USC head coach Lane Kiffin walked out of a post-practice interview after a reporter asked him about a player’s injury. The interview included only one question and lasted a mere 30 seconds before Kiffin became upset and walked out.
Kiffin and his team’s policy is "not report on strategy or injuries that are observed during the course of watching that practice or result from that practice," according to Pedro Moura of ESPNLosAngeles.com.
In theory, this is an absurdity considering the program is located in the middle of one of the nation’s biggest media hubs and is a drastic change in the school’s policy in the past.
Kiffin has already had to enforce it but the school sent mixed signals with its support for him in his decision.
Last week, a reporter was banned from USC practice after inquiring about a knee surgery performed on kicker Andre Heidari, according to Rana L. Cash of the Sporting News. The ban was subsequently lifted by USC athletic director Pat Haden.
This time, no one was banned for asking. Rather, Kiffin became visibly upset and his demeanor changed immediately after asked if his opening statement was a result of a player returning from injury.
“I don’t know,” Kiffin said.
He walked off shortly after another question was asked.
The school’s policy is certainly a precarious one considering the national spotlight of the team’s program.
Kiffin’s frustration is likely stemming from the pressure after the Trojans were upset by No. 21 ranked Stanford Cardinals a week ago and fell to No. 13 in the polls. That’s no reason to lose his cool at the drop of a hat and exacerbate things with the media any further.
If there is one thing Lane Kiffin and USC do not need, it’s more negativity about either of them in the press.
Mike Hoag is a Trends and Traffic writer for Bleacher Report and also covers the Cleveland Browns and the NFL for the site.