Lane Kiffin thinks he was unfairly fired by USC
Lane Kiffin still does not believe his USC firing was deserved.
Kiffin was the head coach at USC for three full seasons and then got fired midway through his fourth season in 2013. Kiffin was 28-15 at the time of his firing and the team was in the middle of a 3-2 season. He told Colin Cowherd in a recent interview on FOX Sports Radio that the firing was unfair because he was graded as if the team did not have sanctions.
“The thing that bothered me the most … you weren’t graded on a fair scale. We weren’t 1-10. I felt it was unfair because we had 30 less scholarships and when it hits, all your juniors and seniors can leave. Then you have to sign a No. 1 recruiting class in the country with kids knowing they can’t play in a bowl game for two years. So that’s the part that bothered me the most. Everyone said this guy can’t coach, but everyone forgot about [the sanctions],” Kiffin said.
Kiffin is right that that part gets lost in the evaluation of him.
USC was punished because OJ Mayo and Reggie Bush accepted gifts. The punishments resulted in USC’s football program losing 30 scholarships over three years from 2010-2012, right in the middle of Kiffin’s tenure.
Here’s the thing: he still went 10-2 in 2011, so the school felt he was falling below the standard they wanted to achieve. Kiffin also knew about the sanctions when he took the job, and also should have known that the Trojans would have expected strong results regardless of the penalties. That was part of the risk of taking the job.
Kiffin has brought up the firing multiple times over the last several months, showing that he still is not over it. The 44-year-old coach is entering his first season at Ole Miss.