When USC arrived back in Los Angeles after losing to Arizona State 62-41 on Saturday, players had no indication that he had been fired. According receiver Marquise Lee, once Kiffin got off the plane, he headed to his car while the team headed for the team bus. Which is usually what happens according to Lee.
“Once we got off the plane the coaches cars are already at the airport,” USC wide receiver Marqise Lee said. “(I’ve) never seen him get on the bus. He never get on the bus. Once he got off the airplane he just walk to his car. All the coaches do that besides the one that rides back with us.”
So in the player’s minds, nothing significant had happened and it would business as usual come Monday.
Well, something significant had indeed happened as Kiffin was fired presumably on the walk to his car. And the players went to bed not knowing a thing unless they happened to check their phone at 4:00am.
The players received 4 a.m. text messages Sunday morning informing them that there will be change.
That change was unexpected.
“It came as a surprise,” Lee told FOXSportsWest.com. “Even if it was going to come I thought it was going to at least come….at least, end of the season. But midseason?”
Looks like everyone got surprised Saturday night.