He just can’t help himself, really.
Yesterday, Lane Kiffin created quite the stir, at least among readers of this site, when it was revealed that linebacker Simione Vehikite was back on scholarship after spending more than three months in jail stemming from a no-contest plea to a pair of felonies.
Later that day, the USC head coach likely pissed off the coaching staffs of future opponents as well.
Kiffin confirmed following practice Thursday that the Trojans’ football home, the Coliseum, would no longer be available for opposing teams to use for walk-throughs prior to games (it’s unclear if adult films would fall under the same umbrella). As if sensing the future stink he was currently stepping in, Kiffin downplayed the move, calling it “no big deal” as the Trojans don’t go through on-field walk-throughs when they go on the road.
The main reason, however, for the banning of walk-throughs, Kiffin said, is preserving the Coliseum turf.
“We put a lot of resources into that field and what I’m hoping is that our fans are going to see the best that field has ever looked,” Kiffin said according to the Los Angeles Times. “The problem with walk-throughs … you tear it up because people put cleats on and go on there.”
Seeing as USC held a mock game last week on a practice field instead of at the Coliseum, that line of reasoning actually holds some water.
Kiffin went on to add that USC is not the only school that’s banned pregame walk-throughs, although he refused to get into specifics. While we won’t get into any specifics either, we reached out to more than two dozen FBS schools from across the country and received a response from 21 of them; all 21 permit opponent walk-throughs.
As if this day wasn’t busy enough, Ole Miss announced late Monday evening star-crossed offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil‘s suspension has been capped at seven games, meaning he’ll miss Saturday’s trip to Memphis but return in time for Texas A&M visit to The Grove on Oct. 24.
From the university:
The University initially withheld Tunsil from competition at the start of the season as both the NCAA and the University examined several alleged improper benefits. During the course of the process, it was determined by the NCAA that Tunsil received impermissible extra benefits that included the use of three separate loaner vehicles over a sixth-month period without payment, a four-month interest-free promissory note on a $3,000 down payment for purchasing a used vehicle, two nights of lodging at a local home, an airline ticket purchased by a friend of a teammate, and one day use of a rental vehicle. In addition, it was determined that Tunsil was not completely forthcoming when initially questioned by NCAA investigators regarding the loaner vehicles. He later corrected his account and since apologized.
As part of his reinstatement conditions, the NCAA imposed a seven-game suspension, ordered Tunsil to pay the value of the extra benefits to a charity, perform community service, and he will also make the vehicle down payment.
Said Tunsil: “I take full responsibility for the mistakes I made and want to thank everyone for their continued support. I want to apologize to my teammates, coaches and the entire Ole Miss family for how my choices affected our program. This was a learning experience, and I’m looking forward to being back on the field with my team and redeeming myself. The last 10 months have been a physical and mental battle for me, but I love playing this game more than anything else. I want to be here for my teammates who are depending on me to finish what we started together.”
The news is, obviously, great for Tunsil and head coach Hugh Freeze personally, as well as the entire Ole Miss football program. It’s also a nice plus for NFL scouts, as it means Tunsil’s first live action of 2015 will come against possible future No. 1 draft pick Myles Garrett.
Hope he’s been practicing.
Say it ain’t so, Steve.
According to a report from Thayer Evans of Sports Illustrated Monday evening, Steve Spurrier is set to retire.
Spurrier, 70, is a legend the likes college football has never seen before and never will again.
He was a Heisman Trophy winning quarterback at Florida, then returned to his alma mater and turned the program into a juggernaut, leading the Gators to 122-27-1 record from 1990-01 and a national championship in 1996. After a stint with the NFL’s Washington Redskins, Spurrier landed at South Carolina, where since 2005 he’s racked up a school record 86 wins.
But those wins slowed down of late. After an SEC East championship in 2010 and three straight 11-2 seasons from 2011-13, the Gamecocks fell to 7-6 in 2014, and are off to a 2-4 mark this fall. With the possibility of losses to nemeses old and new like Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Florida and Clemson ahead, Spurrier, it appears, would rather fade away quietly to the putting green.
Perhaps no two sentences summarize Spurrier, then and now, more precisely than this:
Combined with his three years at Duke, Spurrier closes up shop with a 228-89-2 mark, and a bust in the coaches’ wing of the Hall of Fame waiting for him.