Lane Kiffin was behind the wheel of his leased Lexus in August when, the coach said, he fell asleep and crashed the car, a high-ranking University of Tennessee official confirmed to ESPN.com's Mark Schlabach on Tuesday.
Also, Kiffin told athletic director Mike Hamilton that he had been at the football complex for a late meeting that night and said that he was heading home when he got into the accident, according to the source.
Kiffin left Tennessee after only 14 months on the job to become coach at USC. An atmosphere of animosity in Knoxville has led to Internet and blog chatter about his actions during his time working for Tennessee.
Hamilton interviewed Tennessee assistant football coaches to corroborate Kiffin's whereabouts that night, and one assistant confirmed having seen the coach in the athletic offices at approximately midnight. The accident occurred in the early morning hours. Tennessee officials said the time between Kiffin's last being seen in the offices and the crash was unaccounted for. The university did not pay for the repairs to the damaged car, according to the source.
So, it's all good right? Would have been news back in August, though. Instead, it's news today. And today *ain't* August:
Earlier in the day, WVLT-TV in Knoxville reported that Andy White, an employee of a Lexus dealership in Knoxville, confirmed that a Lexus leased to Kiffin was involved in a one-car accident.
White did not specify the date of the incident, where it happened or who was driving the vehicle, which was leased to Kiffin through the coach's vehicle program for Tennessee men's and women's athletic teams.
White told the station: "The proper authorities were contacted and the vehicle was towed to our location. Coach Kiffin's insurance was contacted and promptly paid the claim."
Knox County Sheriff's office spokesperson Martha Dooley told the station there were no reports of any accident filed by Kiffin in 2009. Knoxville Police Department spokesperson Darrell DeBusk also told the station there were no reports of any accident filed by Kiffin in September or October.
That's what we call a "sleazy coverup" in virtually any walk of life. You get in a car that is leased to you, you fall asleep behind the wheel, you bang it up, and nothing happens to you. Your insurance pays it off, no one tells the cops. The only reason you're finding out about this now is because it is no longer in the interest of anyone at Tennessee to cover up the transgressions of one Mr. Lane Kiffin. That's about as ethical as you can get in the NCAA right now. The truth comes out--after the coach blows town for a better gig.
What? It's not like we're talking about a regular citizen here. We're talking about a football coach. There's no accountability for football coaches. They are Gods. We are mere mortals.
As the man said, move along folks, nothing to see here. So what if Lane Kiffin and his army of enablers and one crooked college football program after another comes and goes--it's not like we have a working sports media or ethical administrators and educators anymore, is it?
It's all a goddamned farce. Smash up a car, don't tell anyone, someone pays to fix it, no one says anything while the coach is still a university employee, keep it hushed up, and the cops are left to say whatever it is they say when they don't have any "records" of what happened.
So what? On to the next job.