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Lane Kiffin's life in the SEC fast lane

February 5, 2009 |  1:15 pm

What is it about former USC assistant Coach Lane Kiffin that produces venom-spewing press conferences and/or tersly worded released statements?

Raiders' owner Al Davis fired Kiffin last fall and held a rare -- and very bizarre -- press conference afterward to rip the young coach, Davis calling Kiffin a "Flat-out Li-ah" (Liar).

Kiffin recovered by getting named head coach at the University of Tennessee, in the cutthroat Southeastern Conference, where on Thursday he found out what happens when you accuse Florida's coach of of evil doing.

That's right, Kiffin accused Florida Coach Urban Meyer of violating recruiting rules in pursuit of receiver Nu'Keese Richardson. WVLT -TV out of Knoxville reported Kiffin told a group of fans at post-recruiting breakfast that Meyer called Richardson during the player's recent visit to Tennessee. Richardson ended up signing with Tennessee.

Kiffin told the crowd: "I love the fact that Urban had to cheat and still didn't get him."

This produced an almost instant response from Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley, who said in a released statement:

"There was no rule violation and we have confirmed this with
Southeastern Conference. It is obvious that Coach Kiffin doesn’t know
that there is not a rule precluding phone contact with a prospect during
an official visit on another campus during a contact period. His
allegations are inappropriate, out of line and, most importantly,
totally false. It is completely unfair to Urban Meyer, our coaching
staff, our football program and our institution. The appropriate action
at this time in my opinion is for Coach Kiffin to make a public apology.
His comments not only slandered our coach, but he violated SEC rules by
publicly criticizing another coach and institution."

No apology from Kiffin yet.

Hmmm. Wonder if this will have any carry-over to next season?  Florida, which has won two of the last three national titles, returns almost everyone on offense and should be the clear-cut preseason No.1

Tennessee visits The Swamp on Sept. 19.

It might be interesting. In fact, it might be 65-10.

-- Chris Dufresne