- Tom Luginbill, ESPN Staff Writer
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— doug620 (@doug620) September 18, 2013
I’m not convinced that Lane Kiffin’s personal credibility is at stake with prospective student athletes, but moreover the perception and credibility of the overall program based on wins and losses is what prospects see most. In a world of uncertainty, players want as much of it as they can possibly get when possible. If USC continues to struggle on the field, then more negative publicity will be directed at the program and create uncertainty over Kiffin’s long term viability as the head coach. This is never a good thing especially with UCLA’s sudden resurgence and ASU, along with Washington and others, starting to come on. If a coach’s job is constantly in jeopardy then that will allow for negative recruiting tactics against them by their competitors. Who would have ever thought that the class of the Pac-12 would be Oregon, not USC? High school prospects in the state of California (even out of it, their best defensive player is from Florida) still view USC a premier program, but confidence is waning. USC might not have their pick of the litter the way they’ve been accustomed to in the past, but I think it is more of a byproduct of NCAA sanctions and a lack of meeting a level of expectations than it is the credibility of Kiffin in the eyes of recruits.
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