Kiffin clash

A video of the negotiations between the Knoxville media and Bud Ford, the University of Tennessee’s Associate Athletics Director – Media Relations (Men) – Football, before the press conference where head football coach Lane Kiffin announced he was leaving Tennessee for the head coaching job at the University of Southern California.

Kiffin wanted to do two press conferences, one without cameras and one with. No questions apparently were going to be allowed at either. He also did not want any live feeds either video or audio.

Update: Jack McElroy and Katie Granju blogging the same thing.



  1. Thanks for posting this. Following the media controversy has been as interesting as the coaching change!
    If you can (and have the time) can you tell us about the competing media interests at work here? Was it radio vs TV or print vs broadcast? Or just a bunch of different personal opinions?
    (BTW If we had to lose Skip too at least it was without the drama!)

  2. All media were there: newspaper, TV, radio. The person taking the hard line against off-camera comments and then an on-camera statement is WBIR News Director Bill Shory, who does not normally attend these. In the beginning, the off camera person who challenged Ford about the building after he said it’s “our building,” is News Sentinel photographer J. Miles Cary. The person who calls his news director on his Blackberry is Jim Wogan, WATE sports anchor/sports director.
    I think he was there because the original information about the Kiffin statement was that there would be no video allowed whatsoever. That may have been a misunderstood from the live feed ban. I do know our editor had called WBIR to discuss that. If only the sports media had been there, I don’t think the issue would have been as aggressively pushed so I’m glad he was there. That the newspaper was as concerned as TV about video demonstrates the changed environment. “Print” media is a concept from an earlier era that certainly Ford seems to still cling too.
    The media that you can hear and see arguing breaks down to those that wanted something vs Ford’s threat that Kiffin would walk without a statement, and those that believed the demands were unacceptable.
    I have no clue whether UT recommended this approach or Kiffin made that stipulation. It was odd since he did a standard press conference the next night in L.A. and his unanswered questions from Knoxville primed the pump for those reporters.
    In my opinion, had he refused to make any statement at all in Knoxville, the media could have staked out the building and his home until he made a statement or walked pass them refusing to comment.. He would come off looking like “Balloon Boy” dad Richard Heene or swindler Bernie Madoff, but that would have been his choice and it might have been more appropriate.
    Yes, in contrast to Tennessee and Kiffin, most East Carolina fans wish Skip Holtz well, although we hate to lose him.
    It’s interesting that in the current coaching environment, he is one head coach without an agent and who negotiates his own package.
    Holtz represented the program and university extremely well; never employing any of Kiffin’s tactics to gain publicity for the program in order to raise the recruiting profile. But at the same time, he did upgrade the caliber of recruits and made the ones he had over-achievers. And he won. After the John Thompson era and the bad feelings that already existed among N.C. high school coaches from East Carolina playing a Friday night game for ESPN, Holtz had no easy task.

  3. Hurry, antidote needed for dreaded ‘Knoxville Syndrome’

    Too often, we let the sources set the terms. Even as (WBIR News Director) Bill (Shory) states this obvious truth, the crowd of his peers nearly shouts him down, yelling “Yes, he does!” That’s absurd. This group of reporters in…

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