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Updated: Kiffin now working with media on injury updates

Lane Kiffin AP

Updated 9/13 @ 1:52 p.m. ET: And this is exactly what happens when you limit/ban media members for doing what they feel is their job.

Not only has Los Angeles Daily reporter Scott Wolf been allowed back to practice following a brief ban for reporting an injury, Trojans coach Lane Kiffin is now working with reporters on how to best report injuries going forward.

“I know it is not exactly the best thing for you, but we are trying to protect our team too.”

He also apologized to Wolf.

“What Scott was trying to get done wasn’t against what we were trying to say. Scott’s back. I apologize if that was taken the wrong way. We viewed it differently. We are trying to get together to come up with the best situation for all of us.”

Again, it’s understandable that Kiffin doesn’t want to release injury news because he feels it would be a competitive disadvantage. He’s not the only coach to have done it, either. But when you ban someone for doing what they think is their job, there’s going to be a media backlash and it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks of that reporter on a personal basis. It’s like Nick Saban‘s rant last week. Throw a jab at the media and they’ll throw one back.

Self-righteous? Yeah, there’s a lot of that on both sides, but that’s the nature of the business. Now, Kiffin’s in a position where he has to play nice.

If coaches release mandated weekly injury reports, then there’s not an issue whatsoever.


USC and coach Lane Kiffin made headlines (again) Wednesday for the wrong reasons (again).

According to the Los Angeles Times, USC imposed a two-week ban on Los Angeles Daily reporter Scott Wolf because Wolf published a report that Trojans kicker Andre Heidari underwent knee surgery last week and was expected to be sidelined for about three weeks. Additionally, according to the Times, the school decided it would not issue Wolf a credential for the Trojans’ Sept. 22 home game against Cal.

The problem, per a fairly new USC policy, is that reporters aren’t allowed to publish “strategy or injury-related news observed during in-season practices.” That led to another problem: Wolf apparently wasn’t reporting what he saw during practice.

“From our standpoint, Scott was doing his job,” Daily sports editor Gene Warnick told the Times. “This wasn’t something that was part of practice. We were just trying to report the news.”

It was bad press, but it was also short-lived. As of Wednesday night the ban was lifted after a discussion was had with USC athletic director Pat Haden. Policy or not, there is such a thing as bad publicity when it involves banning media interaction.

“I am happy to say my football practice ban was lifted after talks with Pat Haden and area sports editors. Practice policy talks continue,” Wolf tweeted Wednesday night

It’s understandable if coaches don’t want to share injury information for competitive disadvantage purposes. Two other Pac-12 coach, Utah’s Kyle Whittingham and Washington’s Steve Sarkisian, have taken similar approaches. But Wolf has a beat to cover and fans/readers want pertinent information. You know, like injuries and stuff.

But we’re not here to take sides on this issue. If every program was required to release weekly injury reports, this wouldn’t have been a topic of discussion.

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35 Responses to “Updated: Kiffin now working with media on injury updates”
  1. canetic says: Sep 12, 2012 11:15 PM

    He probably didn’t have enough felonies on his record to participate in a USC practice

  2. ddjjddjj says: Sep 12, 2012 11:27 PM

    This baby may have gotten his press pass back but that doesn’t mean that anyone has to answer his questions or grant him interviews. If I’m the HC I am trying to shun this douche.

  3. inunouchi says: Sep 12, 2012 11:28 PM

    Holy Cow!
    Let me see if I get this right…
    1) If you do something the press doesn’t like, the result is “bad press”…
    2)What if the decision to ban the reporter for 2 weeks was correct (given the info they had), would USC have gotten ‘good press”?
    3)Why is Lane Kiffin’s name mentioned in this? was he directly responsible for the suspension? was it someone else at USC? Do you actually know who made the decision and why? Was that person given the wrong inputs to make that decision? you certainly didn’t “report” the answers in your story
    4) There must NOT be a lot of “like injuries and stuff” to report on if you really think your customers care about this dribble……

    Remember, self-importance is not a virtue

  4. perry549 says: Sep 12, 2012 11:41 PM

    There are rules that must be followed to gain access. Wolfe is a snarky ex blogger who doesn’t deserve the title of journalist

  5. John Taylor says: Sep 13, 2012 12:18 AM

    …you really think your customers care about this dribble…

    One, this is a college football blog, not a college basketball one, so we could care less about a dribble.

    Two, if you’re going to be condescending, at least have the common courtesy to know the difference between “dribble” and “drivel.”

    Knowing such might’ve made your “self-importance is not a virtue” finishing flourish less douchey as opposed to, well, more douchey.

  6. norcalirish says: Sep 13, 2012 1:20 AM

    usc hates freedom.

  7. papabush88 says: Sep 13, 2012 1:33 AM

    Wolf continually pulls bonehead moves. Guy is so negative against USC and constantly misspells the names of players. Needed a little good cop/bad cop action on this.

  8. bbeaman78 says: Sep 13, 2012 1:43 AM

    Why is kiffin allowed to a head coach. He is great recruiter, which his methods are now on the ncaa’s radar. That’s about his only pro.

    His cons are endless, mainly just being an idiot and make his coaching peers angry. How he keeps getting jibs I never know!

  9. tuckfexas says: Sep 13, 2012 3:04 AM

    Looks to me like Lame Kiffin just got punked badly by his boss. I love it.

  10. irisheyesnate says: Sep 13, 2012 4:35 AM

    He can’t pay the players in front of media that will tell on him.
    Think about it.

  11. xtremesportsmaniac says: Sep 13, 2012 6:13 AM

    Scott Wolf is a clown and if USC fans read his blog it’s only for laughs.

    For some reason the AP allows him to have a vote. He started the season voting Boise State #1 and continued it for the first few weeks of the season.

    How this guy has a job is beyond me.

  12. brewha4food says: Sep 13, 2012 7:05 AM

    Canetic….This isn’t the SEC… And I’m just assuming now that you’re a Canes fan .. That’s an even more epic fail..

  13. vincentbojackson says: Sep 13, 2012 7:46 AM

    Kiffen’s a piece of work.

  14. florida727 says: Sep 13, 2012 8:25 AM

    “But Wolf has a beat to cover and fans/readers want pertinent information. You know, like injuries and stuff.”


    Fans/readers? Don’t you mean “gamblers”?

    JT, you are aware that “douchey” doesn’t pass spell-checker, nor is it found on, right? Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for it when properly used :)

  15. addict2sport says: Sep 13, 2012 8:43 AM

    Scott has been desperately trying to make a name for himself. He got exactly what he was looking for. Kiff comes off looking like a jerk, again. So his “haters” get what they are looking for.

  16. monsterright says: Sep 13, 2012 9:12 AM

    Douchey’s a word. The linguistic archives, Urban Dictionary, describes Douchey as Having characteristics of or pertaining to a douche.

    Well placed J.T.

  17. mydixienormus says: Sep 13, 2012 9:26 AM

    Washington not only told reports they can’t report on injurys but they can’t report on practice at all!

    Freaking BS.

    I can see not talking injuries (sort of), but not talking about practice at all?????

    I am totally pissed!

  18. floridacock says: Sep 13, 2012 9:49 AM

    If practice is closed, as at other schools, this whole thing will be solved.

  19. manchestermiracle says: Sep 13, 2012 10:04 AM

    Pretty much a non-story. Those who actually follow USC football (all of it, not just the negative side) already knew Heidari was going to be out for awhile. You know your program is big time, and has been for years, when average (very average) fans of other programs hang on a story like this.

  20. salmon88 says: Sep 13, 2012 11:20 AM

    I am no Kiffin fan but he is right on this one. Typical 4th grade educated media want to be darling.

  21. stevendaustin says: Sep 13, 2012 11:47 AM

    So Scott Wolf and his paper that no one has ever heard of gets his 15 minutes of fame! Problem is like that other moron out there Michael Castillo they are muckrakers only looking to write crap they shouldn’t in the hopes they become irreverent hence utilizing this less than circumspect tatic while negatively impacting the team and using them as a conduit to try to salvage their already less than impressive careers!
    In my estimation neither Scott Wolf or that blundering idiot Michael Castillo have little if any requisite talent skillset as a sports reporters they are just two floundering idiots looking to resussatate their fledgling careers! Truth be known the only stellar sports reporter in all of Los Angeles and SoCal that is on TV or writes sports is that of Pedro Moura! He gets it and will be big time that is a for sure!

  22. gfj7000 says: Sep 13, 2012 12:00 PM

    What does this ‘young buck’ Kiffin have to lose about reporting his injured players? We already know that the Press is shaving the guy for his team’s marginal performance for their first two games – and risky possible losses or close games coming up. You don’t see Chip Kelly of Oregon hiding his key injured players reported to be out for the season or temporarily out for a few games. What’s wrong with this guy? I guess the heavy Press coverage for being ranked # 3 is getting to this youngster.?. More comments?

  23. papabush88 says: Sep 13, 2012 12:35 PM

    Some of the people on this thread just don’t even have a clue. The only story here is that Scott Wolf is a clown. This guy is a pathetic excuse for a journalist. Constantly spelling players’ names wrong. I’ve seen him spell Dion Bailey’s name wrong on several occasions. Seriously? Not a difficult name to correctly spell. And what a negative writer too. Rarely has good things to say. I’m not saying he should sugar coat everything, but USC finished the season 10-2 (when we were picked to lose 5 games), got Barkley back, picked up Silas Redd, became bowl eligible, and got several great verbal commits for 2013….and when you read Wolf’s drivel, you would think we just lost to an FCS school.
    This is Kiffin’s team and he made very specific rules. Rules made known to the media. Wolf broke them.
    People, you’re not fooling anyone. We can spot the USC haters and the Kiffin haters like gfj7000. You hated Kiffin when he was flying off the handle at Tennessee. Now, he has set some guidelines, and you’re faulting Kiffin for a dumb reporter screwing up? There’s no pleasing you. Saban blew up on reporters asking him about the Western Kentucky game. Saban was way out of line. I mean, was he really trying to convince us that Alabama should be worried about Western Kentucky? A team they ended up beating 35-0? But guess what, when Saban reacted like a child, I didn’t care. Not a big deal. Still, that was good reporting. They asked him a legit question about the Western Kentucky game. Wolf’s actions were bad reporting.

  24. hawker1 says: Sep 13, 2012 1:00 PM

    Kiffin’s a jerk, but I agree with him on this. “Tain’t nobody’s bizness but his own”. I can’t think of any good reason why “injuries and stuff” would be something a normal fan would just have to be in on. Gamblers and the like maybe, but why should an AD be concerned with them?

  25. mrslay1 says: Sep 13, 2012 1:20 PM

    I for one have no use for Lame Wimpin! But in this I think he is right. It is the coaches right not to give up info on his team injury’s.

  26. gfj7000 says: Sep 13, 2012 3:35 PM

    To papabush88 – No I’m not a USC or Kiffin hater – as I live 30 miles from USC and have been to many of their games (wins & losses)since the Pete Carroll era. (not a fan of USC or UCLA) just following many ‘Comments’ critics (like many above and many over the last 4 weeks) knocking Kiffin’s arrogance, poor ethics, and integrity which is still in question. I never heard the name ‘Kiffin’ (from Tennessee) until he came west. So, as said before, Kiffin may have set his own ‘fencing rules’ against reporters – but obviously got beat-up by his boss, Mr. Haden and now is apologizing to Wolf for his barking/fencing actions. This is the FIRST time I’ve seen the ‘young buck’ apologize for his errors in dealing with Public Relations. Granted, I agree, Wolf may be a marginal reporter (have seen many worse than himself) needing to go back to college & take English 101 to learn grammar & spelling; but then it might be good for Kiffin to go back to college and take a course in Ethics 101 and Public Relations 202 to sharpen his character & PR skills. He still has some years to grow up (he’s the youngest head coach in the country running a Top 10 ranked football program) – and NO , I’m not a senior citizen knocking a youngster, just watching the locals from nearby Orange County.

  27. papabush88 says: Sep 13, 2012 3:47 PM


    I mean if Kiffin used name calling when banning Wolf from practice, then, yes, Kiffin needs to grow up. But it sounded like he handled the situation well. Saban is even older than Kiffin, and last week Saban acted childish. But Kiffin seems to be the only guy getting heat for every little thing that happens. People got mad at Kiffin when he banned opponents from doing a walkthrough at the Coliseum. What’s wrong with that? USC never does a walkthrough when they play in away games? Some othe schools ban walkthroughs. I just think people look for any reason to attack Kiffin. Seemed like he as going through a bit of an identity crisis while at Tennessee. Mouthing off to the media and trying to flex his muscles. It seemed like he wanted to be the young version of Spurrier and he was trying to make Tennessee relevant during a time when people only talked about Alabama, LSU, Florida, and Georgia. When he came to USC, he didn’t do any of that.

  28. rcali says: Sep 13, 2012 3:54 PM

    Kiffin hates honesty.

  29. addict2sport says: Sep 13, 2012 7:23 PM

    As a USC fan I don’t mind this story and I welcome all Kiffin & Trojan haters with open arms. This story and the haters wouldn’t exist if USC was not a dominant football program. Hate all you want. It shows you respect USC and it shows how much most of you fear USC. FIGHT ON!

  30. frank booth says: Sep 14, 2012 1:30 AM

    USC is dominant? I must have missed all of their national championships over the past several years.

    Record against top 10 opponents since 2009? 3-5.


  31. inunouchi says: Sep 14, 2012 2:13 AM

    Hey Taylor,
    you should be a little less casual using the word douchey. When i used the word dribble, I meant it. I am sure you can understand (possibly) that words can sometimes have 2 clear and distinct definitions. In the Oxford English Dictionary under Dribble…..
    2. absol. intr. To let the spittle flow down over the chin, as young children and imbecile people often do.

    Or perhaps you are a blogger as well…


  32. addict2sport says: Sep 14, 2012 9:54 AM

    Dominant…Multiple National Championships,Multiple Bowl Wins, Multiple Conference Championships, Multiple Heisman Trophies, Multiple Players in the NFL. Yes, dominant football program.

  33. jimsjam33 says: Sep 14, 2012 11:03 PM

    Why is anybody surprised that Kiffin is getting bad press ; afterall , he is a Republican . No shock and awe here !

  34. mrslay1 says: Sep 14, 2012 11:19 PM

    You shouldn’t insult Republicans that way!

  35. foreverlsu says: Sep 20, 2012 10:38 AM

    addict2sport says:Sep 14, 2012 9:54 AM

    Dominant…Multiple National Championships,Multiple Bowl Wins, Multiple Conference Championships, Multiple Heisman Trophies, Multiple Players in the NFL. Yes, dominant football program.

    Uhh, for the record USC has ZERO BCS titles. Dominant? I think not. Fight on, trojans and maybe beat Stanford once every four years, then stick your chest out.

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