If Lane Kiffin was hoping to recover from an underwhelming and often controversial 2012 season in which preseason No. 1 USC finished 7–6, he’s off to a horrendous start.
Three days before he was scheduled to arrive on USC’s campus as an early enrollee on Jan. 10, defensive end Kylie Fitts — Rivals’ seventh-best defensive end in the Class of 2013 — was told that his scholarship was no longer available for the spring semester.
The Trojans’ did not pull Fitts’ scholarship entirely but rather deferred him to the fall. But since Fitts had already graduated from Redlands (CA) East Valley High School, he would have had no place to go until the start of USC’s fall camp this summer.
“He said to me, ‘What am I supposed to do for the next five months?’ ” Pitts’ high school coach, Kurt Bruich, told Yahoo! Sports’ Graham Watson. “It seems shady. I think it seems shady to everyone.”
As a result, Fitts has decommitted from the Trojans and is now considering Notre Dame, Washington and UCLA. More detrimental to USC than losing Fitts is the long-term damage it did with East Valley, one of the better programs in the state of California.
If a Friday tweet from Bruich is any indication, the Trojans have some work to do in patching up that relationship.
When people are desperate, their true colors show. Take the USC coach, captain of an underachieving ship. His true color: SHADY! #goKylie
— Kurt Bruich (@CoachBruich) January 11, 2013
How Kiffin expects to lead the Trojans back to the top of the college football world while continually doing things like this is anyone’s guess.