Kiffin’s SC Entrance Toughens
USC, Pac 10, Big 12 provide plenty to open the month of June.
By: BE Coleman
Last week, the view from Harbor Freeway overlooking the campus of Southern Cal was magnificent. After all, it was only weeks ago that former head coach Peter Clay Carroll waived off NCAA sanctions for the Trojans football program.
The Trojans have been the Pac-10’s darlings for most all of the previous decade under Carroll. His public assurance that discounted severe sanctions would carry weight for many. There was little to fear for Lane Kiffin as the new head coach and his dream job.
The turmoil that was associated with his decision to leave Tennessee for Southern Cal in mid January was not favored nationally, and was thought to be fully behind him and the coaching staff, until a recent HBO appearance.
Sports Writers from Tallahassee to Los Angeles awaited the wait, for the impending fate to come full circle. When it did, it comes forth in multiples for the Trojans program.
Forget An Appeal
An appeal to the NCAA will be fruitless, and will further harm the football program that will only delay punishments. The litigating precedence had been set with Florida State and it was clearly delegated to Alabama as a repeat offender. USC will get no break.
For Kiffin, allowing any appeal filing to delay the punishment furthers the loss of thirty scholarship players and the bowl bans time frame. If USC escapes the 2010 season with an appeal, then 2011 will begin the three-year sentencing.
But that is only one side of the Trojan coin and is where any appeal and delay will make the road that much tougher for USC to recover.
Pac-10 Influx Damaging
The combined news that the four biggest cogs of the Big 12 may join the Pac-10 next week, will significantly change the Trojans landscape. If reports are true of Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State each accepting Pac-10 invites next week, they will be on the scene competing next season.
If Kiffin allows the Southern Cal administration to delay with an appeal, the new Pac-10 additions to the west coast conference will be that many more years further ahead of the Trojans when released in four years from probation.
Should the Big 12 make quick amends to save those four teams, then the scenario will not be as impacting to Southern Cal, but …and there is always a “but,” within litigation process outcomes that no one studies more legal precedence than I do, there is an effect.
UCLA and Rick Neuheisel will certainly capitalize to a degree with a core of strength during this time period in LA. Seeing Stanford gaining some strength will not be too surprising. Arizona, Arizona State and Oregon will feed on the frenzy too.
Derek Dooley and Tennessee will make a bowl game long before the Trojans do, that Kiffin himself must now fully realize, was never a thought in LA during January.
Recruiting Will Change
Last spring Kiffin explained how he and his staff at Tennessee were behind two years in recruiting due to the coaching change in Knoxville. A fast track to the NFL had been his best selling point.
He made a name as a college coach last season with an NFL pipeline advantage to recruit players. USC was not sitting well in the 2010 recruiting before Kiffin entered.
It was more than ironic to hear the Trojans quarterback Matt Barkley telling the LA news media that he came to Southern Cal to get a great education this week. It certainly was not what he was recruited for by Carroll to play football and to contend under the bright spotlight.
It is more than a suggestive conception that Kiffin does not start out well on the west coast. His Oakland – Tennessee – USC sandwich only had meat in the middle.
SEC Backers Stiffens Stance
While the news media is pointing to Tennessee football message boards, it was places like Gainesville, Florida and Tuscaloosa, Alabama that were joyous over the NCAA’s verdict and the outcome of the Pac-10’s additions, and what they will do to USC that erupted with velocity.
There is one thing about the SEC. They will banter each other all year long throwing barbs at each other, until something attempts to splinter the fold. Suddenly, there is an angry uprising covering nine states ready to get into the verbal brawl, any brawl for that matter.
The Ball Coach Says
As noted, it was no surprise to find LA sports writers pointing to Tennessee. It made me remember a statement current South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said to us when he took the Gamecocks job, then the Florida job came open a year later after he beat the Gators in ’05 on the road.
“Sometimes, it is best to leave the confines of home. I think leaving home is the best thing you can do.” You can’t be in a comfort zone and forge ahead.
The question Volunteer fans want to hear is what amusing quip did Monte K. have to deliver on Wednesday? Everyone knows there was certainly one delivered.
The next question for USC is what Kiffin’s sandwich will look like, when his contract in Los Angeles is to be renewed. Next week, the Pac-10’s plans will be announced that makes his USC ascension a Rocky road to stay on Top.
Perhaps, Kiffin can roll out just enough in Los Angeles to ascend back to the NFL before the full effect of the fallout occurs when 2013 unfolds in the Pac-10.
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