USC football: Writer-ban tiff didn’t hurt preparation, Kiffin says

USC Coach Lane Kiffin found himself embroiled in controversy last week after USC barred a reporter from practice for reporting that kicker Andre Heidari had undergone knee surgery.

The disciplinary action resulted in blowback — Los Angeles Daily News reporter Scott Wolf was reinstated — and a situation that played out over several days.

After Stanford upset the second-ranked Trojans, 21-14, Saturday night, Kiffin said the situation did not take away from his preparation.

“I promise you,” he said before boarding the team bus outside Stanford Stadium, “I didn’t spend very much time thinking about that.


“That didn’t have anything to do with why we didn’t run the ball well [Saturday] or why we turned the ball over.”

The Times reported Tuesday on its website that USC had barred Wolf from practice for two weeks and for Saturday’s game against California. Editors of The Times, Orange County Register and the Daily News requested and took part in a conference call Wednesday with USC Athletic Director Pat Haden and sports information director Tim Tessalone to discuss the disciplinary action and USC’s restrictions on reporting injuries.

Wolf’s suspension was lifted Wednesday night. Kiffin apologized Thursday, saying editors and USC officials were working to formulate a practice-reporting policy.



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