The University of Southern California has been the center of controversy all summer, and added a lawsuit to their turbulent offseason. Trojan head coach Lane Kiffin hired Titans running back coach Kennedy Pola a week before the opening of training camp. NCAA football betting lines will have the Trojans as the favorites in most of their games next season with Kiffin at the helm.
The Titans allege that Kiffin “maliciously” hired away Pola, and have filed a lawsuit in the Davidson County Cancery Court. Both Kiffin and the university are named in the suit. It accuses USC of violating Pola’s contract by contacting him without written permission.
Tennessee hired Pola in February to coach the likes of Chris Johnson, who is looking for another 2,000 yard season. Pola is expected to serve as the new offensive coordinator and running backs coach for the Trojans in 2010.
“USC and Kiffin maliciously intended to — and did — induce Pola to breach the Pola contract,” the lawsuit charges. “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 graduated from USC, and won a national championship under John Robinson in 1978. In 1980 he was named to the Pac-10 All-Academic team.
Fisher let go Earnest Byner to make room for Pola, but will now have to find a replacement before the start of the ’10 season. Pola’s contract was for one year, and lasted to valentines day 2011. Next year will be the final year of the current labor agreement between the NFL and its players.
Kiffin says he has spoken with Fisher in hopes of smoothing things over, but the lawsuit was not Fisher’s call. In a somewhat arrogant statement, he justified the hire by saying he was just offering Pola a promotion. NCAA football betting trends favor the Trojans going into the 2010 season.
“I have spoken with Coach Fisher and he now has an accurate understanding of the timeline of events,” Kiffin said. “We realize the timing of this isn’t perfect for all parties, but this is a great opportunity and promotion for Kennedy.”
The Titans head coach has told reporters that he is unhappy with the lack of professionalism shown by his alma mater and Kiffin. The lawsuit accuses Kiffin of continuing a culture of transgression at USC.
“furtherance of a culture of violation and avoidance of respect for the sanctity of contract, which Kiffin similarly practices …” as was stated in the language of the suit.
The former Tennessee Volunteers coach is not the most loved figure in the state of Tennessee after he left the Volunteer football program to coach the Trojans.
The Trojans are absent future NCAA football betting odds for the 2010 Pac-10 championship due to the current suspension placed on them by the NCAA.