Two of America's esteemed ethicists, Pat Haden and Lane Kiffin, are jetting into Indianapolis for yet another NCAA violations hearing. This time the defendant is the University of Tennessee and there are an array of violations lodged against Kiffin, the failed ex-Vol football coach, and Bruce Pearl, the defrocked basketball coach. Here's the word from the Ashville Citizen Times.
Kiffin will try to explain why he ran such a loose ship at UT. There are indications that his current boss, Southern Cal AD Pat Haden, will attend the meeting and is anxious to hear Kiffin’s explanation.
The wild card here is David Reaves, Kiffin’s brother-in-law who was quarterbacks coach under him with the Vols in ’09. Reaves is considered a key figure in the so-called Hostess-Gate mess, where two female UT students traveled to Duncan, S.C., to visit recruits Brandon Willis and Corey Miller at a high school football game.
If Reaves testifies that he and/or other UT staff members knew of the trip beforehand or perhaps precipitated it, the Vols football program could get hammered.
Interesting--why is Haden going? He said he was gravely disappointed when the NCAA tossed out southern cal's frivolous appeal and the "school's" press flacks screamed the "institution" "vehemently" disagreed with the appeals panel's decision. Haden all but asserted some of the penalties were unjust (he won't say which). Like he's going to be welcomed at the NCAA headquarters after he smeared the infractions adjudication process?
So why is Haden going? It can't be he likes the Indianapolis summertime humidity. Stay tuned.
[Updated] Kiffin was questioned for over 4 hours by the infractions committee. Afterwards, as is typical for southern cal employees and players officially charged with wrongdoing, he declined to say much. But he did say this:
"It's a very thorough process and I'm glad it's over," Kiffin said upon leaving the hearing. "It was a lot shorter than the last one I sat through, three days of USC's, and I'm happy it's over."
Haden actually watched Kiffin's testimony--never a good sign for an employee to have his boss watch him explain away misconduct or at least try to do so.
But a Chattanooga Times Free Press columnist could not restrain himself from clowning Kiffin.
(By the way, still waiting to see if the Kiffins intend to change youngest son Knox’s name to Troy, Malibu or Hollywood now that he’s living in the City of Angels. But we digress.)
At least Kiffin reportedly kept his shirt tucked in (unlike his Big Orange game-day attire), wasn’t overheard falsely accusing former Florida coach Urban Meyer of any recruiting violations and didn’t openly challenge Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive, who also was present.
No wonder Lane the Louse’s 90-second media briefing included the words, "It was a little bit different."
Later the columnist, continuing to ridicule the disgraced ex-Vol and current southern cal coach, speculated about what may be a developing problem Kiffin has with Haden.
So even though we can’t tell you for certain what was asked or answered, we can speculate with some degree of common sense that as Kiffin responded to questions about his UT past, his current boss at USC must have been silently wondering, "What did Mike Hamilton [recently retired (canned, pushed under the bus, shown the door, cashiered, told to clean out his desk, turn in his playbook, dispatched) Vol AD] ever see in this guy, and how quickly can I get rid of him?"
Perhaps Kiffin should swiftly consider changing Knox’s name to Haden.