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USC players reportedly happy to see Lane Kiffin fired

Lane KiffinUSC Trojans fans weren’t the only ones happy to see Lane Kiffin fired on Sunday. Apparently many of the players were, too.

Los Angeles Daily News Trojans football reporter Scott Wolf said on Sunday that one player told him Kiffin “lost the locker room.” That’s not a surprise considering the team went 7-6 last season and got slaughtered in the Sun Bowl.

USC really should have fired Kiffin after that debacle. Not only did his players get into a fight following that game, but Kiffin and one of his assistants did too.

Then in the offseason, Matt Barkley was critical of Kiffin, saying the coach focused too much on Marqise Lee, which came as a detriment to the rest of the offense.

Of course things did not improve this season. USC had the home loss to Washington State in the second week of the season, narrowly escaped Utah State, and then got crushed by Arizona State on the road. They were 3-2 overall and 0-2 in conference when Kiffin was dropped.

One player reportedly told Wolf that Kiffin being fired was a weight lifted off them. You can interpret that many ways, but it’s clear the player felt that having Kiffin gone was good for the team.

Rich Hammond of the OC Register says athletic director Pat Haden said the reception from the players was “great” when he met with them to share the news.

Wolf also said a player told him he resented how Kiffin would only focus on certain players, like Barkley.

Whether they didn’t like the way he coached or just thought it would be better for the program if he were gone, it’s obvious many players were happy to see Kiffin fired. We also know there are recruits who wanted him gone, too.

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Lane Kiffin fired at Landmark Aviation Terminal in LAX; decision made in third quarter of ASU rout

Lane KiffinTerribly disappointing news out of USC this morning. Unfortunately, athletic director Pat Haden decided to fire Lane Kiffin as head football coach of the Trojans following the team’s horrendous 62-41 loss at Arizona State on Saturday night.

Haden stood behind Kiffin multiple times even when people questioned whether the coach deserved his job. But Haden cited things like graduation rate and Kiffin’s ability as a playcaller when deciding to keep him on as coach. He even kept Kiffin after the team’s embarrassing 10-7 home loss to Washington State in their second game of the season. But the rout at Arizona State was too much.

According to LA Daily News writer Scott Wolf, Haden made the decision to fire Kiffin when the Sun Devils went on a 28-0 run in the third quarter. He reportedly met with advisers in a tiny room and decided then that Kiffin had to go. USC was down 20-14 at halftime, but the Trojans scored early in the third to go up 21-20. They then allowed four straight TDs to fall behind 48-21.

The 62 points were the most USC ever allowed to Arizona State. Also in the Kiffin era, Oregon and Stanford set records for most points scored in school history against USC.

The story of how Kiffin was fired is as memorable and embarrassing as it gets.

According to Wolf, Kiffin was pulled off the team’s bus at Landmark Aviation Terminal in LAX to meet with Haden. Kiffin apparently thought it would be a routine, brief meeting and even left a bag on the bus. Kiffin told the bus driver to wait for him, while USC officials told the driver to head back to campus to drop off the players. It was during this meeting that Haden told Kiffin he was done and gave the coach the option of being terminated or resigning. Kiffin chose to be fired.

Ed Orgeron will be the interim head coach, which is also a joke. He’s as clueless about running a team as Kiffin.

Kiffin’s firing has been long overdue. I never would have hired him as coach in the first place and thought he would bring USC down the way he did. As a Bruins fan, I can only hope the Trojans botch the next hiring, though I don’t think we’ll be that lucky.

And from now on, I will always think of Lane Kiffin whenever I’m near Landmark Aviation Terminal at LAX.

Recruit Demario Richard: I’ll consider USC if they fire Lane Kiffin

Lane KiffinLane Kiffin is already on the hot seat after his USC Trojans suffered a disastrous home loss to Washington State last weekend, and tweets like the ones sent by running back recruit Demario Richard might help push the coach out the door.

Richard, a senior back at Palmdale High School in Calif., tweeted on Wednesday that he would consider USC if they fire Kiffin.

“If Kiffin Leaves USC might have a shot at gettin me,” Richard tweeted.

Why did Richard send that tweet?

“I felt like it needed to be said . Everybody is scared to say it so imma say it,” he wrote.

Richard said on Twitter that he didn’t like Kiffin because he felt the coach disrespected him at an event. He also said he doesn’t have an official scholarship offer from USC because he turned them down.

Richard deleted the tweets and has deactivated his Twitter account.

Richard is a 4-star running back according to ESPN and Scout, while Rivals has him as a 3-star back. He is weighing scholarship offers from almost every Pac-12 school, as well as other programs like Tennessee, Michigan State, West Virginia and Nebraska.

I never advocate for schools to let individual players control programs, but the Trojans athletic department needs to give a lot of consideration to Richard’s words. Kiffin went 7-6 last year and got demolished in the bowl game. His offense looks terrible through two games this season. If they don’t turn it around, it will be hard for the program to justify keeping him for a fifth season.

Below is Richard’s highlight video so you can see the guy behind the tweets:

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Lane Kiffin denies USC players held meeting; USC players say otherwise

Lane KiffinLane Kiffin seems to have been caught being dishonest with the media once again.

The USC Trojans football coach, whose head is wanted by the school’s fans, denied that the Trojans players held a players-only meeting on Sunday, the day after the team’s embarrassing 10-7 loss to Washington State. Kiffin denied this despite understanding that it was a PLAYERS-ONLY meeting and that the meeting could have taken place without his knowledge.

Three different reporters covering the team said Kiffin denied that a players-only meeting took place. OC Register reporter Rich Hammond was somewhat forgiving to Kiffin, noting that the coach said he didn’t think it happened.

Both LA Daily News reporter Scott Wolf and FOX/Scout reporter Lindsey Thiry say USC wide receiver Marqise Lee emphasized it was a players-only meeting.

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Lane Kiffin getting used to ‘Fire Kiffin’ chants

lane-kiffinUSC head coach Lane Kiffin is on the hot seat. Coming off a 7-6 season in 2012, the Trojans lost their home opener to Washington State on Saturday. The same Kiffin who once said he is just as interested in putting on a show as he is winning watched his team put up an embarrassing seven points in a 10-7 loss.

Late in the fourth quarter, fans began chanting “Fire Kiffin!” The chant was perfectly audible for those who were watching on television, so you know there is no way Kiffin could have tuned it out. He was asked about the heckling after the game.

“You can’t worry about that,” Kiffin said, via AL.com. “It is what it is. I think I heard those before the game started in warmups, actually. I’m getting used to it.”

Another reporter then asked Kiffin if he believes his job is in jeopardy after losing to Washington.

“I don’t know all of that stuff,” he said. “I’m not even thinking that way. I know we’re 1-1 right now and we’ve got to go back and get ready for next week. When you don’t play well, of course it falls on the head coach. That’s part of the job. We obviously weren’t prepared well enough on offense.”

On Monday, ESPN’s Ted Miller speculated that St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher would be a candidate to replace Kiffin at USC if he is eventually fired. Fisher won a national championship as a wide receiver with USC in 1978, but it is far too early to anticipate his departure from the Rams after one week of the NFL season.

Fisher or no Fisher, Kiffin is likely a dead man walking. USC’s schedule is loaded with difficult opponents like Stanford and UCLA, so a home game against Washington was a must-win. In the long run, that loss will probably end up being one of many that costs Kiffin his job.

USC football: Silas Redd was not picked up by Snoop Dogg in a limo

Silas ReddRepresentatives for USC’s football program issued a statement to the media on Tuesday to refute a report that said ex-Penn State running back Silas Redd was picked up by Snoop Dogg in a limousine upon arriving in Los Angeles last summer.

Redd was a star running back at Penn State and decided to transfer after the NCAA punished the school for the Jerry Sandusky scandal. USC coach Lane Kiffin put the full-court press on Redd, wooing him with a private Mercedes jet among other things.

In the new book “Fourth and Long: The Fight for the Soul of College Football“, which comes out on Sept. 3, author John U. Bacon reportedly says Snoop was waiting for Redd in a limo when his airplane touched down in LA (Kiffin supposedly called in a favor to Snoop). Whatever the Trojans did worked, because Redd played for SC last year, rushing for 905 yards and nine touchdowns.

But USC wants to make it clear that Snoop did NOT have anything to do with Redd’s recruitment.

“Silas Redd has never met Snoop Dogg, much less received a ride from him in any type of vehicle. USC head coach Lane Kiffin picked up Silas from the airport on his recruiting visit,” the school said in a statement.

So there you have it. You really can’t take PR people at their word because they obviously have self-serving purposes, but I’m not buying the Snoop-Silas story anyway. Do you really think Snoop has that much time on his hands where he can just show up at an airport to help Kiffin recruit? I doubt Snoop’s busy weed smoking schedule would allow it.

Lane Kiffin defends Matt Barkley, rips USC defense coached by his father

Former USC quarterback Matt Barkley may have made a mistake by returning to school for his senior season last year. Barkley was once seen as a lock to go early in the first round of the NFL Draft, but injuries and other circumstances have resulted in his stock taking a tumble. However, Lane Kiffin insists Barkley is still a first-round prospect.

While it’s not surprising to hear Barkley’s former coach toot his horn, it is a little puzzling to hear Kiffin defend Barkley at the expense of his defense. A defense which, by the way, was coached by his father, Monte Kiffin.

“I think he’s going to be a great starting quarterback in the NFL, and the film shows it,” Kiffin told ESPNLosAngeles.com on Wednesday. “The plays he makes, all the throws he’s made here, the leadership qualities … I’ve said this before: If Matt Barkley had the defense that Matt Leinart and Carson Palmer had, Matt Barkley would have won the Heisman Trophy just like they did. He would have had the winning records they had.”

The Trojans had a number of issues last year during the course of their unprecedented collapse, and defense was certainly one of them. Considering Monte has resigned from USC and been hired as the defensive coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys, I suppose the only thing Lane could be putting a strain on is the next Kiffin family reunion.

Kiffin was so determined to boost the public perception of Barkley that he even called out one USC player by name, noting that if not for a certain mistake Barkley could have led the Trojans to a win over Andrew Luck and Stanford in 2011.

“Andrew threw an interception for a touchdown and, their very next drive we stop them, and [safety] T.J. McDonald gets called for a head-to-head personal foul that keeps the drive alive,” Kiffin recalled. “Is that Matt Barkley’s fault? If that flag’s not thrown and we stop them right there, you go, ‘Man, Matt just beat Andrew Luck.’ When I remember Matt, I think of all that stuff.”

We get it, coach. You feel that USC lost in spite of Barkley, not because of him. Easy on the family and former player bashing.