Tag Archive | "USC Trojans"

Titans suing USC and Kiffin but not Pola?


The Tennessee Titans filed a civil lawsuit against USC and its football coach Lane Kiffin arising out of the school’s hiring of Kennedy Pola, the Titans’ running back coach.

They did not include coach Pola in the suit. The question is why.

This is a breach of contract case if pursued against Pola since the filed documents make clear that the assistant coach’s obligations were to notify his employer and obtain written permission to merely enter into discussions with a third party looking to employ him.

The case against the Titans alleges that they maliciously interfered with a contract they knew about including knowledge of the terms. There is case law in the state of Tennessee that allows for such a claim in addition to a state statute.

Money damages are sought including punitive amounts for the malicious nature of what the Titans believe occurred. And therein lies the only reasonable explanation of why Pola has been spared, at least for now.

Deep pockets are needed for cases like this, first for legal fees and then a potential settlement or a jury verdict if it even gets that far. Pola reportedly was paid $400,000 under the terms of his Titans deal, coming in pay checks just like all of us get from time to time.

USC, on the other hand is worth a whole heck of a lot more, as is Kiffin.

Kiffin will surely have to face the wrath of incoming Athletic Director, Pat Haden, who takes office on August 3. He can’t be happy to start his term by having to untangle another mess brought on by remnants of the bad old days at USC.

Lawsuits such as these can be dismissed prior to getting into the nitty-gritty of depositions and exchange of internal documents and communications. It isn’t likely this will be the case in this instance.

The case states the minimum it has to for a smell test and key facts are what is at issue. Did USC really know that Pola had to ask permission to leave? Were they informed that verbal approval was insufficient to proceed?

Those kinds of things require fact finding that will open USC and Kiffin to producing texts, phone records, emails and testimony about how in less than 48 hours, a man with a contract left his employer and joined another, without proper notice and approval.

Stay tuned..

Used with permission of the author.

Paula Duffy is a national sports columnist for Examiner.com and the Huffington Post and regularly comments on sports/legal matters for radio affiliates of ESPN and Fox Sports. She founded the sports information site, Incidental Contact, is the author of a line of audio books designed for sports novices and in her spare time practices law in Los Angeles. 

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax, LLC

Posted in Duffy's Court, NCAA, NFL, Recent BuzzComments (0)

Bitch-Slap-of-the-Week goes to Lane Kiffin


The Tennessee Titans dropped USC coach Lane Kiffin down to one knee with a back-handed bitch-slap when they filed court docs to sue him for “maliciously” luring assistant coach Kennedy Pola just days before NFL training camp opens. But if history repeats itself, Kiffin will spring back up.

The docs were filed by Tennessee Football Inc., the company that owns the Titans. The lawsuit accuses both USC and Kiffin of violating Pola’s contract, a contract that required him to have written permission to discuss a job with anyone.

This details surrounding this latest incident indicate Kiffin may be up to his shit-stirring ways again and he may not be done leaving his trail.

After becoming the youngest NFL head coach to be hired, then fired, by Al Davis and the Oakland Raiders, a bitter legal battle followed that ordeal. Shortly after that head-butting battle, the controversial coach galloped into the University of Tennessee like a knight in shining armor with his dad, Monte riding in the saddle behind him.

While the dust was still settling from his arrival, he called out University of Florida coach Urban Myer accusing him of recruiting violations and followed that charade with a campaign that included placing billboards around the country proclaiming how his UT program was king of the SEC.

The orange faithful were eating it up. That is until their savior decided to wad up his contract, throw it in the garbage and dump his duties in Knoxville to head west to take a job with the USC Trojans, a job created after Pete Carroll bolted.

Feeling deserted, as they should have, the fans had a few mattress-burning parties and defaced several Knoxville “monuments” like the one pictured here. Once the tears dried up, Tennesseans began moving on, until this latest incident with the Titans.

The lawsuit charges that:

“USC and Kiffin maliciously intended to—and did—induce Pola to breach the Pola contract.”

The suit goes on to state, “USC and Kiffin engaged in improper means in their procurement of the breach and were not legally justified in their actions. Kiffin and USC’s actions, through him, were part of a course and pattern of conduct fostered by Kiffin and USC to use improper methods and means to the direct harm and damage of parties to contracts.”

Titans coach Jeff Fisher, a Southern California alumnus, threw in a couple bitch-slaps of his own showing his displeasure in Kiffin’s actions. Fisher felt slighted and possibly pissed off about never receiving a customary courtesy phone call to let him know they were interested in talking to one of his assistants.

The lawsuit slams Kiffin accusing the coach of intentional actions regarding this case.

In a recent interview with the Tennessean newspaper, Fisher also discussed Kiffin’s lack of professionalism which is not the first time that topic has come up.

The lawsuit requests a jury trial now picture that. A bench full of people decked out in bright orange sitting across from the man who just screwed and set back their college football program. If there’s ever been justification to move a trial to another state . . .

Used with permission of the author.

Jay Donetelli is a Tampa-based freelance sportswriter and contributor to Sports Climax. With an opinion sharper than an Ovechkin skate blade with the sting of an Ali jab, Donetelli has a loyal cult of readers who have found a way to love him.

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax, LLC

Posted in Bitch Slaps, NCAA, The Mosh PitComments (0)

Carroll bolts USC, NCAA hammer comes down


When I picture USC execs standing to face the music and have to accept the sentences for their NCAA crimes, a caricature scenario runs through my mind that includes ex-Trojans football coach Pete Carroll driving off in the getaway car leaving his fellow cronies behind to take the beating.

Carroll’s name has come up around the NFL regarding coaching vacancies several times over the years since he returned to an NCAA bench but he never took any offers seriously enough to leave until this off-season.

When it was announced Carroll would be leaving USC to return to the NFL, the NCAA allegations against USC were long out there with investigations dragging out over several years, so the timing of him shedding his Cardinal and Gold comes into question.

Being behind the Trojans bench this year would have been a disaster since the sanctions include a two-year ban from participating in a bowl game, the loss of 20 scholarships and sacrificing wins over the past several years. The L.A. Times has all the sanctions listed here.

Good luck recruiting with your hands tied like that.

The records for top NCAA football programs after being issued harsh sentences have produced grim results in the past. The five-year conference records for Alabama Crimson Tide was (21-14), OU (17-15-2) and Auburn (18-22) after being penalized by the NCAA and after an impressive winning run, the University of Miami took several years to dig out of a hole after they were slammed with sanctions.

It’s all about recruiting in college ball which is basically the minor league of the NFL. Elite high school players get lured to whatever schools can get them the most exposure to the NFL scouts.

So what’s going on in Knoxville then? Where Lane Kiffin left the University of Tennessee hanging just as the team was making its way around the corner from a dark, dingy alley they had been stuck in for several years.

Be assured there will be some heavy partying at that campus when Kiffin learns his recruiting has suddenly become so difficult.

Kiffin is known as one of the kings of recruiting and even went as far as sending hot looking babes in skimpy outfits to high school games and events trying to lure top prospects to UT during his short stay.

While all this is happening in Southern California, the caricature comes back to mind and I picture Carroll glancing back in the rear view mirror of the getaway car, well out of danger, heading toward sunnier skies in Seattle.

MORE: L.A. Times Lists All Sanctions Here

Copyright © 2010 Sports Climax, LLC

Posted in NCAAComments (2)

NCAA Football Weekend in Review


The NCAA Football season opened with a bang this weekend.

Sam BradfordSome of the news creating the biggest buzz was #20 BYU upsetting #3 Oklahoma Sooners 14-13 in a game that included Heisman Trophy winner QB Sam Bradford watching a majority of the contest from the sidelines while sporting a sling on his multi-million-dollar throwing arm.

Bradford sprained the shoulder during the final seconds of the first half then was replaced by back-up Landry Jones who finished (6-of-12, 51yds) for the game-quarterback stats unfamiliar with the Sooners and their fans.

In another game, #6 the Ohio State Buckeyes avoided an embarrassing upset, squeaking out a win against Navy in the final minutes.

With the Buckeyes leading 29-27 late in the forth quarter, Navy attempted a two-point conversion but the pass was intercepted by the Buckeyes and taken to the house on the opposite side of the field giving the Buckeyes a narrow 31-27 victory.

Is there a reason to worry in Athens?

The #13 Georgia Bulldogs may be headed in for a long season while they try to compensate for the loss of two members of last year’s dominating offensive backfield, quarterback Matthew Stafford who went #1 overall in the 2009 NFL Draft and running back Knowshon Moreno, another first-round selection.

The Bulldogs offense sputtered out and they lost to #9 Oklahoma State 24-10.

In the days sparring matches, Tim Tebow and his #1 Florida Gators defeated Charleston Southern 62-3, #2 Texas squashed Louisiana-Monroe 59-20 and #4 USC, led by freshman quarterback Matt Barkley crushed San Jose State 56-3.

Related Articles:

Why Stafford and Detroit Lions are a Bad Marriage

Get Ready Lions, Stafford Knows How to Party!

Copyright © 2009 – Sports Climax

Posted in NCAAComments (1)

Bitch-Slap-of-the-Week – Jim Tressell & His Buckeyes


LOS ANGELES – The Ohio State Buckeyes, in an overwhelming vote, receive this week’s Bitch-Slap-of-the-Week for again self-destructing on the national stage, this time in a match-up against the USC Trojans.

Reminiscent of the gladiator days, 93,607 belligerent fans packed the stadium to watch their No. 1-ranked Trojans slaughter their “Little Ten” opponent 35-3.

Jim Tressell’s Buckeyes, who were hoping to redeem themselves after having their asses handed to them in two recent national title games, were bitch-slapped, spanked and hung out to dry.

Trojan rocket-launcher, Mark Sanchez threw 4 TD passes and sophomore Joe McKnight danced through OSU’s sieve-like defense . . . averaging 8.8 yards per carry; finishing with 105 yards.

Buckeyes QB Todd Boeckman spent the early part of the night running for his life, getting pounded to the turf with five sacks, hurrying throws and tossing two interceptions, one returned 48 yards for a score.

Boeckman spent the latter part of the evening as a spectator on the sidelines, wiping grass stains off his pants while top national recruit Terrelle Pryor relieved him for the remainder of the game.

Kudos, Buckeyes! You again let down a national NCAAF audience with an embarrassing performance and receive SportsClimax.com’s Bitch-Slap-of-the-Week.

Copyright ©2008 Sports Climax

Posted in Bitch Slaps, NCAAComments (2)


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