|USC's frustrations boiled over after the Sun Bowl, but Lane Kiffin and the players deny a "brawl." (US Presswire)|
The USC football team engaged in a 10- to 15-player "locker room altercation" following the Trojans' 21-7 loss to Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl, according to the Los Angeles Daily News. As the story made its rounds on Wednesday, Lane Kiffin, Matt Barkley and other members of the team explained that the story had been blown out of proportion.
"Contrary to media reports, there was not a brawl or altercation in our locker room after the Sun Bowl," Kiffin said in an official 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 and was nothing physical. It happens sometimes in football locker rooms after a disappointing loss."
Barkley also clarified the incident in an interview with ESPN Radio's Colin Cowherd.
Barkley made it clear that "no punches were thrown" but "tempers flared" and "words were exchanged" and "it was under control." #USC— USC Trojans (@USC_Athletics) January 16, 2013
The report from the Daily News, penned by Scott Wolf, included a source saying that "some freshmen questioned the leadership of the team's seniors and whether they gave 100 percent effort" in the Sun Bowl loss.
From reading the responses of Kiffin and Barkley, as well as ones from other Trojans like center Khaled Holmes, it does seem like the story might have gotten the Hollywood treatment. Guys scuffling in the locker room after a loss happens. And after seeing the Trojans' performance in the game, it does not come as a huge surprise.
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