Friday, November 13, 2009

Move Over to the Slow 'Lane'

I'm sure this is not what Tennessee Head Coach Lane Kiffin had in store for this season. Not after all of the talking he did during the offseason.

A 2-3 record in SEC play and a 5-4 record overall isn't the greatest, but honestly it was to be expected in the first year. The personnel clearly isn't his and you can see that when you watch the Volunteers play.

The silver lining has been safety Eric Berry, but he was great before Kiffin and likely will be great when he leaves as well. UT Defensive Coordinator Monte Kiffin has turned their defense into one of the nation's better units, I can't take that away from them.

But it seems that the incident that happened earlier this week nullified any progress that the younger Kiffin has been working toward.

Three UT freshmen football players were arrested and charged with armed robbery after the police stopped them and found marijuana and a pellet gun in the car. The driver of the car was a woman, and she was also arrested.

As of this blog post, two of the players have been released from jail. Safety Janzen Jackson was released on his own recognizance and defensive back Mike Edwards was released after posting bond. Wide receiver Nu'Keese Richardson still remains in the Knox County Detention Center because he has not posted the $19,500 bond.

Obviously the justice system will say that they are innocent until proven guilty. That doesn't mean it will be left alone in the court of public opinion. Lane Kiffin has a deep hole to dig out of right here, especially because he is the one that proclaimed that his program would be run with discipline.

I don't see the discipline right now, Lane.

There are other things that I have heard that make this incident that much more perplexing and intriguing. For instance, I've heard that in the alleged robbery attempt had on UT hoodies. Really though? In Knoxville?

I don't condone the robbery at all, but if you're going to do that to someone in a town that lives and dies by the creamsicle orange, don't wear that!

I also heard that the incident took place outside of a gas station that is owned by the largest booster that UT has. So large, in fact that the business school is named after him (Jim Haslam). Great job right there.

This is just another black eye to Kiffin, who wrote checks his mouth and coaching haven't been able to cash. He needs to take some swift action in regards to these players. Once the facts come out (if they aren't already) and this turns out to be fully true, all three players need to be kicked off of the team.

Even Urban Meyer and the University of Florida thinks these players crossed the line.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Just a Women's Sport?

I apologize for not posting on here as much as I should be, the semester is trying to make me its victim but I won't let it happen? I have to come back with some heat! Let's see what I come up with.

I have been thinking for the past few days about what I would write for my first post after a long hiatus on here. Then the answer just fell into my lap last night as I was watching highlights on SportsCenter.

Elizabeth Lambert, a defender for the New Mexico Lobos women's soccer team, single-handedly pulled her school to a new low (yes, even with the Mike Locksley situation still simmering there). If you haven't seen the video yet, take a look at the theatrics.

I was shocked, as I'm sure most people were when they saw it. I'm sure that Lambert never planned on being this famous (or infamous) overnight, but it happened literally overnight.

In this week of Florida Gators linebacker Brandon Spikes being grounded in a controversy over trying to gouge the eyes of a Georgia Bulldogs player, it's weird to think that incident is really tame compared to what Lambert did. If Spikes was suspended for a half by Urban Meyer and then suspended himself for the whole game, what should happen to this young lady?

Not only is this a bad look for Lambert and the University of New Mexico athletic department, it also looks bad for the Mountain West Conference. One of the big issues for the NCAA this year has been sportsmanship. That's why they tried to have football teams shake hands at midfield before kickoff. That didn't work too well though, because you really shouldn't have whole teams get together that close before a game when adrenaline is running at its highest. It just won't work.

Back to Lambert and the New Mexico athletic department, this is something that will linger for a long time. With the 1-0 loss to BYU, Lambert just ended her junior season. That means she will be back next fall and will have to hear from the public for the next year. If the Mountain West wants to make a statement, they need to suspend her for at least 5-10 games to start next season. What she did has no part in any collegiate athletics. If the university doesn't do it, the conference needs to. If the conference doesn't do it, the NCAA certainly needs to step in right away and take action.

Lost in all of this, credit has to be given to the BYU women's soccer team for not responding to the numerous outbursts from Lambert. They kept on doing what they had to do to win the game, and that is exactly what they did.

There is a reason they are ranked in the top 25, and part of it has to do with the fact that they beat New Mexico and the refs, who couldn't seem to muster the courage to red card Lambert and get her out of the game, which is what was sorely needed.

All in all, this was something that I am sure the university did not need. One black eye to the program is bad enough, two just adds insult to the injury of a struggling program.