Kiffin bolts after 29-second news conference
SEP 19, 2012 12:22p ET
He then took a step back … into last week.
Kiffin stepped down off his padded box and returned to practice.
“I gotta go,” the third-year coach said.
His meeting with the media lasted all of 29 seconds as Kiffin apparently took exception to a question about an injured player’s return to practice. USC has a strict policy on not releasing any information about injuries.
After mulling the question for several seconds, Kiffin bolted instead of answering.
Last week, Kiffin and USC made national news after banning a local reporter from practice after it was reported kicker Andre Heidari underwent knee surgery (after an injury in USC's Week 1 win over Hawaii) and was scheduled to miss three weeks.
USC athletic director Pat Haden and sports editors from three local newspapers met on a conference call, which resulted in lifting the suspended reporter’s ban.
Sooner after, Kiffin issued an apology.
“I apologize if that was taken the wrong way. We viewed it differently,” said Kiffin last week. “There’s not necessarily a right or wrong. The editors and our people are going to try and get together so you people can do your job the best you can and also for us not (to compromise) a competitive advantage.
“I know it’s not exactly the best thing for you, but we’re also trying to protect our team, too.”
During fall camp, USC proclaimed it would no longer discuss injuries, media members were no longer allowed to report on injuries observed in practice or say “if players cannot participate in practice because of injuries."
So far, USC has not announced any adjustments to the policy.
The decision to not discuss injuries has become widespread through the conference. Last week Washington announced a similar policy to that of USC. Oregon, Stanford, Washington State, and UCLA are among the Pac-12 teams that don’t discuss injuries.
No. 13 USC (2-1) returns to the Coliseum to face Cal at 6 p.m. ET on Saturday.
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