On Wednesday, USC fired a student football manager “for intentionally deflating, below NCAA-regulated levels, some game footballs used by USC’s team” during its game against Oregon last Saturday.
When officials discovered the under-inflated pigskins, they re-inflated three of them before the game and two others at halftime. The Pac-12 fined USC after the game as a result of the incident, which was likely done in an effort to aid USC’s passing game. (Deflated balls are easier to catch and throw.)
While the unnamed student manager took the fall, chances are that it was to cover the USC coaching staff and head coach Lane Kiffin getting caught with its hands in the cookie jar again.
This is, after all, the same team that had its backup quarterback switch jerseys in an effort to trick Colorado on a two-point conversion. And the same coach who lied in the preseason about voting the Trojans No. 1 in the USA Today coaches poll.
“Deflated.” It’s the perfect word to describe how the air has gone out of a once-promising USC season.