USC Trojans head coach Lane Kiffin is many things. He is controversial, he is charismatic, he is enigmatic and he is a pretty good college football coach. But he is also pushing the envelope. I am afraid that he may have crossed the line in almost trying to rile up the NCAA by switching jersey numbers of players during a game against the hapless Colorado Buffaloes last week.
Sometimes, enough is enough.
The NCAA does not like Kiffin. Many people do not like Kiffin. Of course, as shown by his attitude in many cases, he could not care less. Kiffin’s job is to win college football games.
Apparently, by any means necessary.
Last week, Kiffin had his Trojans switch jersey numbers during the middle of the game. He can say whatever he wants, but it was a move made with the intent to deceive his opponents, which is clearly stated as an unethical practice by the NCAA.
Depending on your stance, it could also be a clear rules violation.
“Well, we change jerseys all the time,” Kiffin said this week. “We’ll change some more this week. Everything is within college rules.”
To a certain degree, Kiffin is right. The NCAA rules do say that two players who wear the same jersey number cannot be on the field at the same time. At no point in any of the Trojans’ games has that happened.
Still, while it may not be technically wrong, it is still part of a large gray area.
Of course, that is where Kiffin spends most of his time, so why should we view this any differently?
This is who Kiffin is, both as a coach and a person. People within the Oakland Raiders and University of Tennessee Volunteers will tell you as much. While he knows the game quite well, how he comes across is an entirely different story.
Last week, Kiffin had players switch uniform numbers during the game. The NCAA rulebook clearly states that “Numbers shall not be changed during the game to deceive opponents.” A team caught doing so will be assessed a 15-yard penalty and “flagrant offenders shall be disqualified.”
So, how should the NCAA handle one of its’ favorites in Kiffin? I don’t really think that they are out to get him, although if he continues to do things like this, that stance may very well change in the near future.
And truthfully, does USC need any more attention of this variety?