Surprise, surprise. Look who’s in trouble again.
If you thought USC head coach Lane Kiffin could ever escape the black cloud of NCAA violations that has followed him throughout his coaching career, well, you were sadly mistaken.
On Monday night, Rand Getlin, Charles Robinson and Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports reported that Willie Mack Garza, one of Kiffin’s assistant coaches during his only season at Tennessee, wired $1,500 to talent scout Willie Lyles in the summer of 2009 to reimburse Lyles for the money he paid to have 5-star running back Lache Seastrunk visit the Knoxville campus.
Although schools are allowed to pay for players when they come for official visits, this was considered an unofficial visit by Seastrunk and thus, a substantial recruiting violation
Remember, Lyles and Seastrunk are also currently the center of another investigation surrounding Oregon, where Seastrunk ultimately went to play before leaving this summer and returning to his home state of Texas and joining Baylor.
Garza, who followed Kiffin from Tennessee to USC, resigned two days before the start of the season, citing personal reasons, though the NCAA was well aware of the Lyles incident at that time.
This is certainly not the first violation that has been brought to light from Kiffin’s short stop in Tennessee.
The brash, young coach has gained a reputation for having aggressive, no-holds-barred recruiting tactics, and the NCAA has already conducted investigations into the practices used by Kiffin and his staff while at Tennessee.
It concluded that Kiffin and his staff committed 12 minor violations from January to October 2009.
Kiffin’s only official recruiting class during his time at Tennessee was one of the most highly regarded in the country and it included 5-star running back Bryce Brown, who was a part of the NCAA investigation.
This latest revelation is yet another blow to Kiffin’s already shady resume.
In a world where everyone is dirty, Kiffin seems to be the poster boy for filth.
Yes, we all know that most of these under-the-table recruiting practices go on at every major university, but at least they do a better job of keeping it under wraps.
Even in the face of all of these different reports over the last few years, Kiffin has remained brazen and steadfast, and taken a "my way or the highway" approach.
He’s certainly found a way to irk most college football fans, and you can make the argument that he’s probably the most disliked coach in America.
The only problem is that no matter how many times he gets slapped on the wrist, it doesn’t seem to affect Kiffin. And considering he’s managed to reel in consecutive top-10 recruiting classes in his first two years at USC, I doubt he’s about to change his tactics any time soon.