The Tennessee Volunteers athletic program is under investigation by the NCAA for alleged NIL violations. The Volunteers already were punished for more than 200 violations by its football program in the summer. Due to this, many fear that if found guilty, Tennessee will be seriously punished.
However, some Vols fans have a theory about why they are being punished. According to one fan who called the Paul Finebaum show, it is all because of Lane Kiffin, the head coach of Ole Miss.
Kiffin reacted to the theory with a simple emoji on X:
The Theory that Lane Kiffin is behind it all
The theory comes from a caller to the Paul Finebaum show named “Peggy” from Tennessee.
While she does not expand on her reasoning, she is convinced that Lane Kiffin is the mastermind behind all of the woes that the Volunteers are experiencing.
Finebaum does not believe her theory, responding with sarcasm. But this anger towards Kiffin from Vols fans is understandable given his history.
Lane Kiffin and Tennessee
Lane Kiffin was the head coach of the Volunteers for one season. Kiffin signed a 6-year contract in 2009, but it did not last. In his only year, he led the Volunteers to a 7-6 season, which was an improvement from the previous season.
Kiffin left the Volunteers to become the head coach of USC after Pete Caroll left to become coach of the Seattle Seahawks.
His departure did not go down well with the Vols fraternity, with students rioting after the news broke. From then on, Kiffin has not been liked by Volunteers fans, who felt betrayed.
Kiffin returned to the SEC in 2020 to coach the Ole Miss Rebels, one of the Volunteers' rivals. Returning to Knoxville in 2021, Kiffin had golf balls thrown at him.
Finebaum mentioned this incident to Peggy, who replied that Kiffin was the one who brought in the golf balls in an act of sabotage.
Lane Kiffin became a strawman for all the things going wrong for the Vols.