Wednesday, LA Daily News reporter, Scott Wolf, broke the story that the University of Southern California football team had a bit of an altercation following its loss in the Sun Bowl to Georgia Tech. Just another in a long list of not-so-great moments for the 2012-13 edition of Trojans football.
Yet, unlike the jersey switching, or the defensive woes, or the record itself, this "brawl" is something that should have never come to light. Public disputes and highly visible issues are one thing, but what happens in the locker room, between teammates, is certainly something that should remain between teammates.
Anyone who watched the disappointing 7-6 season for the Trojans had to know there was some legitimate cause for dissension within the ranks. Robert Woods was seeing his production drop as Marqise Lee became the premier guy. The defense was totally out of sorts from an effort and execution standpoint. Silas Redd was not getting enough carries to truly be a factor on a game-by-game basis.
The 2012 Trojans were not a team that was in sync. So, the news from yesterday should have come as no surprise that players, following a disappointing loss, were heated. That said, those are the type of moments that belong to a team, not to the public.
Every team has those moments. Sometimes they come in practice. Sometimes they come in games. They can be younger players versus older players or offense versus defense. Hell, even position groups get mad at other position groups over the course of a season.
Now, it must be noted that Lane Kiffin, to CBS LA, denies that a physical altercation took place. Whether it did, or did not, the point here is that guys have to understand the business of operating as a team. Practice fights, postgame arguments, spring shoving matches, unless they get caught on tape, they stay with the team.
Especially if you are in the situation that USC finds itself in. A season of underachieving, a bad loss to a bad team and a recruiting climate that's been less than stellar. Throw in a coach who fans and the media just cannot wait to point the finger at, and what you have is a situation that does not need more fuel to be added to the fire.
Fights happen, that's football. What doesn't have to happen is sounding the media alarm to bring more unnecessary bad pub to an already less-than-stellar situation.