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Did Tennessee's president really say that?

Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

Just when you thought Lane Kiffin had cornered the market at Tennessee on saying some foolish things, check out what Tennessee’s interim president told The Chattanooga Times Free Press earlier this week.

In acknowledging that he had a talk with Kiffin about some of the coach’s comments during the offseason, Dr. Jan Simek went on to slam his own university.

At least, that’s the way I read it.

“Lane comes from the Pac-10, which in many respects is the epitome of great academics and great athletics, as this past weekend showed on several different levels, including to us. When we lost to UCLA, we lost to a better academic institution, too.”

Come again.

Did he really say that?

I’m sure the UT alums are loving those comments. Geez, you might think something like that, but you don’t say it -- especially if you’re the president of the university.

That said, the Vols’ fans can take great comfort in the fact that Simek says Kiffin has gotten the message and toned it down after their talks.

“[Lane] understands that. I think being new, coming into the premier collegiate sports league in the country, coming out of some difficult times from that point of view, he had a tough road to hoe at the beginning, and he chose a path that he believes let him make some progress. But he understands the deeper issues. Since our conversations, he has been exactly the kind of coach we want to have.”

Wouldn’t you just love to read Simek’s e-mail from the past few days?