College Football

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                         === USC fires Lane Kiffin ===
 
 Los  Angeles,  CA (Sports  Network) - Southern  California head football coach
 Lane  Kiffin  was fired Sunday  morning, just hours  after the Trojans lost to
 Arizona State.
 
 The  Trojans fell  to 3-2 overall and 0-2  in Pac-12 play with a 62-41 loss in
 Tempe on Saturday night.
 
 USC  athletic  director Pat  Haden informed  Kiffin of  his dismissal upon the
 team's arrival in Los Angeles early Sunday morning.
 
 "Lane  was  clearly  disappointed and  battled me,"  said  Haden  at  a  press
 conference Sunday afternoon.  "He tried to keep his job  and I respect him for
 that.  At the end of the day  I think it was the right decision.  It's never a
 perfect time to make a change, but I thought this was the right time."
 
 Kiffin, who was in his fourth season at USC, posted a record of 28-15 with the
 Trojans. USC has lost seven of its last 11 games.
 
 Ed Orgeron was named interim coach. He was previously a head coach at Ole Miss
 from 2005-07.
 
 "I want  to thank  Pat Haden  for trusting me,"  said Orgeron.  "We had a team
 meeting and came out of it with a positive vibe.  We made a commitment to give
 it all we've got."
 
 Kiffin  took over at USC in January 2010 after Pete Carroll left for the NFL's
 Seattle  Seahawks. NCAA sanctions, stemming from the Reggie Bush scandal, soon
 followed.
 
 USC  was  given a two-year bowl  ban and a  loss of 30 scholarships over three
 years.
 
 Despite  the issues,  the Trojans were 10-2 in Kiffin's second season of 2011.
 They  began  2012 as  the top-ranked  team in  the country,  but stumbled to a
 record of 7-6, which put Kiffin squarely on the hot seat entering this season.
 
 An  0-2  conference start for the  first time since 2001 apparently forced the
 hand  of Haden,  who inherited  Kiffin when  he took  the AD's  job from  Mike
 Garrett in July 2010.
 
 "The season is not over,"  Haden added.  "We have a lot of  big games ahead of
 us. We have a lot to play for this season." 
 
 Kiffin was previously a member of Carroll's staff at USC from 2001-06, serving
 as  offensive  coordinator for the 2005  and 2006 seasons. He also assumed the
 role of recruiting coordinator for those years.
 
 His  first head coaching  job came when Al Davis lured him to the NFL. Kiffin,
 though,  lasted  less than two  seasons with  Oakland, compiling a 5-15 record
 before leaving in a bitter war of words with the Raiders' owner.
 
 Tennessee then came calling after Phillip Fulmer announced he would not return
 for  an 18th season  in 2009, and Kiffin guided the Volunteers to a 7-6 record
 and an appearance in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl.
 
 Kiffin's  time in Tennessee was short but noteworthy. He was reprimanded on at
 least  two occasions  by  the  SEC, one  for  comments  alleging that  Florida
 violated  recruiting rules  and another for public comments he made about game
 officials in a loss to Alabama.
 
 There  was a bit  of controversy for this year's USC team as well. The Trojans
 started  the season  ranked 24th in the  country, but fell out of the rankings
 following a 10-7 home loss to Washington State in Week 2.
 
 The  players, according  to star  wide receiver  Marqise Lee,  held a  meeting
 without  their coach  just a day after  the loss to the Cougars. Kiffin denied
 such a meeting took place.
 
 
 09/29 09:50:52 ET

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