Former Trojan coach Lane Kiffin calls USC's move to the Big Ten 'unfortunate'
Lane Kiffin has a fondness for USC. From 2001-06, he served as an assistant on Pete Carroll’s staff where he helped the team to a pair of national titles. He returned in 2010 to serve as the program’s head coach for three-and-a-half seasons.
Now the head coach for Ole Miss, he’s still keeping tabs on the Trojans. During an appearance on the Paul Finebaum show at SEC Media Days this week, Kiffin called the Trojans’ move to the Big Ten unfortunate.
“Unfortunately, as you heard me say in the media earlier, I think all these decisions are made about money and that’s just kind of having been out there at USC,” Kiffin said. “I’ve been part of national championships and Heismans there and tradition there, I think it’s unfortunate because it’s really not supposed to be that way, in my opinion.”
USC will leave the Pac-12 in 2024 to join the Big Ten. The move was announced several weeks ago and sent shockwaves throughout college athletics.
It’s a major move, but one that involves a reportedly massive influx of cash for both USC and UCLA, which will follow the Trojans to the Big Ten. Under the Big Ten’s next media rights deal, members could reportedly fetch nine-figure annual payouts.
“This is the most volatile and uncertain era in the history of American collegiate athletics,” USC athletic director Mike Bohn said in a statement when the program officially announced its plans. USC must ensure it is best positioned and prepared for whatever happens next, and it is our responsibility to always evaluate potential opportunities and be willing to make changes when needed. Ultimately, the Big Ten is the best home for USC and Trojan athletics as we move into the new world of collegiate sports.”
Pundits have hailed the move as a stunner but a no-brainer when you dig into all the benefits that will await the Trojans.
However, it’ll certainly be strange to see USC break from the Pac-12 conference. Kiffin sure seems to think so.