page for him.

The post was up for about an hour during the afternoon before being removed by Tennessee officials. It read: "It's a beautiful day in Knoxville, Tennessee today. I was so exited to hear that J.C. Copeland committed to play for the Vols today!"

NCAA rules prohibit coaches and athletic department employees from commenting about unsigned prospects or publicizing them in any way.

Copeland, a 6-foot-1, 245-pound defensive end from LaGrange, Ga., is an ESPNU 150 Watch List member. He chose Tennessee over Auburn, Ole Miss, Maryland, UAB, Central Florida, East Carolina and Southern Miss.

"It was one of Lane's personal assistants, and it was his first day on the job,
" Hamilton explained. "He posted the message on Lane's Twitter account without asking compliance. It was an inadvertent error, but it's still a violation and one of those things where you've got to know what the deal is. We'll report it."

3) This is the second time under Kiffin that Tennessee has had to self-report a violation involving an unsigned prospect. In February, Kiffin mentioned running back Bryce Brown by name on a radio talk show in Knoxville and referred to him as a great player.

4 & 5) In letters to the NCAA and SEC, the Tennessee athletic department said the secondary violations occurred in January. One violation occurred when nine prospects on an official visit to the school participated in a mock press conference at Neyland Stadium's media center.

Another violation occurred
when a fog machine was used as a recruit entered the field at Neyland Stadium during his official visit on Jan. 9.

Under NCAA recruiting rules, schools are prohibited from simulating a game experience for recruits during official visits.

Tennessee issued letters of admonishment to Kiffin and recruiting coordinator Ed Orgeron and provided the staff with a review of NCAA recruiting policies. Neither the NCAA nor the SEC has issued any punishment.

"They understand that they must ask questions of the compliance office about anything 'creative' regarding campus visits," the Jan. 26 letter said.

The violations were first reported Monday by The Knoxville News Sentinel.

Tennessee's coaching staff believed the mock press conference was allowed
because it was not done in public. They thought the use of the fog machine was allowed after seeing it used at other universities.

6) Monte got a violation for allowing his driver (a UT player) to sit in the lobby at the school he was recruiting a player from. While waiting for Monte, the player engaged in conversation with an administrator who came up to speak with him.

Admittedly, it's Kiffin's responsibility to be aware of all of the rules and follow them. After perusing the collective violations in one place, though, it doesn't appear that a cogent case can be made that his media driven reputation for showing callous disregard to following rules can be made.

Seems pretty minor if you ask me. And two of them Kiffin didn't even initiate.

No, there isn't a witch hunt going on...

One year at Tennessee and there were SIX secondary that to say Ohio State with something like 300+ in Jim Tressel's whole tenure and they say Kiffin is the cheat?

Right, got it....