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13-Year-Old David Sills Commits to Lane Kiffin, USC

I thought it was crazy two years ago when Kentucky basketball got an 8th grader, Michael Avery, to commit to their school. At least that was basketball where you can have an idea at an early age of someone’s potential dominance. Football however, is an entirely different story where physical growth is crucial. Still, that didn’t stop USC newcomer Lane Kiffin to offer a 13-year-old quarterback prospect from Delaware a scholarship. And the kid, David Sills, accepted. From the News Journal in Delaware:

I’m very excited but I was very, very nervous,” Sills said tonight about talking to Kiffin over the phone. “It was very cool [to talk to Kiffin] but my heart was beating so fast, and I was scared. But after it was over, I was so excited and pumped.”

I’ve always imagined in my dreams going to USC,” he said. “But I never really detailed it to the phone call. All I imagined was playing in the Coliseum. But this is so crazy and out of nowhere.”

Yes, this is the same kid that won’t be able to sign a letter of intent until 2015. Good luck with that. USC can’t even lock up Seantrel Henderson who verbally committed to them but they’re trying to lock up an 8th grader. Lane Kiffin must also be doing some serious ass-kissing here if you’re wondering how he came about his decision. Kiffin apparently made the offer after being swayed by renowned quarterback coach, Steve Clarkson, who trains Matt Leinart and Matt Barkley amongst others. I guess Lane is trying to keep it all in the family. Or maybe he needs a new QB coach.

Also check out Dennis Dodd’s feature on Sills and young QBs that was written a year ago.

Must Have Collectible: Autographed Joe Paterno Coke Bottle Glasses

I used to think that a Ryan Leaf Colts jersey was the greatest sports collectible around. I may have to change my mind. If there’s something that I’d love to have in my memorabilia collection, it might be this pair of Joe Paterno’s horned rims up for sale. Joe Pa donated his coke bottles for a charity auction that supports Penn State Public Broadcasting.

I’m not sure what that would fetch but I’m guessing the LBS minions could put together enough scraps to gobble that thing up. I’d probably put it next to my autographed Red Auerbach cigar, in between the Paul Bryant hat and Jim Tressel sweater vest in the memorabilia room. I’m pretty surprised that the glasses aren’t thicker — I’m calling it a phony.

Tennessee Fan Trying to Name Lane Kiffin Sewage Center in Knoxville

We already knew that Tennessee fans did not take Lane Kiffin’s impromptu exit from Knoxville too easily but we figured they were over it once the riots settled. While there’s plenty of scrutiny to go around now that Derek Dooley’s been hired, some Vols fans are still uneasy about Lane’s exit and one in particular is trying to exact his revenge. As LBS contributor Botros shared with us, Tennessee fan Drew McElroy is getting creative:

Knoxville attorney Drew McElroy has filed paperwork with the Knoxville City Council’s Public Properties and Facilities Naming Committee to rename a waste water treatment plant the “Lane Kiffin Sewage Center.”

“It dawned on me–Lane Kiffin told us that he hoped the fans would understand. I thought ‘Well, naming the wastewater plant for him would let him know, I think very clearly, we do understand,'” McElroy, an off-and-on season ticket holder said. “We want to memorialize his stay here, and I think this would be doing it appropriately.”

Ouch. I’m hoping this story will break through Lane’s shield of selfishness and embarrass a slight amount of integrity and loyalty into his body. Or not. Kiffin now has his dream job so who cares about anything else, right? In his misguided thinking he probably figures it’s just sour grapes from a scorned fan base. I hope the name gets approved.

Derek Dooley Fits the Leavitt, Mangino Mold Perfectly

Tennessee shocked many people by hiring Louisiana Tech coach Derek Dooley as their replacement for Lane Kiffin. Obviously none of us can predict the future so it would wrong of us to pronounce the hiring a failure, but we do know that there were plenty of coaches out there who had more impressive resumes. Tennessee did not hire any of those coaches and really screwed up by botching the David Cutcliffe talks. Outside of his last name and where he came from, we don’t know much about Derek Dooley. Early signs however point to him fitting the Jim Leavitt mold perfectly. Check out this video from The Wiz of Odds:

Yeah, I’m sure that video will go over well given the current climate in college football. All you have to do is look at a player wrong and that’s grounds for firing someone these days. No surprise Vols fans have already come to Dooley’s defense for slapping the player in that game via YouTube’s comments. Well this will be an exciting ride and forgive me if I feel the Vols will be far from a national contender, much less SEC East contender in the next five years.

Phil Fulmer Gets the Last Word with Tennessee Firing/Lane Kiffin Hiring

While the shocking news that Lane Kiffin was bolting from Knoxville after just 14 months on the job caused many people in the community to riot, it did leave a smile on the face of someone in Vol country (no, we’re not talking about Urban Meyer either). Despite being one of the most loyal Vols supporters around, you know former coach Phil Fulmer had to enjoy a moment of satisfaction upon hearing the news of Kiffin’s departure. Kiffin may have talked a big game but he only went 7-6, got blitzed in a bowl game, and didn’t come close to Fulmer who started off 10-1 in his first head coaching season. That brings me to Fulmer’s thoughts on Kiffin’s departure which he released in a statement:

Recent events have been painful and an embarrassment to all of us who care about UT. I love the University; I am loyal to my alma mater and am ready to help as the University makes one of the most important decisions in the history of our football program. However, to prevent any misunderstanding, I am not seeking to be a candidate for the head coaching position.

I am looking forward to embracing the next coach and have some strong beliefs about the kind of man he should be. He must embrace Tennessee’s culture and traditions, be mature and of good character, and demonstrate integrity and leadership to our young men who desperately want to be shown the way.

In other words, Kiffin was everything I wasn’t. Oh yeah, Lane was an embarrassment too. The part Fulmer mentions about culture and traditions is key; Fanhouse said that one of Kiffin’s main focuses was to turn Tennessee into the USC of the South instead of further developing Tennessee’s tradition. He was a fish out of water to begin with and he screwed things up for any potential outsider to land a big SEC job in the future. Way to be selfish, Lane. Nice going. Fulmer meanwhile has no reason to take the job now — all the people who wanted him gone would love to have him back at this point. What more satisfaction could you want than that?

Better Proposal: Colt McCoy to Rachel Glandorf or Ian Johnson to Cheerleader?

Texas quarterback Colt McCoy proposed to his college girlfriend Rachel Glandorf on Monday night and she said yes. The proposal was done very much in the Texas spirit — bigger and better than anything else. McCoy reportedly brought Glandorf into Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on Monday night. Then “When they got to the field, “Will You Marry Me?” was on the stadium’s giant high definition scoreboard screen.” McCoy was down on his knee proposing to Glandorf who said “yes.” McCoy’s proposal got plenty of headlines but it wasn’t as well-known as Ian Johnson’s Fiesta Bowl proposal.

Rachel Glandorf Pics

Many sports fans won’t forget the Boise State running back who got down on one knee following David’s win over Goliath. Ian Johnson proposed to his cheerleader girlfriend following Boise’s Fiesta Bowl win over Oklahoma and the two are happily married today as a Sports Illustrated followup indicated recently. Minus sideline reporter Chris Myers who spoiled the surprise, Johnson earned major points for his ballsy move on national TV. Colt’s proposal was pretty smooth, but without footage I think I’ll have to give Johnson the nod. Does anyone have a video of this stadium scoreboard proposal or what?

UPDATE: Sports by Brooks has provided pictures

USC Hires Lane Kiffin to Offend Other Pac-10 Coaches

Multiple reports say USC will make Tennessee head coach Lane Kiffin the school’s new football coach, replacing Pete Carroll. Lane was an assistant at USC from ’01-’06, serving as tight ends coach, then offensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator before accepting the coaching job with the Oakland Raiders. Kiffin just completed his first season as the head coach at Tennessee but he ran into several problems with the NCAA and opposing coaches. His penalty for leaving his Tennessee contract early is supposedly $800,000 and the news comes as a surprise at least to Vols fans. While USC is getting a familiar face, there are several reasons for me to question the hire by USC.

First off, Lane Kiffin was already being investigated by the NCAA for several different potential violations. He got into hot water for talking disparagingly about South Carolina, saying Urban Meyer violated rules when recruiting Nu’Keese Richardson, and then he saw three of his freshman get arrested for attempted robbery. As if that wasn’t enough, his hostesses got in trouble for traveling to recruit high school players in South Carolina. This is really the kind of guy USC wants in there especially when they’re facing potential problems with the NCAA for the Reggie Bush and Joe McKnight violations? Is there goal to reach Rose Bowls or SMU’s fate?

As for Kiffin, I really don’t understand how he can in good faith leave Tennessee after just one year. The Vols opened up the door to him, supported him with the highest compensated staff in the country, and he thanks them by bolting after one year. He might actually be doing them a favor because of the problems he had already created but it’s still a slap in the face to act excited about getting a job only to leave a year later. We’ll never know what Kiffin would have achieved in Knoxville and they now have to start from scratch when other top candidates have already found jobs. That sure was considerate of him and it’s no surprise Tennessee fans are already rioting.

Well, what goes around comes around and Lane will probably receive what he deserves — a program about to be punished. Ed Orgeron will probably be able to out-recruit UCLA but what good will it do with only 15 scholarships a year?