The hits just keep on coming for USC football. Notice, I said for USC football not by USC football. As this weekend’s showdown against Oregon made abundantly clear, the Trojans can’t really hit or stop anyone at this point.
A year filled with seemingly never-ending embarrassment got incrementally worse on Wednesday night when it was announced that USC had fired its football student manager. Why was he fired, you ask? Well, because apparently he deflated five game balls below regulation levels prior to the Oregon game.
As reported by ESPN:
The manager, who was not named, admitted to deflating footballs used in the game, according to a report on the school's website. In the report, USC said no coaches, players, staffers or administrators had any knowledge of the manager's actions, which reportedly took place after game officials tested the balls well before kickoff.
Three balls were then found to be in violation of NCAA regulations before the game began, and two more were discovered at halftime, meaning some first-half plays featured slightly deflated footballs.
USC announced in the statement that it had been fined and reprimanded by the Pac-12 office, though the amount of the fine was not specified.
Seeing as both teams’ scoring patterns didn’t change much between the first half and the second half, it’s tough to make much of this situation. It would probably be a bigger deal if Oregon’s high-powered offense had actually been slowed down by USC’s mildly shady antics. Alas, this was not the case.
The Ducks ultimately won on Saturday 62-51.