Earlier today, I was rolling my eyes while reading the latest article describing yet another formal apology from Lane Kiffin: The Boy Who Would Be Coach at the University of Tennessee.
It seems that coach Kiffin, in the midst of what must now be the most well-known booster meeting in a decade, slung some spiteful arrows towards the staff of Pahokee High.
I won't go into the details, as they are bouncing around the web ad infinitum, and have likely seared your retinas by now—but suffice it to say that he accused them of being everything from stupid to downright treacherous.
Compare Kiffin's actions to date with a coaching legend who also calls Knoxville home: Pat Summitt.
Pat Summitt is one of the greatest coaches ever, in any sport. To quote an earlier comment of mine, she could lead a team of snowmen into Hades and bring back ice cream. She has set the finest example of class, leadership, and dignity possible, and I daresay that anyone would be proud to claim her as one of their own.
Given that, I have one question for the Tennessee Nation: If you honor and respect Pat Summitt, how can you not condemn and deplore Lane Kiffin?
Arguments could be made for supporting your university's coaches, regardless of how they act, at all costs. However, that sort of loyalty should be saved when the person in question has earned trust and respect, not for a Johnny-come-lately who has written a verbal check large enough to put a dent in the national deficit.
Backing an immature, verbally incontinent baboon like Kiffin, at the cost of the university's reputation, isn't something that anyone should be a part of.
Honor and integrity should never take a back seat to hyperbole and rhetoric. I, for one, lament the fact that the trustees and the administration of the University of Tennessee have allowed this huckster, this charlatan, to sully the good name of the Volunteer Nation.