LOS ANGELES (AP) — It's not just the game balls that are deflated at Southern California this fall.
An unimpressive season reached a new, weird low late Wednesday night when No. 21 USC announced a student manager had been dismissed for underinflating several game balls during the Trojans' loss to No. 2 Oregon last weekend.
Coach Lane Kiffin insists he and quarterback Matt Barkley knew nothing about the manager's actions on the Oregon sideline before the game.
Kiffin says he's disappointed in the distraction. He also realizes people will wonder whether his team has a culture that makes it acceptable to try such questionable tactics.
Earlier this season, a USC player changed jersey numbers during a game against Colorado, apparently to facilitate a trick play. The tactic is legal, but usually considered unsportsmanlike.