When discussing Florida's signing class, my friend Tim and I kept wondering how much cash or hot Tennessee women Lane Kiffin offered Nu'Keese Richardson to swing him to the Vols. Perhaps some of those women Bruce Pearl has been photographed with?
Apparently, it was good old fashioned recruiting. But it also included Urban Meyer calling Richardson while the Pahokee standout was visiting Knoxville. As C'lay Travis and Deadspin point out, that is a violation. Unless the Knoxville visit was unannounced, which is entirely possible. It has been reported that UF called Richardson before the trip to Tennessee, apparently to talk him out of the visit.
A high school senior has the right to choose any school he wants, so I don't hold anything against Richardson or any kid who jumps. (How many of you have something against Jevon Snead for dropping Florida for Texas who he dropped for Ole Miss?)
It's the molotov cocktail of a quote from Kiffin.
"I love the fact that Urban had to cheat and still didn't get him," Kiffin said.
First of all, I would like to restate my position that there are ZERO game changers in this class. There are no Tebows, Bushs, not even an Orlando Pace. Richardson is simply not worth a recruiting violation. Secondly, Meyer should have been targeting more wides than just Richardson and Andre Debose. The early commit by Richardson, plus a longer season and coaching changes probably led to some lazyness in recruiting Richardson.
But Lane Kiffin does not know the shit he just stepped in.
Gator fans are already licking their chops waiting for September 19. If UF knows what is good for them, they will schedule that game against the Vols at 3:30, when the fans are buzzed enough to want to kill without being so drunk they miss a 8:00 kickoff. Kiffin is now facing a collective punch in the face from the most hostile crowd he has ever encountered. He's probably thinking, "Hey! I was with the Raiders! I know hostile!" Oh, no sir. The Florida fans next season expect a 14-0 record, SEC Championship, BCS Championship and total destruction of all foes. Last regular season, Florida won their six most significant games by a collective score of 257-42. It was more than being in Championship Mode. It was pure Hate. Gator fans have embraced this. Even the jackass frat guys who don't wear Gator shirts and match their croakies to their polo are into it. Hate Tour, featuring Tebow, Brandon Spikes and The Major is coming back for a second run.
I can appreciate a little smack talk. Steve Spurrier already laid some on Kiffin and this is just a part of SEC play. Come September 19th, Kiffin will see how far his comment went and he will learn just as Oklahoma did.
[UPDATE] The Godfather, Jeremy Foley, slaps Kiffin around like he was Virgil Sollozzo. I expect Tebow to pop Kiffin and Richardson in an Italian restaurant.
"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."
Foley then calmly extended his arms and brought them to his groin, crossing them as he did it.
[UPDATE] Kiffin says sorry.
"At an energetic breakfast with some of our donors and alumni I made a statement that was solely meant to excite the crowd," Kiffin said in a statement.
"If I offended anyone at the University of Florida, including Mr. Foley and Urban Meyer, I sincerely apologize. That was not my intention."
It gets better.
The SEC said that Kiffin broke the conference's code of ethics with his comments at the breakfast.
"Coach Kiffin has violated the Southeastern Conference Code of Ethics," SEC commissioner Mike Slive said in a statement. "SEC Bylaw 10.5.1 clearly states that coaches and administrators shall refrain from directed public criticism of other member institutions, their staffs or players." "The phone call to which Coach Kiffin referred to in his public comments is not a violation of SEC or NCAA rules. We expect our coaches to have an understanding and knowledge of conference and NCAA rules."
No word yet on if Urban Meyer plans to give Kiffin The Georgia Treatment on September 19.