Bill Williamson of ESPN.com reports that an NFL arbitrator has denied a grievance filed by Lane Kiffin against the Raiders organization. Kiffin felt he was owed $2.6 million by the team after Al Davis fired him for cause back in 2008. The Raiders’ countergrievance for lawyer and arbitration fees was also reportedly denied.
Kiffin’s anti-Raider statements and actions ultimately cost him some money. Coaching contracts are guaranteed, but it must have been determined Kiffin violated the terms of his deal in addition to being a lousy head coach.
One year from today Lane Kiffin will not be the head coach at Southern California USC. Just call it a hunch. But with Pat Haden as the new sheriff at Heritage Hall, and with his old receiver J.K. McKay (among others) keeping an "eye" on the football program, you have to wonder how long the Boy Wonder is going to put up with the New World Order.
The Titans didn't need to sue here. They're upset, sure, but they didn't need to sue. They could have huffed and puffed a little. They could have bitched for a news cycle or two, then moved on. At the end of the day, this is really a lot of time, energy and hassle over a running backs coach.
But that's not what this is. This is someone saying loudly, publicly, "I don't like that guy." And, "This guy is such a jerk, I want it entered in some kind of court record."
Jeff Fisher, if you've forgotten, is a USC guy. (He was in the same USC secondary with Ronnie Lott, Joey Browner and Dennis Smith.) This is exactly the guy Lane Kiffin should be winning over.
Fisher is an alum. He's a rich alum. He's a former player. That's 0-for-3.
He's also a big wheel in the NFL -- you know, that place Kiffin is telling all these recruits he can get them.
That's not a good day at the yard.
And it seems to be that maybe this is just who Lane Kiffin is, this is what he does, this is how people react to him, this is the chaos that seems to swirl constantly around him. This is what you get when you hire him, along with Monte, his much beloved football genius of an old man, and Ed Orgeron, perhaps the best recruiter on God's green Earth.
You get this. I mean, this isn't a pattern. This isn't connecting the dots. This is a mosaic!
[K]iffin wanted Pola, and contract language was not to be an impediment. How more Davis can you get?
So he grabbed him, and Fisher did what any good Tennessee fan (the pro or college variety) would want him to do. He pitched a nutty, and then he threw lawyers at Kiffin, who was too busy driving away with one hand on the wheel and the other waving 20 percent of goodbye.
You know, the 20 percent in the middle of the hand.
This makes Kiffin the modern-day version of the man who gave him his first real taste of litigation. If Davis weren't so directly involved, he might actually admire the kid’s gumption, albeit through clenched teeth.
The problem with living outside the law, however, is that you are no longer able to enjoy its protection, and Kiffin is working the Public Enemy Number One thing a little hard. It borders, indeed, on pathology, but we are neither trained nor interested in psychology.
Of course, Tenneesseans know all about Kiffin's lack of professionalism — after a whopping 14 months as the Vols' head coach, Kiffin abruptly quit for the USC job after Pete Carroll's departure for the Seattle Seahawks. During his time at Tennessee, Kiffin managed to accuse the Florida and Georgia programs of recruiting violations, insinuate that a Florida high school would go out of its way to impede one recruit's ability to sign with his program, and committed several violations of his own along the way. Since taking the USC job in January, Kiffin invited further controversy by getting a verbal commitment from a 13-year-old quarterback.
And it came out after the fact that the reason Kiffin may have left a message on Fisher's voicemail instead of speaking with him directly is that the Minnesota Vikings had already given Eric Bienemy, their running backs coach, a promotion and pay raise to prevent Kiffin from stealing him away. The Minnesota Star Tribune reported that USC had offered the offensive coordinator's job to Bienemy, so Pola wasn't even Kiffin's first choice. Thus, afraid that Fisher might do the same thing with Pola, Lane Kiffin subverted the system to get what he wanted. And that's where the Titans might have a case.
Pola is another USC alum — he played and coached for the Trojans before, and his nephew is SC legend Troy Polamalu(notes). And this is not a slight against Pola; he did what he was supposed to when one is presented with what looks like a better job. You man up, tell your current employer that the grass is suddenly greener, you shake hands, and you move on. It happens every day. Unfortunately, what also seems to happen just about every day is another example of Lane Kiffin doing the wrong thing ... even when the right thing is easier.
USC football is going to walk. There will be no NCAA jail. What, you haven't heard? Lane Kiffin told me. Actually, he told all of us the day he took the job in January. USC's coach is a lot of things and stupid isn't one of them. He didn't replace Pete Carroll knowing that his program was going to get The Big Haircut from the NCAA... Postseason ban? It ain't happening. Crippling scholarship cuts? No way. Those are really the only two issues USC has to worry about. Anything else, USC can handle. If there was a hint that either one was on the table, Kiffin wouldn't be with the Trojans.
With probation, USC is not quite the plum job everyone imagined [Not really. Six "candidates" rejected or stirred away from the Trogans before Hello Kiffin jumped from the Rocky Top and then Chow humiliated them in public. - BN Ed.] Kiffin got back in January. Then again, maybe it's a perfect job for someone with seven victories in three seasons with the Oakland Raiders and the University of Tennessee.
There's no proof that Kiffin orchestrated this Baxter episode (and there likely never will be), but can there be any doubt? The five schools accused of the contact were the reigning national champion, the one Kiffin targeted most while at Tennessee, the reigning Pac-10 champion, the school where his former co-offensive coordinator at USC coaches, and a smaller in-state school thrown in to make it seem less hand-crafted. If you asked me to make a list of schools that Kiffin would be most likely to falsely accuse of something, all but Fresno would definitely be on the list.
Al Davis called Kiffin a "flat-out liar" when he fired him in Oakland. He lied about Urban Meyer committing a violation when calling Richardson. He boasted of having run his program free of legal incidents several days after Nysher Oliver had been busted for shoplifting. He promised after taking the USC job that he wouldn't actively recruit Tennessee's players, even though Tyler Bray confirmed that Ed Orgeron was doing that almost immediately after the move was announced. He promised Henderson that the NCAA sanctions wouldn't be that harsh when he had no way of knowing for sure.
At this point, just assume anything that comes out of that program is a lie. You'll end up proven right more times that not.
"They (Trogan freshmen) didn't come to SC because of a bowl game the first or second year. They came here because of the education; they came here because of the football program."
"For me, it was the location and the school! UCLA is in LA, great weather and close to the beach," said Jones-Drew. "It’s just a beautiful campus! I think it’s important that kids pick the school. Look what happens with these coaches, like (Lane) Kiffin. They come and go. I knew I was getting a good education at Ucla too