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OK, it's one thing for the governor to talk about laying off thousands of state workers and whacking health care for the sickest Tennesseans. But when he starts bitching about University of Tennessee football, he's going too far. Bredesen is upset because, while the university is twirling down the toilet academically, the athletic department has raised the princely sums paid to football coaches by 13 percent to $5.3 million for next season. New coach Lane Kiffin is getting $2 million. That's less than Phillip Fulmer earned, but Kiffin's assistants--including his father and brother-in-law--are really raking it in, making more than $1 million more than their predecessors.
"When your neighbor's enduring hard times is not the time to flash your Cadillac in the driveway," Bredesen tells the Associated Press. "It's not public money, so I guess I can't complain too much. But it does pain me to see the athletic department obviously living high while some of the academic departments are facing some very tough times. I would hope they would be a little sensitive to that fact."