There are reports concerning an alleged brawl that broke out in the USC locker room following their loss in the Sun Bowl, but head coach Lane Kiffin insists no fight occurred.
Sources were quoted saying that "about 10 to 15 Trojans players were involved in a locker room altercation" following the team's loss to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on New Year's Eve, according to reports from Scott Wolf of the Los Angeles Daily News.
The loss ended an embarrassing season for the Trojans, who started the year as the No. 1 ranked team in the nation before ending the season with six straight losses, including the bowl loss, to finish the season a mediocre 7-6. It was the first time that a team started the season as the top-ranked team in the nation and lost six games during the course of the year.
Wolf provided some details from sources who claim to have witnessed the melee after the players returned to the locker room.
"The incident started when some freshmen questioned the leadership of the team's seniors and whether they gave 100 percent effort for the Sun Bowl. This led to an argument that eventually escalated according to witnesses," Wolf wrote.
One player, who did not want to be identified, was quoted saying: "It was one of the worst things I've seen in a locker room."
After news of the story broke, head coach Lane Kiffin released a statement to clear up any misinformation that came of the report.
"Contrary to media reports, there was not a brawl or altercation in our locker room after the Sun Bowl," Kiffin said in a statement.
"There was a noisy verbal exchange among a couple players who were frustrated with the outcome of the game. It lasted less than a minute. There was nothing physical. That happens sometimes in football locker rooms after a disappointing loss," he added.