It seems that controversy just seems to continue to show up at the doorstep of the USC football program this season. Of course, most of it is Lane Kiffin’s doing, since he foolishly lied about his coaches’ poll vote and even more foolishly briefly banned a reporter from USC’s practices for doing his job.
Add in the fact that visiting teams were banned from walkthroughs at the Coliseum and a walk-on’s scholarship was pulled and given to a player recently released from jail, and it quickly seems that the “C” in USC is for controversy this season.
But the latest controversy surrounding the program surprising has nothing to do with Kiffin. It has to do with a student manager who was fired for purposely deflating the game balls used in Saturday’s loss to Oregon.
The Trojans said they had fired a student manager who intentionally deflated game footballs below NCAA-mandated pressure levels for Saturday’s loss to Oregon.
The school said it was reprimanded and fined by the Pac-12.
Underinflated footballs are thought to be easier to catch and throw.
USC said game officials discovered some of the underinflated footballs before the game and others at halftime, fixing the balls before the second half.
USC said the student manager, who was not identified, acknowledged he deflated the balls of his own accord after they had been checked by officials before the game.
Too bad underinflated balls don’t help you on the defensive side of the ball.