USC student manager fired for deflating game balls vs. Oregon

A student manager for the USC football team was fired for intentionally deflating game balls below NCAA-regulated levels for the team’s game against Oregon last Saturday, the school announced on its website Wednesday.

According to the report on USC’s website, the game officials noticed the deflated balls and re-inflated three of them before the game. They re-inflated two more balls during halftime.

Though all the balls used in the second half were regulation, some of the deflated balls reportedly were used in the first half.

When informed of the issue by the Pac-12, USC reportedly began investigating immediately. The student manager is taking the fall. Per USCTrojans.com:

The student manager confirmed that he had, without the knowledge of, or instruction from, any USC student-athlete, coach, staff member or administrator, deflated those game balls after they had been tested and approved by officials prior to the game.

USC was reprimanded and fined by the Pac-12.

Deflating balls makes them easier to catch and throw, so one has to assume this was done in an attempt to aid USC’s passing game. As the home team, USC can also control which balls their offense uses and which balls the opponent would use.

USC lost the game 62-51 and allowed a school record-worst in points. Quarterback Matt Barkley went 35/54 for 484 yards, five touchdowns, and two interceptions. Oregon freshman quarterback Marcus Mariota was 20/23 for 304 yards, four touchdowns, and no interceptions.

A few thoughts on the incident. It’s pretty obvious that USC was caught trying to cheat, which isn’t the first time that’s happened with the program this season. Two, though the student manager is taking the blame, there is no way on earth I believe he acted on his own without the knowledge or direction of the coaches. Student managers don’t make any decisions on their own. I believe he acted on his own as much as I believe that Lane Kiffin would let him call a play in a close game. The person’s name isn’t even listed, so this won’t sully their reputation. The coaches are just blaming the little guy here to cover for themselves. Lastly, it’s quite fitting that the team was embarrassed in a game where they were trying to gain an advantage through cheating.

I’m guessing the reaction from USC fans to this incident will be no different than what they’ve been thinking: fire Lane Kiffin.

H/T Scott Enyeart

Around The Web

  • http://twitter.com/RumorsandRants Ryan Phillips

    It actually makes balls harder to throw if you deflate them a noticeable amount. Not sure what the competitive advantage to this would be. Clearly the kid needed to be fired, just not really sure what the intention was.

  • http://www.facebook.com/brock.dawkins Brock Dawkins

    its actually easier. better grip, little more rpm

  • http://twitter.com/RumorsandRants Ryan Phillips

    If it’s slightly deflated, yes that’s true. But if it’s deflated to a noticeable degree, to an illegal degree then it would be harder. Also the ball will flutter towards the end. 

    I would bet the goal was to screw with Oregon’s quarterback, not make things easier for USC. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LFHZJGW4Y6KIH725OXU2FN6V3A Joel

    Pat Haden may have his window of opportunity to make a coaching change, based on unethecal conduct .

  • SpinMax

    next week they will cut a couple links out of the down markers

  • E1974

    Cut a couple of links out. lol! That’s the best, Anyways SC just doesn’t know how to take a lost, instead of coming back after a loss, working hard at practice the next week . They go to meeting room to figure out how to cheat. the sense of entitlement kills them. They feel every child wants to be a Trojan and every game should be won.not bad thinking. It’s that (At All Cost) that kills them.

  • StevenThorne

    AS USC alumn I find the childness antics of Coach Lan Kiffen an embaressment to the University. He has worn out his welcome and AD Pat Haden must make the tough decision to replace him. USC is one of the top 5 programs in the nation and surely their are coaches who can COACH and not resort to petty gamemanship. This is the last thing (adding fuel to the fire) that the University and football program needs at this time. The Administration, Faculty, Students, Alumni, and fan base support the athletic programs with blind faith. It has come time that the coaching to ahere to strict code of ethics and honesty. PALMAMQUI MERUIT FERAT.  (Do you know what that means Coach Kiffen?)

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PWZQZ3TA7INZDHAGQGSYKKIAIM ToddB

     Considering your ability to spell I totally believe the USC alum thing.

  • http://twitter.com/RumorsandRants Ryan Phillips

    Oh, you mean the No. 25 university in the nation this year according to US News and World Report (tied with UCLA by the way)?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KLGJTLEPNRX6YO2CO5QGDBZ5TY Mac Dougal

    Death Penalty for the “University of Scummy Cheaters.” USC lies and cheats habitually. And they’ll continue to do it until they are severely and harshly punished. This is just another example of USC’s lying duplicity. Blame the ball boy. Right!