USC’s Head Coach Lane Kiffin has done some pretty shady stuff during his time as a College Football Head Coach. Whether it’s piling up secondary NCAA violations at Tennessee, or having his backup quarterback wear his kickers’ jersey, he’s built up quite a reputation for himself. This time though, USC is in the headlines for something a Student Manager did.
On USC’s website, they released a statement saying that a Student Manager admitted to deflating game balls prior to the game, after they were inspected by officials. The officials said that they noticed it, and reflated three balls before the game, and then two more during half time.
It should be noted that the Student Manager said that “he had, without the knowledge of, or instruction from, any USC student-athlete, coach, staff member or administrator, deflated those game balls after they had been tested and approved by officials prior to the game.” USC did receive a fine and a reprimand from the Pac-12 conference.
What is the advantage of deflating football’s you ask? It makes them easier to throw and catch, perhaps as a way of enhancing the USC passing game, since the home team controls which footballs each offense uses. While it obviously didn’t help USC, since they lost 62-51 and gave up 730 yards of total offense, it is peculiar that this Student Manager would do this on his own.
Personally, I think that he was ordered to do this. Whether it was by Lane Kiffin or another one of the coaches, no Student Manager would do this without being told to. If this kid had really done it and acted alone, I feel like they would have released his name in their press release. Instead, allowing him to take the fall anonymously allows him to keep his reputation intact and allows the coaching staff to stay out of trouble. Trust me, this won’t go unnoticed, and this kid will be rewarded for taking the fall for this incident.
Regardless of what actually happened, this incident has gotten one of the best nicknames of the year, being called “Deflategate.”
H/T: Larry Brown Sports