Kiffin reprimanded by SEC Commissioner; apologizes for remarks
Just hours after first-year Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin accused UF coach Urban Meyer of cheating in the recruitment of four-star WR Nu"Keese Richardson, he was publicly reprimanded by SEC Commisisoner Mike Slive for his actions and issued an apology to Florida and Meyer.
"Coach Kiffin has violated the Southeastern Conference Code of Ethics," Slive said in a statement Thursday afternoon. "SEC Bylaw 10.5.1 clearly states that coaches and administrators shall refrain from directed public criticism of other member institutions, their staffs or players.”
During a speech to a group of supporters Thursday morning, Kiffin accused Florida coach Urban Meyer of an NCAA violation in the recruitment of Nu’Keese Richardson, the four-star wide receiver from Pahokee who orally committed to the Gators last May, but ultimately signed with the Vols. Kiffin said Richardson received cell phone calls from Meyer during his visit to Tennessee, which Kiffin said was an NCAA violation.
“Just so you know, when a recruit is on another campus you can’t call him,’’ Kiffin told an audience of about 1,000 UT supporters. “But I love the fact that Urban had to cheat and still didn’t get him.’’
“The phone call to which Coach Kiffin referred to in his public comments is not a violation of SEC or NCAA rules,'' Slive said. "We expect our coaches to have an understanding and knowledge of conference and NCAA rules.”
Kiffin apologized late Thursday afternoon.
"At an energetic breakfast with some of our donors and alumni I made a statement that was solely meant to excite the crowd," Kiffin said in a statement. "If I offended anyone at the University of Florida, including Mr. Foley and Urban Meyer, I sincerely apologize. That was not my intention."