Reportedly, that frustration came to a head at season’s end.
According to Scott Wolf of the Los Angeles Daily News, 10-15 players were involved in a postgame “altercation” following the Trojans’ embarrassing Sun Bowl loss to Georgia Tech. The locker-room brouhaha, which wasn’t specifically described as physical by Wolf, came after a lethargic performance in which a sizable portion of the team seemed disinterested in the program’s first postseason appearance in two years and sleepwalked through the 21-7 loss to the seven-loss Yellow Jackets.
“It was one of the worst things I’ve seen in a locker room,” an unidentified player told Wolf in regards to the postgame scene.
Oddly enough, it was the younger players reportedly chastising the older ones that appears to be the impetus for the situation, with Wolf writing “some freshmen questioned the leadership of the team’s seniors and whether they gave 100 percent effort for the Sun Bowl.” Witnesses told Wolf that this questioning led to an argument that then escalated.
On the one hand, if it was indeed the freshmen lashing out against players, even veterans, half-assing it through a game, that would appear to bode well for the future of a Trojans football program mired in mediocrity under Lane Kiffin. On the other hand, it’s yet another check mark next to the box that reads “Program Out of Control Under Kiffin,” with those who want the current head coach to become the former head coach — and that number is growing — armed with yet another data point to make an argument that’s becoming easier by the day.
Kiffin will enter the 2013 season on the hottest of proverbial hot seats. Thanks to situations like the above that seem to invariably crop up with some degree of regularity when Kiffin’s in charge, it doesn’t appear there’ll be a cold front coming through anytime soon.