Lane Kiffin blasts anonymous sources who ripped him in article
Just days before Lane Kiffin is set to coach his first regular season game at FAU, a feature story that was published on the 42-year-old cited a number of anonymous sources who had some unkind things to say. On Tuesday, Kiffin fired back.
Bleacher Report’s Matt Hayes spoke with some of Kiffin’s former assistants and colleagues, and most of them remained anonymous while ripping Kiffin. Here’s a sampling:
“I’ve never seen a guy who knows his craft like he does be such an overbearing assh–e,” says one coach who worked with Kiffin. “Lane does what Lane wants to do, no matter the consequences.”
Says another coach on one of Kiffin’s staffs: “He’s completely unaware of his impact on others. When you’re a coach, everything you say and do is not only scrutinized by the media and your boosters, but modeled by your players. Eventually, that will eat away at what you’re trying to build until there is nothing left.”
Kiffin is no stranger to being criticized, but he couldn’t keep quiet when asked about the article.
“I don’t think it really bugs me (but) it really bugs me when people write an article that puts no names in it,” he said, via Jake Elman of the Palm Beach Post. “Everything negative in the article is just referring to an unidentified source — that part really bugs me. It is what it is.”
Rather than taking aim at his unnamed former staffers, Kiffin seemed to blame the media for publishing articles with anonymous sources.
“You guys get to write what you want and never be held accountable for it,” he said. “I’ve told you before: you guys got great jobs.”
One person who chose to reveal his identity for the story was Nick Saban, who was Kiffin’s boss for three seasons. A former Alabama staffer who worked with both Saban and Kiffin said Saban was “sick of all that nonsense” with Kiffin, which is no surprise considering the two parted ways before the National Championship Game. Saban himself threw Kiffin a backhanded compliment.
“Lane is a very smart coach. He knows the game,” he said. “But, what Lane will figure out, what every coach eventually figures out, is it’s about people.”
Kiffin openly admitted that some of the things he said during his tenure at Alabama got him in trouble, so we already knew his relationship with Saban was not great. Perhaps what Kiffin didn’t realize is that so many of his former assistants and colleagues have axes to grind.