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Current Vol Player Disses Kiffin’s Coaching Style

Yesterday we told you that Georgia linebacker Darryl Gamble is happy that Todd Grantham has replaced John Jancek as his position coach.

Our take:  When coaches leave, there are always some players who knock the last guy and praise the new guy.  But we never know for sure if the player doing the talking has a legitimate beef or just a grudge against his previous coach. 

Almost on cue, Tennessee senior fullback Kevin Cooper has unloaded on the Lane Kiffin regime in Knoxville.

“It was like a business under (Kiffin).  It was run like the NFL. … You can get treated like an NFL player, but you’re not getting paid like an NFL player.  The older guys will embrace it more than the younger ones.  The young guys, they’re boys.  They’re 18 coming in here.  College should be a transition into the NFL, rather than being the NFL.”

Cooper had more to say to The Knoxville News Sentinel…

“Coach Dooley is showing everybody how to do it the right way.  He’s showing everyone that the only way to be successful is to do it the right way — as opposed to last year when it was do whatever it takes.”

Cooper also suggested that Kiffin had a tendency to play freshman simply because he’d made them promises on the recruiting trail.

“He wasn’t like Coach Dooley, who will make (freshman) work and earn their spots here. … There’s a lot of freshmen who are talented and will play this year.  But they earned it.”


“When Bryce Brown was named the co-starter, everybody knew that Montario Hardesty was the running back.  They were giving opportunities to people who didn’t earn them.  Kiffin was going to put in his boys that he wanted to see in there, keep promises.”

Is Cooper correct?  As was the case with Gamble at Georgia, we’ll never know for sure.  This is could be an honest appraisal or the words of someone with a bone to pick.

Regardless, I can guarantee you that Cooper is UT fans’ most popular player for August 19, 2010.


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