Yet another bizarre situation has surfaced at USC — and we’re not even talking about having eight men on the field for an extra point.
Internet message boards were set ablaze the last couple of days with rumors that E.J. Price was leaving the football program after being dismissed for punching head coach Clay Helton in the face during a physical altercation. Tuesday night, Helton set the record straight in confirming that Price will be leaving his program as a transfer — and that he hadn’t been punched by the 6-6, 325-pound offensive tackle as “I wouldn’t be here. I’d be dead.”
“I talked to E.J. a couple days ago. E.J. has some personal family issues that are going on — a lot of homesickness and missing family really bad,” the coach said. “With us sitting down and visiting, really felt, mutually, that it was important for him to go find a school that is closer to home, where he can deal with his family. …
“I want everybody to understand that anytime something like that goes out, I hate that it presents a perception of a kid, because this is a really good kid. He’s going to be a very good college football player, and I wish him nothing but the best and looking forward to him being successful.”
A four-star member of USC’s 2016 recruiting class, Price was rated as the No. 9 tackle in the country and the No. 11 player at any position in the state of Georgia.
To say that Helton’s first full season as head coach has gotten off to a rocky start would be a mammoth understatement. In addition to the Price situation, Helton over the past month or so has seen…
- two players in the midst of rape investigations removed from the roster.
- a change at quarterback before the calendar turned from September to October.
- his new starting left tackle ejected from a game for getting physical with an official.
- his old starting center suffering a season-ending knee injury.
- “a mad football team” replete with players fighting at practice.
- his players turned into a “mad football team” after a beatdown at the hands of Alabama in the opener en route to a 1-2 start.
- one of his “mad football players” crotch-stomp a Tide player.
- USC’s former head coach troll the Trojans following the Tide’s win.
Other than that, not much is going on in the Land of Troy.