Report: USC players in altercation in locker room after Sun Bowl loss
Ten to 15 USC players were involved in an altercation in the team’s locker room after the preseason No. 1 team in the nation closed its season with a loss in the Sun Bowl, reports the Los Angeles Daily News‘ Scott Wolf.
Wolf, citing “sources,” reports that the altercation started when a group of freshmen questioned the effort given by some of the team’s seniors in the 21-7 loss to Georgia Tech. The Trojans finished the year 7-6.
“It was one of the worst things I’ve seen in a locker room,” a player who didn’t want to be identified told Wolf.
The Trojans entered the year ranked first in the Associated Press poll, and senior quarterback Matt Barkley was considered one of the favorites for the Heisman Trophy.
But the past few months have been turbulent for the Trojans – both off and on the field.
Back in August, head coach Lane Kiffin voted USC No. 1 — after saying he wouldn’t.
The Trojans came under scrutiny for swapping the jersey number of its backup quarterback against Colorado. Later in the season, USC was fined $25,000 after one of its student managers deflated footballs during the team’s game with Oregon.
On the field, USC’s offense struggled in a loss to Stanford early in the year. After four straight wins, the Trojans collapsed down the stretch. USC lost five of its final six games — to Arizona, Oregon, UCLA, Notre Dame and Georgia Tech. Barkley didn’t play as well as in 2011 and was injured late in the season.
Kiffin’s father, long-time NFL assistant Monte Kiffin, resigned as defensive coordinator after the regular season.