Thursday, November 12, 2009

So that's what they mean by UT Wild Boyz

Three of the top players in Lane Kiffin's first class are wearing a different shade of orange this morning, accused of armed robbery last night in Knoxville.

Police identified the three as burgeoning defensive back star Janzen Jackson, receiver Nu'Keese Richardson and DB Mike Edwards. They reportedly wore Tennessee garb and tried to flee in a Toyota Prius.

A couple of points: Jackson and Richardson were signing-day surprise coups for the Vols' 2009 class. Jackson, heavily recruited by his home-state LSU and Alabama, bolted to Tennessee after being expected to sign with the Bayou Bengals. Richardson went with Kiffin instead of Florida. The Tennessee coach later accused Gator head man Urban Meyer of NCAA violations concerning Richardson's recruitment. Those claims got Kiffin his first SEC reprimand, and he later apologized to Meyer.

More irony: Not long ago, Tennessee assistant Ed Orgeron had this to say about the the coaching staff. "We're not angels, and we are not going to recruit a bunch of angels." Jackson was recently suspended. Richardson recently skipped practice, setting off speculation that he was leaving the team.

Nobody in the SEC should take much joy in this, because few if any of its teams have escaped off-the-field problems. But in Tennessee's case, Kiffin's brazenness in challenging the SEC's established coaches and the league office, along with the "UT Wildboyz" framing of his program, brings double the scrutiny of the coach's next actions and words.

In the meantime, three kids handed the world suddenly face a far different future. And their arrests raise interesting questions on which schools had the best signing day after all.



Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Get real. Judge Kiffin after you see what penalties are dealt out to the 3.

Maybe Urban Meyer shouldn't be such a trash talker who gets fined and then he wouldn't have had 24 arrests during his tenure, a third of those felonies.

Michael said...

Anon 1:01.

It's impossible to judge coach Kiffin until he responds. But because how his first year has unfolded, he certainly will be scrutinized whatever he decides to do.

Florida had an awful offseason, it's true. Most schools have had embarrassing episodes. Coaches can't provide hour-to-hour supervision. But they are paid the big bucks to run programs, and running programs involves more than what happens on 12 days a year.

panicstreak said...

The escape vehicle was a PRIUS!!!

J said...

"Nobody in the SEC should take much joy in this."

Are you kidding? Why not? I'm still singing with glee at your program and the long-ago strip club coach. And I fully expect the next time a coach or player from my school does stupid, that you will revel in it (since we're arch-rivals, I know you will).

When you show up on the scene with a pompus, arrogant, I'm-a-higher-life-form-than-you-because-my-name-is-___ attitude like Lane and Urban have, then anytime they face trouble, the rest of us SHOULD take great joy in it. These cats need incidents like this to offer them proof that they are not God, despite their self-belief that they are.