Watch the drama before the Lane Kiffin press conference [video]

This video was taken before Lane Kiffin sat down to speak to the Knoxville media about his decision to leave Tennessee to take the USC job. One television reporter (or producer?) doesn’t want to agree to Kiffin’s terms. It’s pretty funny to watch thirty people trip over each other trying to get a stupid press conference started.

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Tennessee students protest Kiffin’s resignation

What better way to show that you’re angry at the head coach that left your team high and dry then to burn a mattress?

I’ve always wanted to see the expression on the guy’s face that volunteered to burn his mattress when he woke up the next morning and didn’t have a bed anymore.

“Troy…Troy!”

“What?”

“What the hell happened to my bed man? It’s gone!”

“Dude, you burned it in the protest last night. Don’t you remember?”

“F**k no I don’t remember! What the hell, man!”

“Yeah, you wanted to do it to protest Lane Kiffin’s departure.”

“Lane Kiffin’s gone, too?!”

Tennessee being investigated for use of hostesses

According to a report by ESPN.com, Tennessee is under investigation for using recruiting “hostesses” to help lure high school football prospects to come to the university.

The NCAA appears to be strongly interested in Tennessee’s use of hostesses — students who are part of a university group that hosts prospective students on campus visits, including athletes. It was not clear whether the university sent the hostesses to visit the football players, the newspaper reported.

In one case, hostesses traveled nearly 200 miles to attend a football game at James F. Byrnes High School in Duncan, S.C., one of the nation’s best high school football programs, where at least three potential Tennessee recruits were playing, according to the report.
Two of Lattimore’s high school teammates, Brandon Willis and Corey Miller, have orally committed to Tennessee. Lattimore said the hostesses were “real pretty, real nice and just real cool” and thinks they had “a lot” of influence in his teammates making oral commitments, according to the report.

“I haven’t seen no other schools do that,” Lattimore said, according to the report. “It’s crazy.”

According to the article, Tennessee has committed at least six secondary NCAA violations since Lane Kiffin took over as head coach.

It might be hard to gather evidence in this situation outside of talking to the young recruits, but considering Tennessee has committed six violations one would assume that the NCAA is going to take their time investigating these “hostess” allegations.

Not a good start for Kiffin at UT.

Pearl apologizes for “off-the-cuff” joke

Tennessee men’s basketball coach Bruce Pearl is in some hot water after making an inappropriate joke at a recent speaking engagement.

Tennessee men’s basketball coach Bruce Pearl is apologizing for an off-the-cuff joke he made about a rural area of the state at a charity fundraiser Thursday, calling it “inappropriate.”

Pearl, speaking without notes, was addressing Tennessee Valley Authority employees about the challenges he and his staff face in getting players from diverse backgrounds to play as a team.

“I’ve got a tough job. I’ve got to put these guys from different worlds together, right?’ Pearl said. “I’ve got guys from Chicago, Detroit … I’m talking about the ‘hood! And I’ve got guys from Grainger County, where they wear the hood.”

Ouch. Making light of the KKK is not only offensive to the (non-racist) folks of Grainger County, but it’s also offensive to the black community.

He’s a successful coach, but I’ve never been a big fan of Pearl’s style and it dates back to 1995, when I was in college at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. My team won the D3 National Championship that year and the following season we traveled up to Fairbanks, Alaska, to play in the Tournament of Champions, which included the D2, NAIA and D3 champions from the previous season.

We were non-scholarship, so after we “upset” the host team, Alaska-Fairbanks, in the first round, we played Pearl’s D2 Southern Indiana team in the tourney championship. They jumped out to a 20-plus point lead, but after we went on a run in the second half to cut into the lead, he yelled on the sideline — “Do I have to call a timeout? Do I really have to call a timeout?”

I remember thinking: Is this guy for real? His all-scholarship team was playing our non-scholarship D3 school and he’s over there mocking us on the sideline to make a point to his team?

Since then, I’ve always thought that Pearl was a loudmouth who didn’t often think before he spoke, and he’s done nothing to disprove that notion in his tenure at Tennessee.

Tennessee QB Crompton received death threats in 2008

According to a report by ESPN.com, Tennessee quarterback Jonathan Crompton received death threats last season in the wake of the Volunteers losing seven games for only the second time in the program’s history.

Crompton received at least two e-mailed death threats during his junior season, the player told the Knoxville News Sentinel.

The problem was brought to his parents’ attention after a package they received had slanderous messages scrawled on the box.

“That’s when my parents started talking about it,” Crompton said, according to the newspaper.
Crompton said he never reported the threats to the school.

He also stayed quiet when he began to receive harassing phone calls after his cell number was made public on the Internet.

“It was tough, I’m not going to lie,” he said. “When you’re faced with adversity, your true character comes out — as a person, as a student, as a Christian.
“It tested me.”

People seem to lose the sense of reality when it comes to sports sometimes. Crompton is only 21 years old – he’s still a kid. He’s a student athlete trying not only to succeed at sports, but also in the classroom so that he can excel in a career field when he’s done playing football. He doesn’t deserve to have his life threatened because of what he does or doesn’t do on the field – no one does.

I know we’re talking about Tennessee football here, but relax people – it’s just a game.

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