Staff Photo by Patrick Smith Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin talks to an official during the first half of his team's game against Georgia at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville. Tennessee won 45-19.
KNOXVILLE -- First-year University of Tennessee football coach Lane Kiffin's big mouth has officially attained pop culture status.
Popular hip-hop artist Lil Wayne mentioned Kiffin's name, albeit rather controversially, in a recently-released song named, "Banned From TV."
The New Orleans-born rapper dropped the following line approximately 1 minute, 10 seconds into the song: "Smoke weed, talk (trash) like Lane Kiffin."
UT men's athletic director Mike Hamilton claimed Wednesday that he hadn't heard the song, and he forward all questions on the matter to Kiffin.
Kiffin said after the Volunteers' Wednesday practice that he appreciated the attention.
"We're Lil Wayne fans," Kiffin said. "We've played him a number of times out here before (during practice). I guess we're getting a little street cred.
"You're dealing with kids in the age frame ... all the way from eighth graders to seniors in high school, so the more we're out there, the better."
Lil Wayne -- a 27-year-old whose given name is Dwayne Michael Carter Jr. -- has sold millions of records worldwide, but he's also run stayed in the spotlight with law enforcement problems. He's been arrested on drug-related charges at least three times and reportedly pleaded guilty last week to criminal possession of a weapon charges in New York.
Officials from the Manhattan district attorney's office said Lil Wayne could receive a one-year jail sentence for his latest situation. His sentencing has been scheduled for February.
Lil Wayne's personal issues haven't damaged his professional success, though. He has won dozens of awards -- including four 2009 Grammys -- since emerging as an individual artist in 1999. His "Tha Carter III" album sold a worldwide-leading, three million copies in 2008.
"I think it was really cool," UT junior linebacker LaMarcus Thompson said. "It brings a lot of attention to our program, and it's really going to be good for recruiting, because kids will definitely be like, 'Hey, that's Lane Kiffin in a Lil Wayne song. I might want to check Tennessee out now.'
"We all thought it was really cool ... and more kids will think Tennessee is back on the map now."
Freshman tailback David Oku agreed with Thompson that the song was "only a good thing" for the Vols.
"Somebody asked me the question the other day, something like, 'Do you like how cocky coach Kiffin is?'" Oku said. "I was like, 'Yeah, that means he has confidence in what he's doing, so that's a real good thing.' He talks a lot of smack, but that's good. I like that.
"I know a lot of recruits probably listen to Lil Wayne, so that's probably going to help coach Kiffin out. That's going to play real good."
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