The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

September 30, 2013

USC fires Lane Kiffin; Orgeron is interim coach

(Continued)

Kiffin didn't help several strange decisions.

Last year, USC was reprimanded by the Pac-12 for underinflating footballs before a loss to Oregon. Kiffin also was criticized for switching jersey numbers on players in an apparent attempt to deceive the Trojans' opponents.

Kiffin even closed USC's practices to the public after years of transparency under Carroll, who embraced USC's tradition of raucous open workouts. This season, Kiffin also closed his practices to the media.

He then dithered on his choice of a starting quarterback, waiting until the third game to select Cody Kessler over Max Wittek. The offense has been largely terrible this season, but Kiffin was finally undone by another dreadful game by his defense, which had been solid under new coordinator Clancy Pendergast until Arizona State piled up 612 yards.

USC's next game is in 11 days, giving the Trojans time to regroup and heal. Orgeron still plans to hit the recruiting trail for a school in transition.

"I want our guys to believe and have a little fun," Orgeron said. "One of the things we'll do as a staff is get really close to our players, circle the wagons a little bit and have some fun for these next eight games, and let the chips fall where they may."

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