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Kiffin: ‘Noisy verbal exchange… nothing physical’ after bowl loss

Lane Kiffin AP

Earlier today, Scott Wolf of the Los Angeles Daily News reported that 10-15 USC football players were involved in a postgame “altercation” following the Trojans’ embarrassing Sun Bowl loss to Georgia Tech.  Later, ESPN.com, citing its own sources presumably, reported that there was “a flat-out brawl” in the locker room and “haymakers” were thrown.

Quarterback Matt Barkley, who did not play in the game due to an injured shoulder, acknowledged during a radio interview Wednesday that “tempers flared, yeah” but firmly stated that no punches were thrown.

In a statement released initially through the USC athletic department Twitter feed, head coach Lane Kiffin backed up Barkley’s account of the events.

“Contrary to media reports, there was not a brawl or altercation in our locker room after the Sun Bowl,” the statement from Kiffin began. “There was a noisy verbal exchange among a couple players who were frustrated with the outcome of the game.  It lasted less than a minute and was nothing physical.”

“It happens sometimes in football locker rooms after a disappointing loss.”

Trojans offensive lineman Khaled Holmes took to Twitter as well, writing that the “[r]eport of the incident in the locker room is blown out of proportion. Many disappointed, competitive young men, but no punches thrown!”

It should be noted that Wolf’s account never mentioned punches being thrown or that things got physical, although the Daily News writer did state that freshmen questioning the leadership of the team’s seniors “led to an argument that eventually escalated according to witnesses.”  One unnamed player told Wolf that “[i]t was one of the worst things I’ve seen in a locker room.”

Where does the actual truth fall?  Based on the events of this evening, we’re gonna guess it was some very elaborate hoax perpetrated by one of the two sides of the story.

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18 Responses to “Kiffin: ‘Noisy verbal exchange… nothing physical’ after bowl loss”
  1. bucrightoff says: Jan 16, 2013 7:41 PM

    Still the one guy who might be a bigger liar than Manti T’eo.

  2. cometkazie says: Jan 16, 2013 7:55 PM

    Which of two people with less than stellar credibility are we going to believe?

  3. kozbee says: Jan 16, 2013 7:56 PM

    I bet Kiffin is gone by 2016.

  4. uscatjerseyshore says: Jan 16, 2013 7:59 PM

    What Kiffin said has been pretty much confirmed by all the players as well. Case of Scott Wolf making up stories.

  5. ferro214 says: Jan 16, 2013 8:08 PM

    CJ SPILLER to USC! per Scott wolf

  6. soundsofsuccess7 says: Jan 16, 2013 8:33 PM

    Already knew this.

    This wouldn’t be a story if it weren’t Kiffin. It’s the Kiffin factor. Like Tim Tebow, the press cares about every little thing and putting negative spins on everything. From a USC fan, I think Kiffin is a fine coach.

    If anything, this confrontation is a good thing. The future of the team is on the graduating class responsible for an abysmal season~ it shows Kiffin’s players aren’t like Carroll’s. Next year will be Kiffin’s first graduating class of seniors and if a QB emerges, this is a legit National Championship contender. With only three big games, vs Stanford, vs. UCLA and at ND, USC could cruise to a 9-3 record if they have another season like this, which will happen if and only if Wittek is the starter and doesn’t improve.

    Both sides of the ball will star many players who are multiple year players. On the offense, Lee is a two year starter, Agholor started as a true freshman, Silas has started his whole career, Grimble is a current two year starter coming back. On the O-Line, they retain 4 of 5 starters. On the D-line, Kennard is back along with standout Morgan Breslin and freshman All American Leonard WIlliams. We’ll see if Kenny Bigelow cracks the starting lineup next season. The linebackers are set to be juniors next year and all started as freshman. Cravens figures to be a true freshman starter at safety along with last year’s JUCO pickup Gerald Bowman. One common misconception is that USC will miss TJ McDonald. This is 100% untrue, as TJ is arguably the worst tackling safety USC has ever had. Hard hitting, yes, but refuses to wrap. True freshman Jalen Ramsey figures to start at CB along with Torin Harris or Josh Shaw, two guys with previous starting experience. It all comes down to the QB position, and don’t be shocked if Kiffin goes with yet another true freshman at QB.

    The future is bright to those who know what is actually happening at USC football, hence Haden’s keeping Kiffin around and top recruits flocking to USC. They are full of young talent that has bought into the program and the last traces of the end of the Carroll era are nearly all gone.

  7. normtide says: Jan 16, 2013 8:52 PM

    I think it will be hard for anyone to put USC and BCS title in the same sentence. Not after the let down this year. I am not a Kiffen hater. I took up for him after the coaches vote fiasco. But, if you add his entire head coaching career, you see a pattern. I thought he did a great coaching job at Tennessee, on the field. He did a great job at USC in 2011. Aside from that, he has been mediocre at best. There is also a rich history of gaffs, scandals, and awkwardness.

    I read once that he was a 3 win season away from becoming the patriots new head coach. That probably sums Lane up best.

  8. thekatman says: Jan 16, 2013 8:58 PM

    And ESPN has stated there was a physical altercation, lies, lies, lies……

  9. vincentbojackson says: Jan 16, 2013 9:24 PM

    “Nothing physical” from the Trojans all season.

    That’s the problem Kiffin!

  10. fearthehoody says: Jan 16, 2013 11:31 PM

    USCheats Lame Kitten strikes again folks!

  11. thraiderskin says: Jan 17, 2013 12:46 AM

    WHATS!?!? that story was a hoax as well?

  12. westlaw1 says: Jan 17, 2013 12:52 AM

    When u look at the picture, all I see is a little boy imagining that he is a transformer.

  13. louhudson23 says: Jan 17, 2013 5:47 AM

    @Cozbee,that is a pretty safe bet for a very large number of coaches,for a variety of reasons….

  14. 35longmiles says: Jan 17, 2013 6:04 AM

    Kiffin is a lying asshole. His track record speaks for itself. I tried to read the comments of soundsofsuccess7 and had to stop because I threw up in my mouth a little bit. Didn’t make it through.

  15. xtremesportsmaniac says: Jan 17, 2013 6:05 AM

    Scott Wolf = The Onion.

  16. boondocksaint7 says: Jan 17, 2013 9:58 AM

    Has Lame ever spoken the truth in his life? I think not! He should run for congress.

  17. boondocksaint7 says: Jan 17, 2013 10:52 AM

    Who would have thought crazy Al Davis would be so right about Lame? Haha!

  18. omniusprime says: Jan 18, 2013 8:55 AM

    We all know the worthless sports pundits will lie to write an article so they can collect their ill-gotten paycheck. Definitely can’t trust what some lying pundit writes about what some unnamed player supposedly said.

    The team should have been mad at the way they played so pathetically, they sure better realize we USC fans are mad at them for laying down with a whimper instead of fighting on.

    Go USC!!!

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