LOS ANGELES — Lane Kiffin is one and done.
Four days after USA Today revealed his confidential vote in the coaches’ poll because the newspaper said he volunteered false or misleading information about his vote in public, USC’s coach relinquished his participation as a voter, he confirmed Monday.
“I apologize if somehow anybody thought I was misleading them,” Kiffin said after practice. “I had no intent of misleading anybody.”
USA Today reported Kiffin’s decision to relinquish his vote after USC informed the news outlet Sunday.
Kiffin’s problems began last week when he responded to a reporter who informed him that Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez had voted the Trojans No. 1. “I would not vote USC No. 1,” Kiffin said. “I can tell you that.”
Kiffin, though, had voted USC No. 1. USA Today revealed his vote, it said, to “protect the poll’s integrity.”
Kiffin has said that because USC has only 75 scholarship players — 10 below the allowable limit — his comment was directed toward other coaches or media members who vote in polls.
“I was simply answering the question … in reference to if I was that person,” Kiffin said. “And so I apologize if somebody took that the wrong way.”
Former USC coach Pete Carroll never voted in the coaches’ poll.
Kiffin, a first-time poll voter, said that if he had to do it again, he would not have participated.
“I didn’t think about it enough,” he said. “I just don’t think I can do it really well and know the whole entire country and who they are when I’m flying back on a plane trip and have to turn a vote in at 7 in the morning.”
But what if the Trojans fall one vote shy of finishing in the top two of the poll, which is part of the formula for determining participants in the Bowl Championship Series title game?
“If we’re one point behind No. 2, we had a good season,” he said. “So from what I know, it’s never come down to one vote.”