While I believe the jury on Lane Kiffin will still be out for some time, I have discovered at least one substantive positive score for Kiffin’s column. According to Roy Exum of the Chattanoogan, Kiffin has brought Johnny Majors back into the Volunteer fold.
In his opinion piece this past Tuesday, Exum wrote:
I don’t know Lane Kiffin or much about him, but since he has become the football coach at the University of Tennessee I, along with millions of others who relish Saturday afternoons in the fall, have studied him with more than a passing interest. Thus far he’s said some dumb things, recruited some fabulous players and added a delicious blend of spice to the SEC stew…
That said, none of it mattered a bit one day last week when he walked towards a spring practice with a special man at his side. Had I been there I would have probably cried. Kiffin, in his finest moment since he told Oakland’s Al Davis he was nuts, has brought Johnny Majors back home.
That is good news. I may not be driven to tears, like Exum, but I agree this is a wonderful rectifying of a great blemish in the Big Orange family. I was saddened – no, angered – when Majors was unceremoniously dumped nearly two decades ago. Majors had been my coach in college, and it burned me up to see how things played out.
I have never agreed with the conspiracy theorists, including Majors himself, who postulated that Philip Fulmer had a hand in Majors’ ouster. I knew Philip well enough that I don’t believe that is reflective of his character, nor his M.O. I have always laid the blame at the feet of then-AD Doug Dickey, who botched several high profile moves and had an ego that would not even fit inside Neylnd Stadium. Still, because of that breach in relationship with Fulmer there was a ‘major’ void left at UT.
This is the first sign I’ve seen of Kiffin acknowledging the tradition of the Vols. And it is a good sign. If Kiffin is responsible for getting Johnny to come marching home, I applaud him.