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Lane Kiffin Will Take Your Jersey Number From You and Not Explain Why

USC head coach Lane Kiffin is about as popular in Knoxville as sunscreen in Alaska. After hiring the coach and giving him everything he wanted, including the highest paid staff in the country, Lane rewarded Tennessee by bolting for Southern California just 14 months into the job. Any surprise they want to name a sewage center after him?

Now that Lane is gone, some of his former players are continuing to pile on. Todd Campbell is a former Tennessee receiver who just graduated but left the program to pursue graduate school. He shared the following story with the Knoxville News Sentinel as relayed by Sporting News:

“I was not the biggest Lane Kiffin fan,” Campbell said.

The bad blood dates back to last summer, when Campbell was abruptly informed that his No. 11 jersey had been given to incoming freshman tailback Bryce Brown.

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Source: USC Does Not Want to Release Seantrel Henderson from Letter of Intent

USC was slapped with penalties from the NCAA Infractions Committee three weeks ago. The penalties were deemed the harshest since SMU got the infamous “death penalty.” USC was stripped of 30 scholarships over three years, postseason appearances the next two seasons, and they’re on probation the next four years. Because of the penalties, juniors and seniors are allowed to transfer without having to sit out a year. That doesn’t do a whole lot of good for the incoming freshmen like Seantrel Henderson whose careers with the Trojans will begin under a dark cloud.

Henderson has been listed as one of the top two recruits for the 2010 class by various services. After a prolonged recruitment period, he announced he would attend USC on Signing Day, but he never signed his Letter of Intent. Henderson wanted to be sure that USC would not be penalized harshly by the NCAA before deciding to spend his next four years in southern California. Apparently whatever the USC people told him sounded good, because Henderson ultimately signed with the Trojans in late March. But ever since the punishments were handed down, Seantrel has been upset.

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Arrests Spice Up UCLA Offseason

While the death of John Wooden, the national championship run by the softball team, and the College World Series appearance by the baseball team have hogged headlines around Westwood lately, UCLA football found a way to steal a piece of the spotlight. As Inside UCLA initially reported Saturday morning, three incoming freshmen for the UCLA football team were arrested on suspicion of theft. Here’s the official report from the AP:

Sgt. Paul Stewart said Sunday the victim called police to the dining area of the Hendrick Hall dormitory, where she found her bag missing from a storage locker Wednesday. After an investigation, three 18-year-old freshmen enrolled in the school’s summer session were taken into custody.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department records show Joshua Shirley, Shaquille Richardson and Paul Richardson were booked at a county jail and released early Thursday morning.

To think UCLA was celebrating a victory for stealing some recruits away from USC … this explains it. Back when Rick Neuheisel was hired as the team’s coach, this is the exact issue about which I was worried. Neuheisel said two years ago that he would be harsher with his penalties for the team so I guess we’ll see if he walks the walk. While I want to see more facts of the case come out before serious decisions are made, this is a bad sign and not what anyone should want with the program.

Sources:
Three Bruin incoming freshmen reportedly arrested on felony theft charges [Inside UCLA]
3 UCLA Players Arrested On Suspicion Of Theft [AP/CBS]

13-Year-Old David Sills and Lane Kiffin Are Perfect, Cheating Fit

Back in February, we introduced you to 13-year-old David Sills, a middle school quarterback out of Delaware who had committed to play football for Lane Kiffin at USC. The joke at the time, aside from Kiffin going so young, was that he wouldn’t even be around by the time Sills was ready for college. With 30 scholarships being taken away over the next three years, I’m guessing Kiffin will be gone by the time young David is ready for college. It’s really just a shame because based on a report in the Wilmington News Journal, the two are a perfect fit. LBS tipster Blackjack notes that Sills’ school, Red Lion Christian, is under heavy investigation for, you guessed it, recruiting violations! Here’s more:

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Big 12 Can Have Colorado Back

I feel so let down. I feel like a boy dreaming of steamy, mind-blowing sex, only to get stranded at second base. The prettiest girl in school flirted with us the past few weeks, joined us for a couple of dates, then ultimately decided she wanted to try and work things out with her ex-boyfriend. Oh what could have been.

As an unabashed Pac-10 fan my whole life, I was getting so pumped up for a Pac-16 featuring powerhouses like Texas and Oklahoma, not to mention exciting programs like Oklahoma State and Texas A&M. There could have been two beautiful divisions — one to the West representing mainstays like the Washington, Oregon, and California schools, and one to the East involving the six new programs from the Big 12 and the Arizona schools.

We would have had seven games against intradivision opponents per season and two interdivisional games per year. There would have been conference title games featuring USC and Texas, Oregon and Oklahoma, and regular season games with Huskies against Aggies. And best of all, there would have been a conference television network to ensure we didn’t miss a minute of the action! After years of getting dumped on by the rest of the country, the Pac-10 would have finally received the respect it has rightfully deserved. Oh, what could have been.

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USC Football Finds Compliance Religion

Although almost the entirety of my Friday radio show on Sporting News Radio was spent talking about the punishments handed down to USC Thursday, I haven’t had a chance to write about them here at LBS. There are so many different directions to go — arrogance, invincibility, money, greed, lying, denials, Heismans, Carroll getting off, Kiffin Karma — but now’s not the time for all of that. Instead, I’d like to focus on one aspect of the saga I missed this weekend. In one of the most ironic twists I’ve read about, USC — the same school whose coaches completely disregarded the advice and warnings of its compliance directors — has turned in opposing schools to their compliance officers! Here’s the scoop:

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Accepting Memphis’ $10 Million Would Be Ultimate Cash Grab

One of the biggest gripes amongst those dissatisfied with the shifting landscape in college football conferences is that it’s nothing but a cash grab. While these conferences are looking to add teams to boost their overall revenue, I believe the money made from TV deals will be put to good use by the schools. For instance, the extra revenue could help balance the budgets of the various athletic departments by paying the bills of the other athletic teams. Additionally, the money could go to the university’s general fund to support institutional research and help keep tuition fees down. In stark contrast is what’s going on with Memphis. According to Gary Parrish at CBS Sports, the CEO at FedEX, Fred Smith, is willing to offer a BCS conference $10 million per year to let Memphis in as a member. If any of the six eligible conferences comply, it would be a signal of the ultimate cash grab.

The shift we’re seeing across the conferences centers around one issue: football. The football programs are the ones bringing in the money and funding the rest of the athletic teams at most schools. The football programs are generating the big bucks for the conferences. The football programs are the reason Texas A&M is negotiating with two major conferences while Kansas and its historic basketball program has become a neglected child. Great, now that we’ve established that the changes are all about football, we have the answer to why Memphis has no place in a BCS conference.

Although Memphis had good seasons in 2003 and 2004 under Tommy West and they’ve had two fine players in DeAngelo Williams and Isaac Bruce, they have no history as a program. What notable accomplishment has Memphis’ football program ever achieved? What fan base do they have? What, besides $10 million a year, could Memphis’ football team possibly offer a BCS conference? Absolutely nothing, and that’s why it would be nothing other than a straight up money grab for a conference to accept them.

Sources:
FedEx CEO could provide millions if BCS-affiliated league takes Memphis [Gary Parrish/CBS Sports]