Lane Kiffin: The Most Dangerous Man in Sports

Scott FeltsContributor IJuly 27, 2010

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 01:  Head coach Lane Kiffin looks on during the  USC Trojans spring game on  May 1, 2010 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Raider fans know it.  

The University of Tennessee fans know it.

The University of Southern California and their fans are quickly learning it.  

On Monday, The NFL’s Tennessee Titans filed a lawsuit against the University of Southern Cal and head coach Lane Kiffin for "maliciously" interfering with the contract of running backs coach Kennedy Pola.

The lawsuit claims Pola breached his contract with the Titans after being induced by Kiffin.  Pola, who was hired by USC over the weekend as the school's new offensive coordinator, was hired by the Titans in January.  

According to the lawsuit, "USC and Kiffin maliciously intended to—and did—induce Pola to breach his contract with the Titans, and alleges that "USC and Kiffin engaged in improper means in their procedure of the breach and were not legally justified in their actions." 

This isn't the first time that Kiffin has drawn criticism from an NFL franchise.  

In a letter dated January 22, 2009, Jeff Birren, counsel for Al Davis and the Oakland Raiders, sent a letter to the University of Tennessee that stated:

“Mr. Kiffin was found to be someone who broke NFL rules and made false statements that mislead the media, Raider fans, and the entire team.”

The letter continued, “Mr. Kiffin’s contract required that all of his services relating to coaching were 'all subject to the direction and supervision of the General Partner of Club.' Mr. Kiffin failed to comply with this express term in his contract.”

"Mr. Kiffin’s contract also required that all of his duties supervising assistant coaches were all subject to the direction and supervision of the General Partner of Club. Mr. Kiffin failed to comply with this express term in his contract.”

Another issue that the letter from the Oakland Raiders brings to light is that this isn't Kiffin's first time tampering with assistant NFL coaches.

The letter states, “As you are undoubtedly aware, Mr. Kiffin is involved in arbitration with the Raiders. Not withstanding the fact that Mr. Kiffin must have told you about the pendency of this proceeding, we want to put you on notice of it, and the University’s involvement in some of the underlying facts."

"For example, after the University hired Mr. Kiffin he induced one of the Raider assistance coaches, James Cregg, to breach his contract with the Raiders in order to begin immediate employment at the University. Mr. Cregg simply walked off the job prior to the completion of the Raiders’ season, discarding any intention to perform further services under his contract with the Raiders.”

The most damming accusation from the Raiders' organization is one that most people would have rolled their eyes at until Kiffin's actions at the University of Tennessee.

These included numerous secondary NCAA violations, multiple unfounded accusations of fellow SEC institutions and their coaches and even an attempted harvesting of Tennessee student athletes on the eve of their first day of school at Tennessee by Kiffin's literal hired henchman, Ed Orgeron.

The letter alleged, “It is also quite possible that during the period of time for which Mr. Kiffin is seeking compensation from the Raiders he was also actively supplying information about the team to its opponents.”

Even if this one allegation is unfounded, or unable to be proven, there are enough collaborative issues with Kiffin's reputation at this point to consider him and his employment at any institution as a detriment to their overall mission.

Why any school or professional institution would want to marry itself to the train wreck that is Lane Kiffin and his blatant disregard for rules in both the NFL and NCAA is beyond explanation.

This has moved past the point of snarky sound bites and cute photo ops.

Lane Kiffin isn't just the worst person for USC or college football. 

Lane Kiffin is the worst person in sports.  


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