Coach Lane Kiffin gives up vote in USA Today poll

Lane Kiffin is one and done.

Four days after USA Today revealed his confidential vote in the coaches’ poll because the newspaper said he volunteered false or misleading information about his vote in public, USC’s coach relinquished his participation as a voter, he confirmed Monday.

“I apologize if somehow anybody thought I was misleading them,” Kiffin said after practice. “I had no intent of misleading anybody.”

USA Today reported Kiffin’s decision to relinquish his vote after USC informed the news outlet Sunday.


Kiffin’s problems began last week when he responded to a reporter who informed him that Arizona Coach Rich Rodriguez had voted the Trojans No. 1. “I would not vote USC No. 1,” Kiffin said. “I can tell you that.”

Kiffin, though, had voted USC No. 1. USA Today revealed his vote, it said, to “protect the poll’s integrity.”

Kiffin has said that because USC has only 75 scholarship players — 10 below the allowable limit — his comment was directed toward other coaches or media members who vote in polls.

“I was simply answering the question . . . in reference to if I was that person,” Kiffin said. “And so I apologize if somebody took that the wrong way.”


Former USC coach Pete Carroll never voted in the coaches’ poll.

Kiffin, a first-time poll voter, said that if he had to do it again, he would not have participated.

“I didn’t think about it enough,” he said. “I just don’t think I can do it really well and know the whole entire country and who they are when I’m flying back on a plane trip and have to turn a vote in at 7 in the morning.”

But what if the Trojans fall one vote shy of finishing in the top two of the poll, which is part of the formula for determining participants in the Bowl Championship Series title game?

“If we’re one point behind No. 2, we had a good season,” he said. “So from what I know, it’s never come down to one vote.”

Low on linebackers

Starting middle linebacker Lamar Dawson remained sidelined another day with a protective boot on his right foot, and outside linebackers Dion Bailey and Hayes Pullard also did not practice. Bailey’s left arm was in a sling — “just bumps and bruises,” he said — and Pullard said he needed “extra conditioning.”

Defensive end Greg Townsend Jr. did not practice because of an apparent ankle injury suffered Sunday. Receiver Marqise Lee and cornerback Nickell Robey sat out most contact drills.


The Trojans were scheduled to have a double-day workout, but Kiffin canceled the morning practice.

“You just have to know your team and know that sometimes it’s not smart to go out just to hit when a lot of your guys are out anyway,” Kiffin said.

Quick hits

Freshman Max Tuerk, who is taking first-team reps at left tackle, switched from No. 67 to No. 75. . . . Receiver George Farmer, who has been sidelined because of a hamstring injury, did extensive work for the first time since the first day of training camp. “These next two weeks are going to be huge for George Farmer,” Kiffin said.

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