Jim Mora and Lane Kiffin’s Preseason Comments Say A Lot About Both Coaches
These are your football coaches UCLA and USC. Inexperience and Immaturity.
But which is which? They are both, well, both.
Jim Mora, Jr. – who has dropped the “Jr.” from his name in the papers – made an unforgivable remark on a Los Angeles radio show (something the host should have pounced on but did not because he’s much better suited to be host of a dating game), then backed it up before backing down.
Lane Kiffin, while gaining the cheers of the Trojan fans and alumni for what they think is going to be a run at the National Championship, was again talking out both sides of his mouth. And lying to the media. Only this time, he got caught.
Junior made the far worse inexperienced and immature statement. He said he tells recruits “we don’t have murders a block from our campus.” USC is surrounded by a dicey area of downtown Los Angeles and while the campus is an oasis, it’s not a good idea to stray too far from it. UCLA is in the more pristine area of Westwood, where finding parking is a much bigger issue than crime.
First of all, that’s a dumb comment. Good coaches – successful coaches – don’t recruit by badmouthing other schools. They sell the attributes of their program. So he’s showing his inexperience as a head coach and immaturity as a person by saying it in the first place.
But even more appalling is that that the comment was completely insensitive. Especially since two Chinese grad students were killed near the USC campus in April.
Mora at first actually defended his comments, then backed off, but only to say he was not directing it at USC. First of all, of course he was directing it at USC. But he ignored the bigger picture of not showing any compassion for the murdered victims. That’s a bigger mistake than his actual comments. Mora claimed he knew nothing of the incident but it’s hard to believe him when he seemed to make a specific reference to it. And if that’s indeed the case, then it speaks to his integrity. Or lack of it.
Hey Junior, if you want to crack one-liners, call Steve Spurrier. He’s got a bunch of em, saying FSU stands for “Free Shoes University” after players received merchandise from a sporting goods store, and his “you can’t spell Citrus without UT” comment referencing Tennessee always having to play in the Citrus Bowl instead of the Sugar for finishing behind Spurrier’s Gators in the Peyton Manning era.
Or better yet, just don’t say anything you don’t have to say.
Kiffin, well, he was just being Kiffin. Like Manny Ramirez was always “just being Manny.” He told reporters he would not vote USC #1 in the USA Today coaches poll when in fact he had just voted USC #1 in the USA Today coaches poll.
Compared to Junior’s comments, this is nothing. But it speaks volumes about Kiffin’s immaturity. While at Tennessee, when reporters were quizzing him about a number of players being in trouble with the law he said “none have been arrested.” When in fact three had just been arrested, and he knew it. They were arrested for ttempted armed robbery of students at a convenience store, which is a far more serious crime than being caught with, say, synthetic marijuana. In an ironic element to the story, one of the players was a prized recruit whom Kiffin had incorrectly accused Florida’s Urban Meyer of cheating in recruiting.
Tennessee often fans saw Kiffin talking out the both sides of his mouth and are glad to be rid of him. USC fans can’t see Kiffin’s immaturity because they are looking through Rose (Bowl)-colored glasses.
Well, LA sports fans, at least the Lakers now have Dwight Howard.