USC players reportedly brawled in locker room after Sun Bowl loss
USC entered the season ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press poll, and what followed was one of the most disappointing seasons in recent history for the program. A 21-7 loss to Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl was an appropriate end to the Trojans’ 7-6 season. So was the alleged brawl that went down in the locker room after the game.
According to the Los Angeles Daily News, about 10-15 players were involved in a locker room fight that started when a group of freshmen questions the seniors’ leadership and whether or not they gave it their all in the loss.
“It was one of the worst things I’ve seen in a locker room,” an unnamed player said.
According to a separate report from ESPN.com, it was a “flat-out brawl” that started when one of the team’s younger players was “bad-mouthing Matt Barkley.” Barkley downplayed the incident when speaking with ESPN’s Colin Cowherd.
“I would say tempers flared, yeah, but that’s football,” Barkley said. “It’s an emotional game and when you end your season on a negative note like that, emotions are going to be high. Guys were expressing their opinions, for better or worse, but we had it under control. It was nothing to be alarmed about.”
Another unnamed player told ESPN that it was “pure chaos” when he walked into the locker room.
Lane Kiffin could not be reached for comment, and you have rocks in your head if you think the guy who cuts press conferences short when reporters ask about injuries is going to get into detail about a fight in the locker room. But the story isn’t all that hard to believe, just as it isn’t difficult to imagine a group of seniors not giving it their all for a December bowl game when they came into the season thinking national championship. Typically frustrations boil over at some point when a season goes down the tubes like USC’s did.