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franklin county times

Kiffin saga still hurting Tennessee

When Lane Kiffin took the job as the head football coach at the University of Tennessee he energized that state with a combination of swagger and confidence never before seen at that institution.

When he left the Volunteers after only one season to take the head coaching position at the University of Southern California the Tennessee fans revolted with rancor unseen in the history of collegiate football. He did not help the situation when he tried to get some of Tennessee’s verbal commitments to follow him to the Trojans.

One fan even went so far as to propose naming a sewage treatment plant in Knoxville after Kiffin.

When everything seemed to be dying down the reigning SEC Villain of the Year struck again.

Less than a week before the Tennessee Titans — the state’s NFL team — were set to begin training camp, Kiffin hired assistant coach Kennedy Pola away from the Titans.

What does Kiffin have against the state of Tennessee and the football teams located there?

This is the same state that gave Kiffin a chance to resume his coaching career after the Oakland Raiders fired him a few months earlier. Raiders owner Al Davis said Kiffin was “a flat-out liar” and said he was guilty of “bringing disgrace to the organization.”

Those are strong words from an owner whom many believe to be responsible for the decline of the once proud franchise.

As time moves on, however, Kiffin’s actions seem to justify Davis’ comments.

Shortly after taking the reigns at USC Kiffin’s program was slapped with harsh penalties from the NCAA for rules violations occurring while Kiffin was an assistant coach with the Trojans.

Volunteer fans rejoiced.

Less than a week after luring Pola away from the Titans, Kiffin and the USC program were hit with a lawsuit from the NFL franchise for “maliciously” luring Pola to the Trojans.

Fans of the Titans smiled. Fans of the Volunteers threw a party.

Kiffin can continue to do dumb things involving the state of Tennessee, but he should know the citizens of that state have every right to take joy in any manner of misfortune that should happen to befall him.

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