KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Tennessee head coach Lane Kiffin and family celebrated daughter Landry's fifth birthday with an intimate party at the Kiffin house on Saturday, attended by mostly family and friends. In a related story, the school's athletic department has self-reported at least four violations resulting from the same birthday party.
Kiffin, the very controversial first-year coach of the Volunteers, has come under intense scrutiny since taking his position on December 1 of last year. Most of that scrutiny has been focused on the coach's questionable recruiting tactics, a charge that was put on display with Kiffin's actions this past Saturday.
According to sources present at the party, here is a brief timeline of the day's events:
- Party begins leisurely around noon. Over the next half-hour, the approximately fifty guests arrive at the Kiffin house outside Knoxville. To ease traffic, a valet station is constructed near the front door. Current Volunteer scholarship athletes Eric Berry, Montario Hardesty, and Rico McCoy man this station, making upwards of $1,000 in cash "tips" over the course of the afternoon. Also, one party guest, who is also a high-level school booster, conveniently fails to retrieve his later model Escalade, telling Berry, "stay another year and you can have my wife's S-Class."
- Many party games are played throughout the day. During the egg toss, Kiffin's partner, a young friend of daughter Landry, drops the team's egg, to which Kiffin screams, "you catch like Victor f****** Hampton!" Hampton, a 5'9" cornerback recruit from Charlotte, NC, recently chose the Florida Gators over an offer from Kiffin's Volunteers. Not only is it illegal per NCAA rules to discuss unsigned commits, but the girl later wet herself and was seen hysterically crying.
- Around 3:00 pm, it was time for the birthday girl to cut the large, ceremonial cake. Arranged in two layers, both with writing in frosting, the bottom layer read, "Happy Birthday Landry!" while the top layer, in much larger writing, read, "Come Home Justin McCay." McCay is the #1 linebacker recruit according to Scout.com and is being heavily recruited by Kifffin and the Volunteers.
- As the children began to tire and leave, the older males at the party organize a touch football game. One team consists solely of male parents, while Kiffin's team is made up of star recruits and Volunteer stars of the past, including Jamal Lewis and Tee Martin. Complete with custom jerseys and entrance music, the recruits polled mentioned that it was their favorite unofficial recruiting visit to date. Though, the Kiffin-coached team lost a heartbreaker, 14-10.
At press time, neither Kiffin nor the Volunteer athletic staff were available for comment.