(LOS ANGELES) — The University of Southern California fired a student-football manager for deflating five footballs before USC’s game last Saturday against Oregon.
The school announced Wednesday night that the student admitted to the school’s compliance department that he committed the act.
USC was reprimanded and fined $25,000 by the Pac-12.
“We regret this incident occurred,” USC athletic director Pat Haden said in a statement. “It was unacceptable and we apologize for it. I can assure you this will not happen again.”
Head football coach Lane Kiffin also denied involvement in the incident.
“For all the conspiracy (theorists) that’ll think that we were behind this, I don’t think if we were trying to deflate balls we would direct a student manager on the Oregon sideline, right in front of them, to be deflating balls and be playing with some deflated balls and some non-deflating balls,” Kiffin said. “I’m sure if we knew that, our kickers wouldn’t be very happy with that, either, because no kicker’s ever gonna want a deflated ball.”
USC is currently ranked 19th in the BCS standings with a record of 6-3.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN Newswire
Jill Martin, CNN