Lane Kiffin 'joked' about Alabama's loss to Clemson to FAU crowd
Lane Kiffin “earned laughs by joking about his departure from Alabama” Friday night in Boca Raton, Fla. according to Matthew DeFranks of the Sun Sentinel.
Kiffin was speaking at a ceremony for the groundbreaking of Florida Atlantic’s Schmidt Family Complex for Academic and Athletic Excellence when he told a story about a conversation with FAU president John Kelly, who used to work at Clemson, about the College Football Playoff.
Here are Kiffin’s full remarks as transcribed in DeFranks’ story:
“I remembered a story that I just told earlier to a couple of people. And please make sure you don’t tell this story anywhere or put this online anywhere, which you’re going to do, so thanks a lot. I was really excited about this job so I begged them to hire me because the area. I knew the great players around here. I knew that we could hire a great staff and win a lot of championships here. Nobody knows this story, including our athletic director, he doesn’t know it either.
“The president said, after the interview, ‘We’re very impressed with you. We want to hire you. But I have to have a conversation with you and no one else can know this conversation. The conversation is this. I know Clemson’s really, really good, especially on offense, but here’s the problem. The playoffs are already set.’ He said ‘Alabama’s going to go beat Washington. I know we’re going to beat Ohio State because our athletic director is from there so we know they’re no good.’ He said to me ‘Here’s the deal. After you guys beat Washington and we crush Ohio State’ — Ohio State didn’t score that day, I don’t think. Did they? He said here’s the thing ‘In order for me to give you this job, you cannot coach the national championship game. I have to make sure that Clemson wins the game.’ That was very difficult. That shows you how much I believe in this place.
“My president is happy. Nick Saban is not.”
The announcement from Alabama that Steve Sarkisian would replace Kiffin as play-caller against Clemson shocked the college football world as it came only a week before the game. Officially, the staff shakeup was said to be a mutual decision. Kiffin attempted to quiet the rumors and speculation surrounding his Alabama exit with an appearance on “The Paul Finebaum Show.”
Kiffin sought to be in the box at the stadium for the game, but was not allowed. He share a photo of himself wearing Crimson Tide pants during the game with a tweet which read “RTR!! #17 #BOKNOWS.”