How much more can we take in an off-season?
We've had expansion talks that have started to come to life. The University of Southern California has been penalized in football and basketball for major violations.
Now, Alabama, Florida, Fresno State, Oregon, and Washington all have upset the mighty Lane Kiffin.
Yeah, you heard right. Lane Kiffin, the same man who spit in the face of secondary violations at Tennessee, is now trying to help get two former SEC and two current Pac-10 adversaries into trouble with the NCAA.
Pac-10 office, the SEC proudly gives you Lane Kiffin. Enjoy!
At this point, from the reports that have come in, fans of the Tide, Gators, Bulldogs, Ducks, and Huskies should not fret. And opposing fans have no reason to cheer.
The rule in question is bylaw 22.214.171.124, which states that "An athletics staff member or other representative of the institution's athletics interests shall not make contact with the student-athlete of another NCAA or NAIA four-year collegiate institution, directly or indirectly, without first obtaining the written permission of the first institution's athletics director (or an athletics administrator designated by the athletics director) to do so, regardless of who makes the initial contact."
If what Dillion Baxter has said to be true is indeed the case, then it falls under this, most likely as a secondary violation.
There was a case in 1999 that dealt with this same bylaw. Ironically enough, the infraction was committed by Washington's head coach at the time, current UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel.
Not long after Neuheisel had left Colorado for Washington, the Huskies self-reported a violation that broke bylaw 126.96.36.199. Neuheisel had telephoned several Colorado players.
According to Neuheisel, the meat of the calls were the same, which included explaining why he was leaving and that he would "be there for them" if they ever had problems.
However, he never mentioned transferring to Washington.
This report, on top of a separate report of conducting a "tryout" of a prospect and sending assistant coaches off-campus to recruit during the quiet period, ended with Neuheisel being withheld from two-thirds of off-campus recruiting days.
That folks, is a slap on the wrist for all three of those violations.
Imagine how easy Nick Saban, Urban Meyer, Chip Kelly, Steve Sarkisian, and Pat Hill will get off with just this as the only violation reported.
Granted, the phone calls with Colorado players may have been a bit different, but the same bylaw applies. If you're a fan of any of these coaches' programs, you have little to fear.
The only way this could get ugly is if the NCAA were to find in an investigation that the schools were covering this up, but this is such a minor infraction, that if the schools find out the coaches did call Baxter, they'll report it themselves.
So far, four out of the five schools deny contacting Baxter. Fresno's the only one that hasn't spoken up.
Personally, I think this is all full of hot air. It's coming from a Lane Kiffin-coached team, and there's a history of problems with Kiffin's maturity level. When you can make Al Davis sound sane, you have serious issues.
Take this for what it's worth, just a juicy story to try and incense fans. Whether this story is true, it's just like they say at the doctor's office, none of these coaches will even feel a thing.
Lane, you're going to have to hope for more than this.