USC coach Clay Helton responds to rumors regarding OL E.J. Price

Dr. Saturday
USC head coach Clay Helton shot down the rumor that one of his players punched him. (Getty Images)
USC head coach Clay Helton shot down the rumor that one of his players punched him. (Getty Images)

USC freshman offensive tackle E.J. Price has left the Trojans’ program, but it wasn’t for the reasons the Internet suggested.

On Tuesday, rumors starting going around that Price had punched coach Clay Helton and was kicked off the team, but Helton said the rumor wasn’t true. Helton said Price, a former four-star recruit from Dacula, Georgia, left the program to be closer to home.

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Helton said if Price had punched him, “I wouldn’t be here. I’d be dead, one. It might make my face look better.”

“I talked to E.J. a couple days ago. E.J. has some personal family issues that are going on — a lot of homesickness and missing family really bad,” Helton said. “With us sitting down and visiting, really felt, mutually, that it was important for him to go find a school that is closer to home, where he can deal with his family.”

Price had multiple offers coming out of high school as the No. 11 offensive guard, according to Rivals, and had made visits to Auburn and LSU, among other schools. Helton said he wanted to clear the air about why Price was leaving the program so it didn’t ultimately hurt his college career.

“I want everybody to understand that anytime something like that goes out, I hate that it presents a perception of a kid, because this is a really good kid,” Helton said. “He’s going to be a very good college football player, and I wish him nothing but the best and looking forward to him being successful.”

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Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at or follow her on Twitter!

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