Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com breaks down the grievance filed by UT coach Lane Kiffin against the Oakland Raiders on his website today.
Before we get into that, here’s a little background for you:
Raiders owner Al Davis fired Kiffin four games into the 2008 season and refused to pay Kiffin his full salary.
Davis ripped Kiffin at a press conference and claimed that he had been fired for cause...among others that Kiffin was a “flat-out liar.” Therefore, the $2.6 million in salary would not be paid.
Tennessee hired Kiffin in late November and at his introductory press conference, Kiffin said that working in Oakland was a great lesson in crisis management.
In January, the Raiders sent a rambling letter to the University of Tennessee smearing Kiffin and conveying displeasure that Kiffin and UT athletic director Mike Hamilton had supposedly gone out of their way to mock the Raiders at the press conference.
That letter was leaked to the press on Friday, by the Raiders.
This week, Kiffin and Davis were both deposed as part of Kiffin’s grievance...which he hopes will land him the remainder of the money he would have made in Oakland had he not been fired.
Mr. Florio, who’s a lawyer by trade, breaks down the legal side of the case right here.
But don’t expect to hear Kiffin or Davis talk about this week’s depositions. The NFL has imposed a gag order on both parties.
My first question would be: What power does the NFL have over Kiffin at this point?
But since he’s filed a grievance with the league and a ruling will ultimately fall in their court it’s probably best that he behaves himself… whether he’s no longer a league employee or not.
Can Davis keep his mouth zipped? That’s an even bigger question.
We do know the following, however: Kiffin answered questions for seven hours on Monday. Davis was deposed yesterday.
And according to Nancy Gay of The San Francisco Chronicle, Davis was “surprised but unflappable” when he encountered Kiffin outside the hotel lobby where the depositions were conducted.