First year USC coach Lane Kiffin infuriated most of the college football fans in the state of Tennessee after he walked away from the Vols program to take over at his alma mater. Now he’s apparently raised the ire of the state’s NFL team as well. In response to the hiring away of Tennessee Titans’ Kennedy Pola to take over as the Trojans’ offensive coordinator, coach Jeff Fisher blasted Lane Kiffin questioning his professionalism and tact.
According to Fisher-also a USC alumni-his gripe is with Kiffin’s approach to the hiring process and a violation of etiquette within the coaching fraternity:
“I am very disappointed in Lane Kiffin’s approach to this. Typically speaking, when coaches are interested in hiring or discussing potential employment from coaches on respective staffs there is a courtesy call made from the head coach or athletic director indicating there is an interest in talking to the assistant.”
“So I am very disappointed in the lack of professionalism on behalf of Lane, to call me and leave me a voicemail after Kennedy had informed me he had taken the job. It is just a lack of professionalism.”
In response, Kiffin released a statement indicating that it was simply a matter of bad timing:
“We reached out to Kennedy Pola [on Friday] to gauge whether he had any possible interest in returning to USC before we moved forward with the process. Kennedy said he would think about it and get back to us today. Once Kennedy did call back earlier today, out of my great respect for Coach Fisher I immediately reached out to Coach to make him aware of the situation.”
“I have spoken with Coach Fisher and he now has an accurate understanding of the timeline of events. We realize the timing of this isn’t perfect for all parties, but this is a great opportunity and promotion for Kennedy.”
It’s been a rough summer for USC athletics. The Trojans have already hired a new offensive coordinator in the wake of the football and hoops programs being placed on for a number of improper relationships that former players had with agents.
Kiffin is already persona non grata with one NFL team-he was fired and generally taken to task by Oakland Raiders’ owner Al Davis after only one season with the team. He left Knoxville with a 7-6 record, including a loss to Virginia Tech in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. His move to Southern California brought about a storm of negative reactions from Tennessee faithful.
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