Quoting Kiffin: Media Day Edition

USC head coach Lane Kiffin was the center of attention at Pac-10 Media Day on Thursday. Look inside to see what he had to say about the NCAA sanctions, recruiting and much more.

Lane Kiffin on whether USC is the best job in America:

"Remember, when I'm saying that, I'm saying that for me it's the best job. For other people, it may not be. I say that because I was here before and it was so special. It is very special for us and to have the ability to come back here even with the stuff that has happened, it is still the best job in America.

Lane Kiffin on whether this offseason has been stressful:

"I've never had an unstressful one. No, it is what it is. We've dealt with adversity and controversy before and we're moving forward. It will be exciting to get to next week though, so that to really get to football and get on the field and really get out team together. Everything is new at SC right now – new president, new athletic director, new coaching staff and all these freshmen coming in and we're going to need a lot of them to play because of the numbers situation."

Lane Kiffin on what he told recruits about sanctions before the ruling:

"I did not think they would be that severe and no one that I talked to or around the program thought they would be that severe because there was nothing to show over the course of time the penalties would be this severe for this type of action, for these things to happen and really not be to benefit the program as has happened at other places for people within the athletic department or boosters enticing playing to come by paying them. Those were the severe penalties, so I think it shocked everybody. As far as recruits, if they wanted out, we let them out. We had two guys that decided to change their mind and we released both of them. Every other player that we signed is still coming, so I think that speaks a lot about them. I don't think you choose where you are going to get your college education based off of one or two bowl games. I think it's a powerful message for the kids that decided to stay with it."

Lane Kiffin on what happened last season defensively:

"Obviously as you look at last year, a couple of games specifically, the crazy thing is it shocked me looking at a magazine that USC led the conference in scoring defense last year even with those two games. Obviously Oregon and Stanford were things we had never seen with Coach here, over Coach's nine-year run here. There was a lot of things that went into that too, though. You can say toughness and discipline, but that's a part of it. You lose four linebackers in the first three rounds, there's schools that haven't had four linebackers drafted in the first three rounds in the history of their school, let alone in one year. And Coach lost a great coach in Nick Holt, so there was a lot to replace. Some guys got banged up, but hopefully we'll get it back to where it was before."

Lane Kiffin on the importance of this season in terms of national perception:

" It is very crucial. We'd love to get off to a great start because of that perception that is out there that SC is going to crumble. I think these two weeks have been extremely powerful in the message of what's gone with Trojans coming back. Pat Haden came back. J.K. McKay came back. Kennedy Pola came back. All three guys of those guys played here and are very close, significant people in the program to the years. All of them gave up great jobs to do that and gave up a lot at a time when I think most people wouldn't expect that to happen. They would expect people to run from SC, not come back. That was a powerful message. Now we need to go on the field and win games."

Lane Kiffin on whether USC fans should have lowered expectations:

"I cannot imagine SC fans having lowered expectations and we like it that way. We have extremely high expectations for our coaches and players and I think that's the way fans are, so I would be shocked if they ever lowered their expectations. And I hope they don't. We didn't come here to kind of make it through. We came here to stay at a championship level regardless of sanctions."


Lane Kiffin and Matt Barkley at Pac-10 Media Day on Thursday.


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