OT -- Rick Reilly serves up a doozy

Submitted by king_kerridge on August 1st, 2010 at 2:32 PM

In an article in which Reilly tries to defend Lane Kiffin, he talks about how his departure from Tennessee for his dream job at USC is something any of us would have done. Then he proceeds to drop this beauty...

And don't forget, Kiffin knew USC was about to be hit with some whopper sanctions by the NCAA over the Reggie Bush case, sanctions he had no hand in creating. He came anyway. And now that the sanctions are twice as bad as he thought they'd be, is he leaving? Is he complaining? No, he's trying to make filet mignon out of horse meat. He's stuck with 71 players when every other team with have 85. He's stuck with trying to sell kids on a school that will have no bowl games for two years and a Swiss-cheese roster.

Wasn't Kiffin the recruiting coordinator that brought Reggie Bush in? Reilly is a such a joke.



August 1st, 2010 at 2:46 PM ^

I used to really enjoy Reilly's writing back when he was at Sports Illustrated.  IMO, his writing has been weak ever since he moved to ESPN.


August 1st, 2010 at 3:26 PM ^

it's his rather tenuous hold on reality. The idea that Lane Kiffin had no role whatsoever in USC's shenanigans under Carroll is farcical. Kiffikins exemplifies the arrogant, the-rules-don't-apply-to-us mentality promulgated by Mike Garrett perfectly, as evidenced by his actions while at Tennessee.


August 2nd, 2010 at 9:27 AM ^

That's a really really bad comparison. Kiffin has only been at a program accused of major violations once, and at the time, he was just an assistant. Unlike Calipari, or Carroll, if you'd like, you can't even say major violations occurred on Kiffin's watch.

But that's secondary to the point that Don called the idea Kiffin had nothing to do with the violations "farcical" and implied that this made Reilly's grasp on reality tenuous, when in fact it's a completely reasonable interpretation of the NCAAs findings.


August 2nd, 2010 at 9:57 AM ^

I'll agree that Kiffin was marginally involved in any of the USC sanctions (he did coordinate the recruiting for all of these guys) and you're correct in that Calipari is not a direct comparison. But to say that Kiffin is above any of this stuff (as you agree with) is hogwash. Reilly can't possibly believe what he said about Kiffin not being involved at all, and frankly, his 123421342 secondary violations at UT should have been a HUGE red flag for him to go to a place with impending sanctions. But Rick doesn't mention that either...

I think we're in agreement here, in that with that one sentence, rick lost me from his position


August 1st, 2010 at 4:03 PM ^

"He's stuck with 71 players when every other team with have 85. He's stuck with trying to sell kids on a school that will have no bowl games for two years and a Swiss-cheese roster." I wonder why Rich didn't get any love when he was forced to deal with this.


August 1st, 2010 at 5:06 PM ^

Those things happened AFTER he took over, not after.

Don't get me wrong...Kiffin is hardly a character in need of any defense...anything that comes to him, he deserves.  But while the results may be the same, how they got there is really different for a valid comparison. (I mean, no one said he COULDN'T go to a bowl game the last couple of years...he just couldn't get those teams there).

Jim Harbaugh S…

August 1st, 2010 at 4:28 PM ^

He was a joke by the end of his stint at SI, but he was a great read before that.

His ESPN career has just been awful, seems everything he comes out with gets a proper fisking from the blogosphere.


August 1st, 2010 at 4:51 PM ^

To go along with the sentiment, Riley was once a must-read in SI, but he's been trading on his reputation ever since he arrived at ESPN.  This is a typical piece by him - poorly researched, agenda-driven without much actual support, and flowery without any real substance.  

Kiffin had to have know what was going on at USC, and the number of recruiting violations (admittedly minor) he was guilty of in his less-than-one-year at UT is hard to ignore.  USC deserves to suffer through a couple of years considering how cavalierly they violated the rules and the lack of contrition since they were revealed.  They will return to the top of college football someday, but they do not deserve any sympathy along the way.


August 1st, 2010 at 8:41 PM ^

He always wrote with a certain exaggerated style, but there tended to be more gravity behind his words because he seemed to do some research or at least stayed away from topics where taking the unpopular opinion didn't make you look ill-informed.  It is one thing to argue that Kiffin is still working hard and recruiting even though USC is suffering through sanctions, but to argue that this is somehow noble even though Kiffin's previous tenure with the program was during the exact time when the infractions occurred is just poor writing.  

Maximinus Thrax

August 1st, 2010 at 5:22 PM ^

Reilly has been writing over-sentimentalized dung for many years now.  His style is reminiscent of a high-school creative writing teacher run amok.  Worse though are his television pieces on ESPN.  It's like bringing septage to life.


August 1st, 2010 at 5:45 PM ^

people believe their own celebrity.  I drank with Rick about 15 years ago in a Mexican restaurant near Wrigley. Lindo Mexico. He watched the whole room.  I mean he WATCHED it.  People would walk by, going to the john or leaving, and he would snap-to like he expected them to recognize him or ask for autographs. My buddy Scott flat-out leveled with him at one point, I almost fell off my bar stool.

"She's headed to the bathroom Rick!!!"

I don't care for him or his writing. 




August 1st, 2010 at 9:28 PM ^

Reilly has always been a hack. From his "When did you stop beating your wife?" style interview with Sammy Sosa, to his bi-weekly overly-maudlin piece of shit. Sheer, utter, terribleness.

That said, I may add, perhaps, that no dirt is alleged in the recruitment of Reggie Bush, so Kiffin's role as recruiting coordinator is 100% irrelevant. Bush took money from agents who didn't care where he went to school - just that he was famous.


August 2nd, 2010 at 9:02 AM ^

Digressing slightly, have Rosenberg, Snyder et al had much to say on Kiffin and USC?  If they believe in any kind of consistency they should be going flat out ballistic.  I assume they have said little or nothing.