Jeff Fisher criticizes Lane Kiffin for his lack of professionalism

SEATTLE , WA - JANUARY 03: Head Coach Jeff Fisher of the Tennessee Titans a walks the sidelines against the Seattle Seahawks Qwest Field on January 3, 2010 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

After Lane Kiffin hired Tennessee running backs coach Kennedy Pola to be his new offensive coordinator at USC, Titans’ head coach Jeff Fisher was a little ticked off that Kiffin didn’t call him first.


“I am very disappointed in Lane Kiffin’s approach to this,” Fisher told The Tennessean on Saturday. “Typically speaking, when coaches are interested in hiring or discussing potential employment from coaches on respective staffs there is a courtesy call made from the head coach or athletic director indicating there is an interest in talking to the assistant.

“So I am very disappointed in the lack of professionalism on behalf of Lane, to call me and leave me a voicemail after Kennedy had informed me he had taken the job. It is just a lack of professionalism.”

Kiffin claims it was all a matter of timing.

“We reached out to Kennedy Pola [on Friday] to gauge whether he had any possible interest in returning to USC before we moved forward with the process,” Kiffin said. “Kennedy said he would think about it and get back to us today. Once Kennedy did call back earlier today, out of my great respect for Coach Fisher I immediately reached out to Coach to make him aware of the situation.

“I have spoken with Coach Fisher and he now has an accurate understanding of the timeline of events.

“We realize the timing of this isn’t perfect for all parties, but this is a great opportunity and promotion for Kennedy.”

This wasn’t the first time Kiffin has pissed off a fellow coach and it probably won’t be the last. If it was a matter of timing and therefore, a misunderstanding, then I’m sure Fisher can let the situation go. Then again, Fisher’s main beef was that Kiffin never contacted him when USC was interested in hiring Pola. Kiffin could have picked up the phone as soon as Pola was a serious candidate and this situation could have been avoided.

Either way, this story is sure to get buried soon. Fisher’s probably more upset that he lost his running backs coach one week before training camp starts than he is about Kiffin’s moral compass. Although I would have loved to hear Fisher drop the line, “Lane Kiffin is a guy that would bend you over and not have the courtesy to give you a reach around.” (I cleaned that line up for the kids viewing at home.)

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