Blog Entry

It doesn't look that bad for Tennessee

Posted on: February 23, 2011 1:30 pm
Edited on: February 24, 2011 10:42 am
What does it take these days to get lack of institutional control?

We may be about to find out. Connecticut basketball didn't get it on Tuesday. Tennessee's basketball coach went so far off the reservation in lying to the NCAA that he needed a sherpa to get back. Tennessee's former football coach, already allegedly a serial secondary violator, got more thrown at him Wednesday when the NCAA's notice of allegations finally came out.

Bruce Pearl lied. Lane Kiffin pushed the envelope ... off the table all the way into the paper shredder. All we get is "failure to monitor" and "failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance". If Jim Calhoun didn't blink after being suspended for three games next season consider the Vols. After 22 months of an NCAA proctology exam, Wednesday read a lot like a net win for Tennessee.

Major violations? Sure. It's conceivable that Ol' Mr. Unethical Conduct himself, Pearl, could be suspended for a year. He could also still return after that year which, you have to admit, would be a plus for the Tennessee basketball program considering his winning percentage. Outlandish? About as outlandish as how Tennessee got to this place meaning anything is possible. Assistant Tony Jones did all right (5-3) in Pearl's absence.

Kiffin has taken his act to USC where the penalties could follow. So how bad can it get? If you're Tennessee, it's damn embarrassing if a) the basketball coach gets suspended and b) if he comes back. For football, figure it will be nothing more than a slap on the wrist -- some recruiting visits, maybe some scholarships. 

That's what staying away from the dreaded lack of institutional control gets you. That designation from the NCAA is about as bad as it gets in these cases and indicates "a systematic breakdown in compliance," according to an association spokesman. Having it on their record keeps coaches and administrators from getting better jobs. The last two BCS schools to get slapped with institutional control were Arizona State baseball in December and USC football in June. Both schools were given postseason bans. That seemingly isn't going to happen at Tennessee.

For what it's worth, Arizona State is first all-time with nine major penalty cases.

Kiffin is the gift that keeps on giving in Knoxville. He was on that USC staff during the years in question. (To be fair, he is not named in the infractions report.) He was the head coach for one tumultuous year with the Vols. The NCAA wouldn't drop the institutional control label until the final infractions report. But for now, overall, it looks "good" for Tennessee. The NCAA alleged "failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance ... and failure to monitor ..." in the football program. That's almost always considered a major violation. Bad. In this case, not damning.  

The "atmosphere of compliance" allegation is the same one that Rich Rodriguez and Michigan vigorously fought. It was eventually left out of the NCAA's final report in the case regarding abuse of weekly workout time limits under Rodriguez. The dropping of that charge essentially made it much easier for Rodriguez to find his next job. 

A further question is what will follow Kiffin to USC? Kelvin Sampson was found to be a serial violator at Oklahoma and Indiana. He was eventually given a five-year show-cause order, the NCAA's kiss of death when it comes to being able to find work. Rick Neuheisel was in a similar situation at Washington. After he moved from Colorado, the NCAA banned him from off-campus recruiting for a year. Could the same happen to Kiffin, and what would his new boss, Pat Haden, think about it? It would be hard to rebuild USC without being able to go out on the road for a while.

"The penalties are directed at the [originating] university," said NCAA spokesman Stacey Osburn. "However, there are things like a show-cause order that could follow a coach regardless of where they are, where it limits their athletically-related duties."

There is precious little in the allegations about the Tennessee Orange Pride scandal, at least on the record. The New York Times reported 14 months ago that the student ambassador group had been used to make improper contact with recruits. The Times report said Tennessee hostesses were traveling to South Carolina to see recruits play. Former assistant David Reaves is mentioned in a heavily-redacted section mentioning impermissible phone calls and text messages.

 The most interesting part of the allegations might be in section 9 c. The NCAA says Kiffin allowed recruiting intern Steve Rubio to make impermissible contact with the staff at Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas, Rubio's old school. The NCAA says the contact occurred after Kiffin and Rubio were both told by Tennessee's football operations guy that Rubio couldn't enter the grounds while accompanying a coach on a recruiting visit. This occurred, the NCAA said, before Rubio was certified to recruit off campus.

Rubio is now current Tennessee coach Derek Dooley's director of player personnel.

Vacating wins are at least on the table: Tennessee is being asked by the NCAA for "a list of the institution's win-loss record for the past four seasons." I'm told that's fairly boiler plate in these types of investigations. But it's also the type of language that was included at Florida State before Bobby Bowden had to give up those wins.

Is all that enough reason to be worried? After 22 months during which it was jilted by one coach and suffered the lies of another, Tennessee still has to feel "good".
Category: NCAAF
Tags: NCAA, Tennessee

Since: Feb 11, 2009
Posted on: February 24, 2011 3:53 am

It doesn't look that bad for Tennessee

Having been a Gator fan through some tough times with the NCAA, I would say that loss of schloarships is not something to blow off.  That can hurt just as much, if not more than the forfeit of some games played in the past.  Why?  Because it limits your roster options, week in and out.  Kiffin found that out this year.  USC was ahnging tough with Oregon but ran out of steam, make that players.  Kiffin does have the chance to make people forget about his time at U-T, what he did or did not do there.  But I would assume that the clock is running and that window of opportunity is going to close within a couple more seasons.  As much as Kiffin may be disliked, if he gains control of the USC program (pun intended) and puts the Trojans back onto the PAC-10 championship track, the year at U-T will just be a footnote.  Such is the nature of sports.

Since: Sep 27, 2010
Posted on: February 24, 2011 1:07 am

It doesn't look that bad for Tennessee

Sticks and stones, just be proud of the stars and bars and the lost cause they stand for and continue to volunteer to be a loser! Oh, and schedule some games with Pac-10 teams. Tennessee has how many national championships????? And the last one was in the last century! Puuleeze! USC has 11 national championships, 7 Heisman trophy winners, 32 Rose Bowl Championships - That is what you call relevant! We can be on probation and have the 5th best recruiting class in the country. Fight on!

Since: Sep 1, 2008
Posted on: February 24, 2011 12:53 am

It doesn't look that bad for Tennessee

Oh my goodness what was I thinking super typo.  That WR coaches name is not Derrick Williams.

Since: Sep 1, 2008
Posted on: February 24, 2011 12:44 am

It doesn't look that bad for Tennessee

And for reference the statment that he was playing with Pete Caroll's players. Dude we will be running the same offense and Kiffin would have been recruiting the same players.  That statment implies that he would not have gotten the players Pete did.  Any USC coach is going to enjoy success but it doesn't hurt to have a coach that can recruit everywhere.

If we win nine games next year even though we should win ten I am sold.  There's more than enough talent to win our side of the conference and attempt to retake the Pac-12 in 2012-14 from this class alone. And if Coach Kiffin brings another strong class in which is already looking like he will from the 2012 commits he already has we won't be skipping a beat  during the sanctions.  Especially considering the fact Stanford took a big hit losing their coach then will lose Luck this year. 

Then UCLA will probably fire their coach.  After this year the state competetion for USC will fall considerably opening a window for us to stay strong by keeping quality players on the roster.

You know when a horrible team wins eight games a improved team at every aspect will probably hit ten. Just so you know.

Since: Sep 1, 2008
Posted on: February 24, 2011 12:32 am

It doesn't look that bad for Tennessee

Listen Vol fans you guys look more pathetic everytime you open your mouths.  Just because something bad happen to you doesn't give you a just reason to curse the world.  Like the other guy said Kiffin broke the rules deal with it.  You guys need to deal with the fact that your going to face the consequences of what he did and there's no rule to punish a coach. Punishing a coach would be plain stupid that's like punishing a grown man because he was bad in high school.  What are they going to do to him he doesn't work there anymore just come to terms with that.

I felt bad for you guys until there was a I hate USC campaign by Vol fans over this situation.  And as an answer to your question of what benefits we are reaping you can keep hating but Kiffin is bringing many quailty players and coaches to USC. Coach O (Best recruiter) Coach Kiffin (Legendary Defensive Cordinator), from the looks of things, Derrick Williams, (One of the top WR coaches), all Kiffin needs to do is coach the offense which he was the OC at USC before and recruit (brought the 4th ranked class) and he should be having ten win seasons very soon.

Those are the benefits Coach Kiffin is bringing to USC he is keeping the program from continuing on the downhill curve Pete Caroll left us in. Do I like what he did to the Vols? No, but get over it they hired him and he won at a cost.  We hired him and we are policing his but and reaping the benefits.  Hopefully he will also mature by the time the sanctions are over and be one of the top coaches he has the potential to be.

Since: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: February 24, 2011 12:28 am

It doesn't look that bad for Tennessee

I would like to know how a team that won the national championship in 1998-1999 is irrelevant?  Also, this irrelevant team was one win away in 2001 from the national championship.  The program has been down the past 4 years, however, they are not irrelevant.  Here is the opinion of someone who is a Tennessee fan, and is not an idiot such as ejr123.

Football:  Kiffen should be repremanded at USC.  He promoted this lack of control of keeping up with the rules.  He did it knowingly.  Tennessee should also face sanctions.  They hired Kiffen, and should have had more control over him.  Their mistake. 

Basketball:  Bruce lied, Bruce got caught, Bruce fessed up.  All that being said, he should be suspended for all conference games next year, and the should not be allowed to recruit off campus for 2 years.  The university should have to give up 2 scholorships for 3 years.  It will more than likely be a year for Pearl.

Conclusion:  Bruce will be suspended for a year, Tony Jones will take over since he did well.  I hope Pearl comes back to UT, due to a lack of a better option at coach.  However, I feel he will be fired.

PS.  ejr123, why don't you go wear your skinny jeans, have some starbucks, and wear your sunglasses inside.  Real men live down south.

Since: Oct 1, 2006
Posted on: February 23, 2011 11:54 pm

It doesn't look that bad for Tennessee

Kiffin was a paid employee of the University of Tennessee.  He was a representative the University of Tennessee.  As an employer the University of Tennesee in this case athletic director, president and board of directors has a responsibility for the people they hire.  In business if one of my employees mis-represents and regardless of whether I do anything about it I take responsibility because I made the hire.  How the University of Tennessee is not responsible for Lane Kiffin while he was under contract is an amazing lack of responsibility.  I don't blame the University of Tennessee for this but the NCAA is ridiculous. 

Since: Sep 27, 2010
Posted on: February 23, 2011 11:16 pm

It doesn't look that bad for Tennessee

Tenessee is irrelevant. Kiffen could not do that in one season. Why not settle on being proud to wear your orange sherbert colors and quietly rebuild your weak, irrelevant football program. One suggestion, you'll get better faster by putting 3 or 4 Pac-10 teams on your schedule.

Since: Sep 27, 2010
Posted on: February 23, 2011 11:12 pm

It doesn't look that bad for Tennessee

Tenessee fans blame Lane Kiffin for all the problems of their weak program. Lane Kiffen was not the coach who lost to UCLA (of all schools!!!!) in the Rose Bowl on Labor Day in 2008. He was the coach who lost to, of no, not again, UCLA in 2009. Tenessee is irrelevant. Learn to live with it. You can't even beat a celler dweller in the Pac-10 (but neither could Texas last year either). Tennessee, the volunteer state, proud to be losers and proud to be first to volunteer for a losing cause. Quite griping and quietly rebuild your program.

Since: Oct 10, 2006
Posted on: February 23, 2011 10:40 pm

It doesn't look that bad for Tennessee

Chris, you said USC is reaping the bennefits of having Kiffin. Exactly what bennefits are you talking about. His record this year at USC was 8-5 using Carroll's recruits. This guy breaks the rules to get the recruits he gets, so does Ogeron. He can't coach. I am willing to bet anything he get's caught violating recruiting rules at USC while your still on probation and possibly before the NCAA smacks him for this. The guy sucks, we know we had him for a year. He will only hurt USC and not win anything.


Here's to hoping the NCAA rids us all of the poison that is Lane Kiffin.

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