Kiffin, Meyer at SEC Spring Meetings together, while league coaches are reminded about behavior
Florida coach Urban Meyer and Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin sat down in the same room for the first time since their much-publicized February incident in which Kiffin mistakenly accused Meyer of cheating in the recruitment of wide receiver Nu'Keese Richardson, then later apologized.
The two were both present at the annual SEC Spring Meetings, which began in Destin Tuesday afternoon.
Since he was hired in December, Kiffin has been notorius for his outlandish remarks about other schools and coaches. He's been involved in verbal spats with Meyer, Georgia coach Mark Richt and South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier.
But Kiffin said on Tuesday that he harbors no ill-will for other coaches in the league and is only doing what's best for the fledging program he inherited six months ago: drumming up publicity the best way he knows how.
"Meyer declined to talk specifically about Kiffin. He said he doesn't subscribe to the theory that coaches have to be friends, but said he expected all 12 coaches attending the meetings to act respectfully.
"There’s no problem at all,'' Meyer said. "I think our commissioner (Mike Slive) is going to have a few words. I remember two years ago we were in a fight for the SEC when we we almost got shut out of the national championship game. Our whole focus was let’s represent the SEC.
Kiffin, who was meeting the majority of his colleagues for the first time, said he planned to be respectful and professional. and that he believed most coaches understand he's just doing what he has to for his program.
"I would expect everybody to be extremely professional and understand that each job is different and each of us has a different (responsibility) to a different university, to a different athletic director to a different team,'' Kiffin said. "And I wouldn't think there would be any hard feelings by anybody toward anybody. I just talked to coach Spurrier coming out of the elevator. I think at the end of the day everybody understands we all have specific jobs for our university and there should be nothing personal.''
SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said he planned to address the coaches, reminding them of their responsibiltiy to represent the league in a proper manner. Slive said he planned to reiterate that what coaches do should ultimately be about the entire league, not solely their own individual institutions.