I’m not sure why so many people are shocked by Lane Kiffin’s departure from UT. Loyalty and decency are relics of the past, much like typewriters and cassette decks. This is an age where Johnny Damon and Roger Clemons can go from the Red Sox to the Yankees without pause, and Brett Favre can suit up in Viking purple against his beloved green and gold. It’s not just the athletes who no longer have loyalty. Sports franchises will release a player without second thought if they can upgrade the position, however slightly, or sometimes even just save a buck. I learned that lesson when the 49ers put Joe Montana out to pasture. Sure, he was the most beloved player in the team’s history, but what had he done for them lately?
Of course, all of this is really just a symptom of the larger issue in society, which is that mega-corporations have steadily been eroding the foundation of loyalty for decades. A friend mine’s mother worked for 19 years for one company, and when she was within just a few months of being eligible for a pension, the company laid her off and never called her back. In her late thirties, she had to start over with a new company as a temp, making around $8 an hour. That’s just one example of how large corporations screw working people; we all know dozens more. In response to the “disposable workforce” mentality of the elite, workers have adopted a mercenary mentality.
That’s why it doesn’t surprise me in the slightest that Lane Kiffin left UT in the lurch with no notice. He got a better offer. Had the roles been slightly reversed, I have no doubt Mike Hamilton and the university’s leaders would have fired him just as abruptly. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not condoning his actions. After making countless promises to parents about how he would take care of their boys and make sure they lived up not only their athletic potential but academic as well, he just stabbed those young men in the back and broke the commitments he made to them. That’s despicable. While I’m certain he won’t lose a night’s sleep over his actions, he should be ashamed at what he did to those kids.
But I’m not surprised that he did it. We live in the Age of Greed.