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Lane Kiffin: New Allegations from Tennessee Prove USC Headed Down Wrong Lane

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 17:  Head coach Layne Kiffin of the USC Trojans watches warmups for the game with the Syracuse Orangemen at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on September 17, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Richard LangfordCorrespondent ISeptember 27, 2011

If USC is wise, they will fire Lane Kiffin. They need look no further than the University of Tennessee to get the motivation to relieve Kiffin of his duties.

Tennesse appears to once again be falling under the NCAA microscope. Those poor Tennessee Volunteers—Lane Kiffin is the gift that keeps on giving. They will still be uncovering rule violations made by Kiffin in the 2050.

Here is the latest report via Yahoo! Sports:

An assistant coach during Lane Kiffin’s tenure at the University of Tennessee wired $1,500 to a talent scout in July 2009, funding the airfare for an unofficial recruiting trip by then five-star prospect Lache Seastrunk and his mother.

In an apparent NCAA violation, then-Volunteers secondary coach Willie Mack Garza sent the money to one-time scout Will Lyles, who had paid for plane tickets for Seastrunk and his mother Evelyn. Garza, who joined Kiffin’s staff at USC in 2010, stepped down from his position with the Trojans in September citing 'some personal issues unrelated to USC that I need to address.' His resignation came shortly after Lyles informed NCAA investigators in August of the transaction. Lyles said NCAA investigators were conducting a wide-ranging look into Tennessee recruiting practices.

While this is far from the most serious offense, it is emblematic of all the reasons USC should sever ties with this "human violation" as soon as possible. Kiffin cuts corners as a way of life. While there is no indication that he mandated—or even knew—about the plane tickets, it is clear that Kiffin supports a culture that embraces skirting the rules.

If I was USC, I would also be discouraged by the fact that Garza left Kiffin's staff after talking to the NCAA. Now, I have no idea what happened, but it is hard to see this as anything other than Garza being a fall guy.

My guess is Kiffin let it be known that he had to distance himself from Garza—in the name of self-preservation—as soon as possible after the NCAA learned of this incident.

Kiffin wants to give the appearance that he is beyond cheating so that he can continue to cheat. This guy is more trouble than he is worth, and if USC doesn't rush to part ways with him, they will soon be facing harsher sanctions than they are already under.

 

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