Hours after a 62-41 loss at Arizona State — Southern California's seventh in 11 games — Lane Kiffin has been fired, the school announced.
According to a release posted on the school's website and announced on Twitter, athletics director Pat Haden informed Kiffin of the decision after the team's charter flight arrived in Los Angeles early Sunday morning. The release said there will be a news conference later Sunday.
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Kiffin's record at USC in three-plus seasons is 28-15 and 32-19 in four-plus seasons overall. The Trojans are 3-2 but 0-2 in Pac-12 play. Kiffin took the USC job after Pete Carroll's departure for the NFL's Seattle Seahawks in January 2010, and had to deal with the impact of severe NCAA sanctions, including 30 lost scholarships over a three-year period and a two-year bowl ban, for rules violations that occurred during Carroll's era. The Trojans went 8-5 in 2010, 10-2 in 2011 and were ranked No. 1 in the preseason polls in 2012, but finished 7-6 and unranked.
Kiffin, 38, a former USC assistant, was the seventh-youngest FBS-level head coach entering the 2013 season. He was head coach of the NFL's Oakland Raiders from 2007-08 and at the University of Tennessee in 2009 before jumping to USC after one season. He drew criticism for brash actions during his tenure at Tennessee, and again last season at USC.
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USC allowed 612 yards to Arizona State and committed four turnovers. Haden and USC school president Max Nikias were seen on the sidelines in what appeared to be in serious discussions in the late stages of the loss. The Trojans still must play Stanford, Notre Dame and UCLA.
USC has a bye this week, next playing Oct. 10 against Arizona at home. The Trojans could be without star receiver Marqise Lee, who suffered a left knee injury returning a punt in the fourth quarter Saturday. Earlier in the game, Lee set the school record for career receiving yards.
"It didn't look very good," Kiffin said after the game. "It didn't sound very good or look very good, so that's all I got for you."
George Schroeder, a national college football reporter for USA TODAY Sports, is on Twitter @GeorgeSchroeder.
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