Tennessee's Woes and Lane Kiffin: Who's Really to Blame?

John WhiteCorrespondent IIIFebruary 24, 2011

I can trust you right? Sure Mikey...sure you can.
I can trust you right? Sure Mikey...sure you can.

If you're on the farm, you ask logical questions about your day-to-day problems.

For instance:

  • Why is my garden destroyed? Answer: Someone let the goats out.
  • My hens are dead? Answer: Someone left the door open to the coup and a coyote raided it.

These are cut and dry answers to the simplest of questions.

Much like this question:

  • Why is Tennessee facing NCAA allegations of recruitment violations? Answer: Athletic director; Mike Hamilton left the coup door open.

There is an old query that begs: Who do you blame for a bad plate of eggs, the hen or the cook?

Mike Hamilton's spatula must be broken, he had (note that I said had) a basket full of mulligans from fundraising and hiring Bruce Pearl, Tennessee's Men's basketball coach.

But where did he go wrong?

The mulligans started to dissapear when former head coach Phillip Fulmer began losing games he shouldn't have lost; fans looked to Fulmer for improvement, but ultimately the responsibilty falls on the AD.

The overall consensus was that Hamilton allowed Fulmer to bully him around and only forced him into retirement because the Big Orange illuminati forced him to do so when he failed to act. 

By the way Mike, make sure the old coach has a graceful exit, he won a national championship for us. Don't do anything stupid where he's crying on TV or anything okay? Cool.

If I were an athletic director at one of the SEC's most prestigious programs, I would at this point evaluate my skill sets, smile nice for the cameras and make sure I don't piss off a fan base of roughly five-million people, including alumni and staff.


Instead, he proudly shouldered the meteoric success of Bruce Pearl, defiantly claiming Hey I hired him...well, sort of.

Surely, with Pearl's improvements, I can ride his coat-tails and hire another super coach? I mean, hire someone else to hire someone else. That's worked out so far, right?

Hey Bruce you don't need any supervision recruiting right? Awesome, keep winning.

Then Ken and Barbie showed up and everyone was completely fooled by their sincere commitment and media firestorm about what was coming for Tennessee.

Who was there to smile for the cameras first as Kiffin promised the defunct, fabled Florida win? Answer: We all were, but this time, Hamilton was holding the camera.

Ok Lane, stand next to General Neyland's maximsLane, why are you holding a butcher's knife? 

Immediately, SEC coaches are rubbed the wrong way by his brash demeanor and disrespectful approach to the traditions and culture of all things SEC.

By the way, this is Ed Orgeron, could you make sure we've got crates of fresh kittens? He gets really hungry when he sheds. Hey Ed, can you unpack those highlight reels of Reggie Bush and while you're at it, hang up a few of those Matt Leinhart photos next to Peyton's?

Again, you would think at this point that Hamilton would examine any allegations directed at a rookie, NCAA head coach.

Hey Lane, do you need any supervision recruiting, you and Ed know the rules right? Yea Mike, we got the rulebook right here...wink...wink.

Hey Bruce how's the recruiting going? Uhh...Mike can we talk a minute?

It's really a matter of common sense: When the hen house is being pilfered, you don't burn the house down to rid the vermin. You let them leave with a hen and then you greet them when their mouth is full.

The very last thing you do is confront the person who left open the door.