Titans sue Lane Kiffin, USC

Folks in Tennessee have been fuming about Lane Kiffin for months.  After all, he took over the state’s flagship college football program in 2009, stayed for a year, and then jumped to USC as soon as the job came open.

More recently, Kiffin and USC has angered the state’s pro football team by hiring running backs coach Kennedy Pola, who was under contract with the Titans.

The Titans, as it turns out, are heeding the sage advice of Doug Llewellyn.

Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean reports that the Titans have sued Kiffin and the Trojans for “maliciously” interfering with Pola’s contract with the Titans.  Pola also has been sued for breaching his contract.

Though college football coaches routinely regard contracts as meaningless documents that can be disregarded at will, the reality is that most — if not all — American jurisdictions recognize a claim for tortious interference with contractual relations, giving a team like the Titans the ability to sue another team like the Trojans that induces an employee to break an existing contract.  (If another NFL team had taken Pola, the remedy would have arisen under the league’s tampering rules.)

The lawsuit does not specify an amount of financial damages, and the Titans apparently do not attempt to force Pola to remain employed by the Titans.  In cases of this nature, damages would be determined by tabulating the actual losses incurred by the Titans in having to scramble to replace Pola.  Punitive damages also could be available, but they would be limited by the actual damages, which could be minimal, frankly.

In most cases, football teams move on after an assistant coach is pilfered by another program.  It doesn’t mean that teams don’t have the ability to pursue legal relief.

To the likely delight of everyone in Tennessee, the Titans have.  Given that Titans coach Jeff Fisher played college football at USC, Kiffin and company likely concluded that Fisher would look the other way.

Meanwhile, Jeff Fisher has rocketed to the top of the Al Davis wish list.

80 responses to “Titans sue Lane Kiffin, USC

  1. This coming from the team that locked out Steve McNair then made up a story of Vince Young wanting to kill himself to the press

  2. Titans looks like sorry losers. Shit like this happens all the time, just this time it hurt poor Jeff Fisher’s feelings. A bunch of pansy crybabies in TN. “Waaaa Waaaa, Lane didn’t give me a courtesy call, whaaaa, sniff sniff.”
    NFL needs college football WAY more than college needs the NFL. DB move on the Titans part that will bite them in the future.
    The real story here is that it looks like nobody wants to work and live in TN.

  3. Reggie Bush has had all mention of himself expunged from Heritage Hall at USC as a result of his transgressions that caused the NCAA to punish USC for the next two years. Jeff Fisher is angling for ‘ expungement’ honor as well through his efforts to embarass the new USC administration. Fisher is acting like USC was not his alma mater. Pat Haden – another former USC player – is now the new AD, so Fisher’s public tantrum is causing him a headache in just his second week on the job. Fisher is making himself a laughing stock in both the NFL and NCAA, as it was already mentioned that pilfering the collegiate ranks for coaches is very common.

  4. as a Jaguars fan allow me to say…AHHHAHAAHHAHAAAAHAAAAAAAAHHAHHAAHAHHHH!!!!!! AAAAAHHAHAHHAHHAAHAA…. ooooo…wooo.

  5. ROFL I’m practically squealing with delight, and I don’t even have a dog in this hunt. Can only imagine what UT fans are doing.
    Little Lanie, if you were gonna poach, honey, you probably should have picked an NFL team in some Yankee state.
    Oh how I hated for that one-man comedy show to leave the SEC! But at least he’s a gift that keeps on giving 🙂

  6. What does it say about Fisher if after only a few months the coach Pola would rather work for Kiffin.

  7. not an atty, but I do suspect the Marist lawsuit is a super recent precedent here. That’s why they’re suing – the Titans know they will win if the contract is written to their benefit regarding harm.

  8. LK will definitely get the “gimp” treatment if he ever shows his face in Tenn. again

  9. i think kiffin is a dick just as much as everyone else does, but the titans looks like a bitter ex-girlfriend.
    let it go jeff. you actin like a real bitch right about now.
    karma will get kiffin.

  10. I absolutely cannot stand the NCAA, college football, and the fraudulent business of their sports Boosters…..However, the Titans need to GET OVER IT! The man can do whatever he wants to do. Why in the world would anyone choose to leave the NFL for a shady college gig is beyond me. But it is truly his choice. I am sure Jeff Fisher and Bud Adams have ALWAYS done their business with morals in mind….Give me a flippin break!

  11. How pathetic and petty.
    i always thought Fischer was a arrogant ass, now he proved it.
    The Titans aren’t even an elite member of the NFL, yet Fischer thinks they are. soory ol Jeffy boy, you lost a coach, and he isn’t even a great coach either. Lane Kiffen just punked you and now your crying like a school girl that didn’t make the cheerleading squad.

  12. You know, I kinda get the feeling that Jeff Fisher does not like the choice of head coach at his alma mater.
    I don’t care whether the lawsuit is frivolous or not. It makes for something to talk about.

  13. Maybe they can settle out of court.
    Kiffin can make it up to them by loaning his best player to the Titans for this season.
    What? It’s not like letting college students get paid for playing football is frowned upon at USC.

  14. Titians are a bunch of wussies..
    They stole the guy from the Jags and now they some how lost him..
    get over it..

  15. Regardless of Fisher suing the USC Trojans, what Kiffin did was unprofessional; grabbing a coach from a pro team a week before training camp and not at least giving Fisher the common courtesy of informing him PRIOR to the pilfering. Instead, Kiffin left Fisher a voice mail AFTER the fact.
    He was classless in Tennessee and he’s classless now.

  16. Lame Kitten, she just made life real hard for Jeff Fischer. Their run game was their best asset. I have no problem with Jeff Fischer making sure Lame Kitten gets all the distractions she can handle.

  17. I love it! Kiffin is a dick that spends all his time trying to spin things in the media while staping his supporters in the back.

  18. Geez, and people call Al Davis litigious. Lame Kiffin did the same thing to the Raiders mid season when he was fired and Al didn’t even sue.
    That said, Kiffin’s a jerk off.

  19. it’s what kiffin gets for being a d!ck. good for TN and good for jeff fischer; make an example outta the jerk…kiffin has been nothing but a punk for a long time now, and i’m sure plenty of people are sick of seeing him come up roses after all the ish he pulls.

  20. Uh – everybody blasting Jeff Fisher for this lawsuit had better read the article again. The Titans are suing USC, the Titans are owned by Bud Adams, who calls the shots. There are also likely a dozen lawyers involved and team executives.
    The head coach is important, but in matters like this he’s not likely to be heavily involved.

  21. Not a Tenn or Titans fan, but I always liked Fisher. Now I love him. He’s right up there with the BC AD DeFillipo?? Love when someone actually enforces a contract with these coaches. For a position coach like this I’m sure Fisher would have let him go for more money if he would have asked when he put the rest of his staff together. To poach a guy that your best player likes right before camp w/o asking first, is so unprofessional. It’s also a pattern with Kiffin. He did the same thing w/ the Oakland OLl coach. Gave him a now or never offer around Thanksgiving. No reason he couldn’t have hired the dude after the season. Now I’ll love Haden if he Fires Kiffin for cause because SC loses this suit. Fire up the overhead Pat!

  22. new employers hire employees away from old employers all the time.
    fact of life. get over it.

  23. I smell Dana White’s involvement in this one and a future UFC cage grudge match between Fisher and Kiffin.
    In Fisher’s corner will be Al Davis, the entire state of Tennessee and everyone on the planet outside of USC, Monte Kiffin and the rest of Lane’s family…The Don Frye face clone wins by a moustache grind 18 seconds into the fight.

  24. Kiffin to theCowpokes to use hi back for Jery’s new face lift–will help Jerry develop his two face routine

  25. Seriously, this is what the NFL is coming too. Would someone bitch slap Jeff and tell him to man up.
    If someone is going to leave the show for a college program that’s in such disarray then he’s obviuosly the dumbest son of a bitch walking the face of the earth or Tennessee suchs that bad, I’m not sure which but it doesn’t matter.
    Move on Jeff, just move on..

  26. This lawsuit is nothing. Worse comes to worse USC will just borrow some money from their players and settle it quickly!

  27. evilboy128 says:
    July 26, 2010 5:43 PM
    as a Jaguars fan allow me to say…AHHHAHAAHHAHAA AAHAAAAAAAAHHAHHAAHA HHHH!!!!!! AAAAAHHAHAHHAHHAAHAA …. ooooo…wooo.
    ————————————————–
    As a Texans fan let me agree totally. LMFAO.

  28. Hope they pay this Kiffin guy, with the man Al Davis that filed a counter suit that brought the NFL to their knees years ago fighting you. And now with the Titans going after him he better have some deep pockets. From what I read he is a real scumbag and it could not happen to a better guy.

  29. It kinda serves the Titans right after firing Ernest Byner, after helping Chris Johnson have so much success. What goes around comes around, Fisher.

  30. Hey Jeff everybody knows you and your suicidal quarterback are on thin ice….get over it.

  31. Talk about burning bridges! Pretty soon Kiffin won’t be able to walk to the Quickie-Mart. Everywhere he goes he leaves people in his wake. Good thing he’s at USC now where they applaud low down skullduggery like this. I wonder what they’ll think of him when he’s caught stealing the silverware at the Dean’s house!

  32. And they should sue. They have a legitimate complaint. Even if they get $1 they should make their point. What you did was wrong and we want to make sure you are called on about it.

  33. Hey mrsteve if you think the Titans made up the story about VY then you’re an even bigger idiot than Lame Kitten,
    please, dude , get real
    enough of the conspiracy theories

  34. USC and Lane have long been out of control and it seems like they are beginning to get payback from all sources that they have harmed along the way.

  35. At least USC hasn’t had any distractions this off-season.
    USC is a mess. Have fun with that Kiffen, you deserve it.

  36. Deb says: Little Lanie, if you were gonna poach, honey, you probably should have picked an NFL team in some Yankee state.
    are u sayin that “yankee” states are soft cause i assure you thats not the case…..were not as slow and dumb as u southerners……and need i remind you of a little war we werent too soft to win…..dont get outta line down there or us yankees might have to grab the old musket for one more go round

  37. Deb says: ROFL I’m practically squealing with delight…
    Exactly the way I felt too when I read it. A literal lolol.
    For those whining about TN whining- please, if that was your team (NFL or college) you’d be doing the same thing.
    Kiffin’s a prick on the West Coast, in the South, or wherever his diapered butt ends up.

  38. all fischer is doing is to pi$$ off Mr. Kiffen.
    Do Not, i repeat, DO NOT mess with Lane Kiffen. Jeff Fischer will regret the day he sued the man. Kiffen may just have Fischer blackballed from his own alma mater, and when ol man Adams tires of mediocrity he will fire pansie Fischer.
    All coaches will take notice and stay away from Fischer so as not to draw the ire of the KiffMeister.

  39. Number four says:
    “new employers hire employees away from old employers all the time. fact of life”
    Yeah but not when the other employee is under contract. And that is also a fact of life.

  40. People are pretty hard on Lane Kiffin. He got fired from Oakland, who hasn’t been? He was the ONLY coach in college football to break ANY rules while at Tennessee. He got a good recruiting class, and a winning record. Goes to USC. Gets screwed by what another coach did. Some how talks a coach to go from a pro team to a college team. And now the pro team is upset they couldn’t keep a handle on their coaches. Just don’t make Lane Kiffin out to be this evil villain.

  41. Fischer likely didn’t make the decision to sue — Bud Adams the owner of the named plaintiff Titans did. If the Titan’s had fired this coach early, they would have been obligated to pay out the remaining contract term or face litigation (like the litigation/arbitration, say, Kiffen has initiated against the Raiders). The contractual obligation is a double edged word, giving the Titans the right to do litigate as well. Something they likely wouldn’t have done if this hadn’t happened right before camp when all the good coaches have jobs and the titans have no time to get ready. I wonder how easy it will be for this new USC coach to find an NFL job in the future.

  42. 2000TJ says: “Titans looks like sorry losers [sic] . . . Waaaa Waaaa, Lane didn’t give me a courtesy call, whaaaa, sniff sniff.”
    I think you need to take a look at the bigger picture, TJ; this is actually a pretty smart move on the Titans’ part. I’m fairly sure this legal move is not being made out of pettiness or even genuine anger at Kiffin’s breach of protocol. It’s true that the lawsuit will probably have very little effect on USC. It won’t cost the school much financially, it won’t have a terribly profound effect on recruiting, and it won’t appreciably change public opinion of USC.
    What the lawsuit will do is generate a great deal of goodwill for the Titans within the state of Tennessee. By all accounts, Kiffin is already hated venomously by Tennesseeans (Tennesseeites?). He — and by extension, USC — provides a common enemy for the Titans and people who may not have followed the team before this. If I was a University of Tennessee fan, I think I’d look pretty favorably on the Titans for taking action against somebody who wronged “my team.” I might even decide to go to a game or two, just to show my support.
    Bud Adams and Co. don’t particularly care what you think of them — chances are you don’t live in Tennessee, and you weren’t going to buy Titans tickets or merchandise anyway. They’re playing to the home market.
    There’s some truth to the old adage “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

  43. It will be interesting to watch as the Kiffin era unfolds at USC and see just exactly what incoming AD Pat Haden really thinks about young Lane.

  44. Bud Adams, when someone leaves an NFL organization for a college program that is facing 30 lost scholarships and a 2 year bowl ban, there has to be a reason. Perhaps Kennedy had already worked long enough for your organization to figure out that you are the minor leagues and comparatively speaking USC is the major leagues even with the sanctions. You’d be better served straightening out the Titans than filing “I’ll get you for making me look bad” lawsuits.

  45. Can’t Bud Adams just go to an USC game, and flip everyone off?

  46. This Lane Kiffin fella doesnt seem to have ANY coaching ethics!! the USC Trojans just hired a new coach to rebuild its credibility that doesnt have any credibility!! Pat Hayden is a pretty straight shooting guy. Ya think he’ll fire Kiffin first chance he gets??? For cause of course!
    Hope so!

  47. U$C is dirty…dirty…dirty….they continue to cheat and play be their own rules. I predict that they will get the NCAA’s death penalty under Kiffen in less than three years…Univ. of Sanctioned Cheaters.

  48. To all you “maroons” whining about the Titans getting over it…
    “According to the lawsuit, Pola agreed he would “not under any circumstance solicit discussions or entertain employment with any other person or entity during the term without given written permission to do so,’’ under the terms of his contract with the Titans. Pola was not given written consent by the Titans.”
    When you break your written word and agreement, there’s a price to pay. So you douchebags whining about the Titans, why don’t you get over it.

  49. No problem with Fisher calling out Kiffin for shitting on professional courtesies. Might not be a big deal, but I bet UC wishes it would go away.
    Fisher cant publicly call him a douche, so I guess this will do.
    Hey Kiffy, any publicity is good right? Looks like you’ve had a summer of publicity. Good luck SC.

  50. SonofCalifornia,
    Very clever stuff! Mommy must be proud!
    Hard to feel sorry for the Titans. They canned Earnest Bynar for whatever reason just to bring in this guy. It’s a case of karma biting him in the ass. I didn’t realize Fisher was such a whiny bitch. Nice that the legal system, already overloaded as is, has to deal with this nonsense.
    For the open season on USC folks, just look at your favorite college. They’re all doing the same thing. Even Florio’s favorite, WVU.

  51. mr. sayitaint so –
    the hell they dont.
    more money / higher position always does it. so do other conditions.
    it happens all the time so go back to yer hole.
    u really dont know what u are talking about.

  52. It’s not as if Pat Hayden (and the chancellor of USC or whoever hired Hayden to clean up the mess there) needed any additional impetus to get rid of Kiffen, he was a dead man walking the day Hayden was hired, but this might expedite Kiffen’s departure. Just one more paper trail entry for the Kiffen file.

  53. FlorioRules! says:
    July 26, 2010 5:55 PM
    I absolutely cannot stand the NCAA, college football, and the fraudulent business of their sports Boosters…..However , the Titans need to GET OVER IT! The man can do whatever he wants to do. Why in the world would anyone choose to leave the NFL for a shady college gig is beyond me. But it is truly his choice. I am sure Jeff Fisher and Bud Adams have ALWAYS done their business with morals in mind….Give me a flippin break!
    Are you kidding me with this dumb ass response?? ” He can’t do whatever he wants because he signed a contract to coach with the Titans; that’s why they give courtesy calls, that’s the protocall. You make the call, get permisson or not, sign the coach or not and move on. Kiffin is a grade A douche and you’re a dope.

  54. Kiffin will get a boot from Karma right up his pride hole.
    It will be sooner than later, but the sad thing is that he will not learn until he is a radioactive commodity that noone will touch. This will be the beginning of the end for him. This is as high as the Kiffin balloon gets…pop.

  55. Can’t believe I’d ever thought I’d write this, but: Way to Go, Titans!! It’s about freakin’ time someone took a step.
    What the heck was USC thinking trying to rehab their image with Lane Kiffin??!?! Why get rid of Reggie Bush’s heisman when you’re new head coach is likely to incur twice as many infractions as his predecessor head coach??!?! Ugh. This was definitely a smart move on the Titans part.

  56. DE skinz
    If the employer can nullify a contract at anytime (fire)…the employee sure as hell can nullify it at anytime as well. Also, there are no rules jumping ship from NCAA to NFL or NFL to NCAA.
    Kiffin is a douche….but your a cock-smoker!
    GET OVER IT!!!!!!!!

  57. DE Skinz
    P.S. why dont you look up how those douchebag Titans got Pola in the first place!
    P.S.S. Your whole point with getting permission is protocall….not a must. Lets see who wins this in court tough guy!

  58. # onlymyopinionmatters says: July 26, 2010 7:04 PM
    all fischer is doing is to pi$$ off Mr. Kiffen.
    Do Not, i repeat, DO NOT mess with Lane Kiffen. Jeff Fischer will regret the day he sued the man. Kiffen may just have Fischer blackballed from his own alma mater, and when ol man Adams tires of mediocrity he will fire pansie Fischer.
    All coaches will take notice and stay away from Fischer so as not to draw the ire of the KiffMeister.
    ——————————————————
    Whew, were all shaking, the only thing Kiffen has going for him is his old mans rep and probably his money too.

  59. If anyone here thinks Fisher made the call to sue, you’re dumber than a sack of hammers.
    I can’t stand either team or coach but side with the Titans on this one. Kiffin is perfectly entitled to recruit whomever he wants as a coach but a heads up was called for. Kiffin is just a grade A ice hole.

  60. And you bitches thought Uncle Al was losing it once he fired Lane.
    Al knows a rat when he smells one.

  61. Why should Kiffin give Fisher a heads up?
    He didn’t give the Jags a heads up when Fisher hired
    Pola away from the Jags..
    After Fisher fired Byner the Jags got Byner..
    Fisher got what was coming to him..and it serves him right..

  62. To prove it, you have to show 1) interference, 2) knowledge of the contract, and 3) improper purpose.
    The “improper purpose” prong is hard to prove, because you really can’t say USC poached the guy in order to harm the Titans, unlike how one would do so to hurt a competitor. I can easily see them losing.
    Now, suing the assistant for breach of contract is pretty close to a gimme, but unless there is a liquidated damages clause, how can the Titans prove damages?

  63. USC = University of Shitheaded Crybabies. Fisher did not initiate the lawsuit, Bud Adams did. Get a clue. Those of you who are apologitic to Lane and/or USC probably are using your Bachelor Degrees to either help clean the grill at your local Burger Kings, or as toiletpaper in the john. (That is assuming that some of you feel that graduating middle school as a bachelor = a bachelor degree).

  64. The Titans are a loser team. They have Chris Johsnson and still lost most of their games. This is a frivolous lawsuit and a waste.

  65. trademcscab says …
    Deb are u sayin that “yankee” states are soft cause i assure you thats not the case…..were not as slow and dumb as u southerners……and need i remind you of a little war we werent too soft to win…..dont get outta line down there or us yankees might have to grab the old musket for one more go round
    ———————————————-
    My, it’s entertaining to be chastised about intellect from someone who can’t find the shift key. No, darlin’, was not saying or thinking anything of the kind. You have completed your stretching exercises for the day. Was simply suggesting Lanie do his poaching from a region where he hasn’t already made so many enemies. Perhaps you were just too slow and dumb to catch on. No wonder, burdened as you are carrying around all that ancient history.
    And about that … an interesting bit of history … even with ammo in short supply and facing an enemy that outmanned them THREE TO ONE, the depleted and starving Southern army still just about matched that huge force of well-fed Yankees and hired mercenaries in battle kills.
    So … not quaking over the musket.

  66. I have just become a huge Tennessee Titans fan, and of Jeff Fisher as well. Good luck Jeff. You are a class act regardless of what others have written here.
    I have never personally cared for USC and their arrogance, their sense of entitlement… and they are at it once again. They are a sham and a joke. That said, Lane Kiffin will fit in perfectly. He has proven once a again that he couldn’t give a s**t as to whether his decisions are ethical or not. Its what’s best for Kiffin and everyone else be damned.
    One can only hope Pat Haden (a class act) will do the right thing and restore some honor to this now shamed university. How he will do that with Kiffin as the “face” of Trojan football, is anyone’s guess.

  67. How great would it be if somehow (firing/resignation) Lane Kiffin is coaching the Titans three years from now

  68. I could care less about the titans or USC, I am just glad Kiffin is finally getting some payback. Even as a non college football watcher I know about all the crap he has been pulling.

  69. Lane is an over-rated Bit$h, He has never done anything to be reward with any of the jobs he as gotten. This is a true way to show how you can live off your last name. I can’t wait to watch you take a great program like USC and destroy it …..

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