USC fined by Pac-12 after student manager deflated game balls used against Oregon

This ball Matt Barkley threw against Oregon might not have been inflated properly (US Presswire)

USC has been fined by the Pac-12 after one of its student managers tried to deflate game balls before the Trojans' game with Oregon last Saturday, USC reported on Wednesday night.

His attempt was mildly successful, as some balls used in the first half of USC's 62-51 loss were deflated below NCAA regulation. He was later fired by USC after an investigation.

According to the report:

Game officials discovered and re-inflated three of the balls before the game and two others at halftime.  All balls were regulation in the second half.

When informed of this allegation by the Pac-12, USC investigated it immediately. The student manager confirmed that he had, without the knowledge of, or instruction from, any USC student-athlete, coach, staff member or administrator, deflated those game balls after they had been tested and approved by officials prior to the game.

As a result, the Pac-12 reprimanded USC and imposed a fine.

A deflated ball is easier to throw and would have given Trojan quarterback Matt Barkley a bit of an advantage playing against the Ducks.

The mini-scandal is the latest bit of controversy to swirl around Lane Kiffin's program this season.

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