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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.

Steven Spielberg roasted USC with great zinger

Steven-SpielbergLegendary film director Steven Spielberg was on hand at USC, which is considered by many to have the top film program in the country, earlier this week to speak to a group of students. Naturally, students had a lot of questions to ask about his experiences and how he managed to advance his career to the point where he is worth roughly $3 billion.

At some point during his Q&A, Spielberg decided to showcase his knowledge of sports. In particular, he let everyone know that he still keeps tabs on the Trojans after receiving an honorary degree from USC in 1994.

Burned. For those of you who don’t get the reference, USC lost an embarrassing 10-7 game to Washington State in its first home game of the season a few weeks ago. During the loss, fans busted out a very audible “Fire Kiffin!” chant to express their disgust with head coach Lane Kiffin.

Well, done Spielberg. Well done, indeed.

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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USC fails to cover after giving up late touchdown to Hawaii

lane-kiffinUSC got its 2013 season off to a good start with a win over Hawaii on Thursday night, but they left some gamblers unhappy. A lot of money went on the Trojans to cover a spread that was anywhere in the range of 22 to 24 points and they failed to do so. Was covering on Lane Kiffin’s mind?

USC led 23-5 with a minute left and was still trying to score a touchdown. Rather than burn out the remainder of the clock, the Trojans seemed adamant about adding to their 18-point lead. There has been some speculation that they were attempting to cover the spread for any alumni who bet on them, and it appeared they were going to do just that when they scored on a Justin Davis run with 42 seconds left in the game.

The late touchdown gave USC a 30-5 lead. However, the Trojans’ defense failed to do its part and allowed Hawaii to score on a 60-yard touchdown pass on the ensuing possession with 30 seconds remaining. Final score: USC 30, Hawaii 13.

And with that, we already have our first bad beat of the college football season. We have featured plenty of unlucky gambling losses in the past and will have many more in the future. Buckle up.

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.

Ex-USC DL Bob DeMars: Coach motherf—ed me for leaving practice to go to class

Bob DeMars USCFormer USC defensive lineman Bob DeMars recently had some unflattering things to say about the way the football programmed approached academics when he was in school.

DeMars, who was a member of the Trojans’ football program from 1997-2001, said in an interview with Time that the program emphasized athletics and somewhat discouraged academics. He told Time he was discouraged from majoring in the school’s prestigious cinema program like he wanted to. Instead, he was persuaded by the athletic department to study business.

“When I signed with USC, no one said good luck on your degree. No one said, go to school and get good grades. You’re not a student-athlete. You’re an athlete-student,” DeMars told Time.

DeMars still managed to get into filmmaking after school. He made an award-winning documentary called, “Adjust Your Color: The Truth Of Petey Green,” which aired on PBS. He is now attempting to make a film questioning the NCAA and college athletics. He even has a Kickstarter page for the proposed film, where you can go to sponsor the project.

DeMars says the de-emphasis on academics was so bad that defensive line coach Ed Orgeron, who coached at Ole Miss and the New Orleans Saints before returning to USC, used to curse at him for leaving spring practice 20 minutes early once a week to attend a mandatory statistics class.

“He M-F’d me all over the place,” DeMars recalled to Time. “He made me feel like a bad person for going to class.”

DeMars still says Orgeron was a brilliant defensive line coach who helped him improve, but he thinks the coach could have still been effective without undermining education. He even says he got the “stink eye” from Orgeron for leaving practice to go to class.

None of these stories will come as a surprise to fans. DeMars was on the team before it rebuilt into a powerhouse under Pete Carroll. They were only a .500 team and still emphasized football over academics to that extent, so you figure this sort of thing goes on in most programs.

Though college football is big business, each athlete needs to do what is best for himself. They need to realize that it is unlikely for them to play professionally, so they should look out for their future, regardless of what the coaches say.

Despite the obstacles from the football program, DeMars had a 2.96 GPA at USC and was a 2001 Pac-10 All-Academic honorable mention.

Photo via DeMars’ Kickstarter