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I recall my glory days on the intramural football fields, sifting through our bag o’ balls, gripping each one and giving it a little squeeze like picking out produce at the grocery store. A little give was what I was looking for. That feeling of a slightly deflated, yet supple, ball just feels good in a man’s hand. You guys know what I’m talking about.
Eight games and a 1:4 touchdown to interception ratio later, I was still looking for that perfectly deflated ball. Matt Barkley found his go-to pigskin with a little help from a student manager, who, after a university investigation, revealed that he was deflating the game balls below the mandated NCAA level.
He was given the boot.
A USC football student manager has been relieved of all duties with the Trojan football team for intentionally deflating, below NCAA-regulated levels, some game footballs used by USC’s team during the first half in last Saturday’s game against Oregon.
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.
I get it. I remember when I was in high school I used to arrive 15 minutes early to class on test days and tape the answers under everyone’s desks. You know, just out of the goodness of my heart. The school frowned upon that, or so I hear.
This kid is either a degenerate gambler with tuition money on the Trojans, or he’s covering up for sunshine Barkley. My money’s on the latter.