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USC becomes an even bigger joke with reports of “flat-out brawl” in locker room after Sun Bowl

Frank Schwab
Dr. Saturday

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(USA Today Sports Images)

We've heard of locker room fights in football before, but have never heard of an all-out brawl among a team.

So there you go. USC did place first in something last season.

USC's season went from massive disappointment to outright debacle after its 21-7 loss to Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl. The Los Angeles Daily News reported that 10-15 Trojans players got into a fight in the locker room. ESPN.com confirmed the story and said sources called it a "flat-out brawl."

"It was one of the worst things I've seen in a locker room," an unnamed USC player told the Daily News.

The USC story, coming off a season led by coach Lane Kiffin in which it was picked No. 1 in the preseason but finished 7-6, is now officially ridiculous.

Based on both reports, the fight started when younger players questioned the team's seniors on their leadership and effort in the Sun Bowl (USC had effort problems this season? You don't say ... ). ESPN.com said, in particular, a freshman questioned senior quarterback Matt Barkley on why he didn't play. Barkley injured his shoulder in the second-to-last game of the season.

Barkley denied on ESPN Radio that any punches were thrown, although "tempers flared." A security guard backed up that story to ESPN.com. Whatever specifically happened, one USC player told ESPN.com it wasn't a pretty scene.

"When I came into the locker room ... it was just pure chaos in there," the player said. "... I think there was a lot of frustration. There were some things said by some guys on our team who are just hotheads."

Freshman offensive tackle Zach Banner told the Daily News, "It's going to be a whole new family atmosphere next season and you can quote me on that. For the seniors, it's terrible."

Hate to tell you Zach, but it's terrible for pretty much anyone even loosely affiliated with the USC football program.

Here's the final tally of USC's Sun Bowl experience. The Trojans embarrassed the school before the bowl. They rolled over during the bowl and were dominated by a 6-7 team. Then they turned on each other after the bowl. Quite a triple crown for USC.

The problems at USC seem so deeply rooted, it certainly makes one wonder if it's something that can be fixed in one offseason. Last we checked, the same head coach from the 2012 fiasco is still leading that program.

Fight on, ol' SC.

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