I'm hesitant to devote a lot of time to stories reported by Clay Travis relating to Lane Kiffin, because well, as a Tennessee guy, there is a lot of built up animosity regarding someone who coached just 14 months in Knoxville. That's been well-documented; I won't elaborate further.
Regardless, a particular tweet of his this morning caught my eye:
Been told by multiple sources that USC wants Lane Kiffin to admit to NCAA violations rather than appear at hearing in June.
The initial reaction, at least IMO, was skeptical. After all, it's Clay. But this isn't a crazy idea.
As illustrated earlier this week, secondary violations aren't crippling. In fact, on most occasions, we are dealing with circumstances, in which a minor infraction occurred. Here's a more by-the-book description: "an isolated or inadvertent violation that provides or intends to provide onlyminimal recruiting, competitive or other advantages. Secondary violations occur frequently and are usually resolved administratively."
And for good measure, Kiffin, himself, didn't personally commit two of those infamous six secondary violations. Not that it makes things necessarily better, but still.
Either way, an admission on Kiffin's part isn't crazy. It gets the situation over with and if they can reach a compromise, it's possible it could amount to a mere slap on the wrist as opposed to meeting with the Committee on Infractions, which could lead to more significant penalties.
But here's where I find it strange that a Kiffin admission would be on the horizon: Tennessee can't get let off the hook here. The idea that Kiffin could be punished separately from UT continues to be a puzzling occurrence. I touched on the following in my weekly column:
Kiffin, instead, disregarded the warning and brought Rubio along anyway. Yet, he faced no disciplinary action from the school. If Tennessee knew its coach was in direct violation of NCAA rules, but failed to report it, how then, would it not be cited along with Kiffin?
In either scenario, the failure by compliance to perform its due diligence or the football program to self-report the violations remains increasingly difficult to justify, begging the question of why Kiffin alone is being ousted.
When the COI released its findings, USC's understaffed compliance department bore most of the responsibility for being unaware of the actions of particular players and coaches. In essence, it was penalized on the basis of not reporting, and therefore, not responding quickly enough when rules were broken.
If both had been cited, I think the idea that Kiffin would admit to guilt would increase. Under these circumstances, however, he's going to be increasingly hesitant to do so.
Because Kiffin and UT are separated , Kiffin's defense will rest upon the fact that what Tennessee said (i.e. that they informed him of the potential violation) is not true. UT will argue the contrary. It's a he said she said thing. And as a result, I find it tough to believe someone is going to give in.