Tennessee Vols Football: Lane Kiffin's Long Gone, but His Legacy Lives on

Joel BarkerSenior Writer ISeptember 27, 2011

PASADENA, CA - DECEMBER 04:  USC Trojans head coach Lane Kiffin looks on against the UCLA Bruins at the Rose Bowl on December 4, 2010 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

The night Lane Kiffin bolted Knoxville, Tenn. for the smoggy skies of Los Angeles, Calif., Vols fans revolted.

The fanbase collectively acted like a jaded ex-girlfriend when the newly anointed mouth of the south cashed in his rebuilding chips for what—at the time—seemed like a cushy job as the head man at Southern California. 

Not much has changed in the 21 months since that bizarre January night. Tennessee fans still love to hate Kiffin. And with good reason. 

Although, the hate has shifted from Kiffin's actions on that fateful night to his actions in the disastrous 12 months prior. Kiffin repeatedly skirted NCAA rules throughout his short tenure as Tennessee head coach. 

There were multiple secondary violations and reported shady recruiting practices by his staff. Some of those practices led to a lengthy NCAA investigation and university-imposed sanctions on the program. 

Barely a month after that black cloud dissipated, another is apparently on the horizon. 

On Monday evening, Yahoo! Sports reported that one of Kiffin's former assistant coaches, Willie Mack Garza, paid $1,500 airfare to scout Will Lyles for a top recruit, Leche Seastrunk, and his mother to fly to Knoxville for an unofficial visit in July 2009. 

Of course, Kiffin has denied any knowledge of the incident, but Yahoo! reportedly has hard proof that the deed was done—a photocopy clearly from Garza to Lyles for $1,500. 

Given Kiffin's track record, there's no doubt in my mind that he knew, and probably even orchestrated the plan. 

This is a guy who put himself and the UT program in the place of being accused of using female recruiting hostesses to "coerce" young recruits into committing to Tennessee. 

To automatically connect Kiffin to this latest allegation might be irresponsible, but it is not a stretch to connect those dots. 

The only potential good news out of this latest report is that Tennessee will likely not face repeat offender status in connection with the first investigation. 

Tennessee fans just wish they wouldn't be repeatedly subjected to remembering and reliving the misery of Lane Kiffin's lone year as the head coach of the Vols.