Short of a pallet loaded with industrial-strength duct tape, there’s not many things that can keep Lane Kiffin from exercising his freedom of speech.
Apparently, a second public reprimand in a calendar year — and the thinly-veiled threat of a suspension for another offense — is one of those things.
One day after getting his wrists publicly slapped by SEC commissioner Mike Slive for comments that were critical of officials, mum was the word for Kiffin. Even as he clearly was just itching to slam the gearshift on his mouth into overdrive.
“As hard as it is for me to do, I’m not getting into it,” Kiffin said with a grin. “I’d like to.”
The question, though, is how long will Kiffin be able to keep the governor on his lips? Tennessee still has five SEC games remaining, which means five opportunities for officials to blow a call or two that directly affects the Vols.
Can Kiffin continue to not get into it if he believes calls are going against his team? I think those odds would be roughly equivalent to Mike Leach being invited to be the keynote speaker at a NOW convention anytime in the near future.
Which, of course, leads to whether the SEC would actually follow through and suspend the coach. I’d say those odds are much, much better than Kiffin zipping it for the balance of the season.