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Recruit decommits from USC after Lane Kiffin defers his scholarship three days before he’s to arrive on campus

Graham Watson
Dr. Saturday

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Redlands (Calif.) East Valley High School and USC coach Lane Kiffin are at odds thanks to a deferred scholarship.

Defensive end Kylie Fitts, a four-star recruit Rivals ranked seventh nationally at his position, was committed to USC and took extra high school classes so he could graduate early and enroll at the university in January.

Fitts talked to a couple USC coaches at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Jan. 5 and they said they were ready to have him on campus. But the following Monday, he received a call saying his scholarship was no longer available for the spring semester.

Fitts was supposed to be on campus on Jan. 10.

The Trojans didn't pull his scholarship entirely, but deferred him to the fall because they didn't have a scholarship freed up from a graduating senior like they thought they would. However, since Fitts had already graduated high school, he had nowhere to go and didn't want to wait.

“Recruiting man, it’s crazy,” Redlands East Valley coach Kurt Bruich told the Riverside Press-Enterprise. “He’s wanted to go to USC for as long as he can remember and now he feels betrayed. He did everything he was supposed to do from his end and he was a loyal kid. I think they thought because of that loyalty he’d still want to go there. He said to me ‘What am I supposed to do for the next five months?’ It seems shady. I think it seems shady to everyone.”

Consequently, Fitts, who was recruited and offered by several major programs around the country, has decommitted from the Trojans and opened up his recruiting.

Bruich told the Riverside Press-Enterprise that Notre Dame, Washington and UCLA were all back in the mix.

The whole scenario has caused some consternation between Bruich, who runs one of the better programs in the state, and USC. Bruich even took to Twitter on Friday to express his feelings about USC and specifically coach Lane Kiffin.

Recruiting issues like this happen everywhere, but this isn’t exactly the kind of publicity USC needs right now, especially on the heels of an underachieving season, which resulted in a bowl loss to Georgia Tech and a 7-6 record.

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