Luis Sinco

Lane Kiffin on the sidelines earlier this season against Utah State. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times / September 21, 2013)

Barkley decided to forego a chance to make himself available for the NFL draft, saying he and the Trojans had “unfinished business” to attend to in 2012.

The Trojans began the season ranked No. 1, but dropped to No. 2 after defeating Hawaii in their opener. Stanford defeated the Trojans, 21-14, in Palo Alto in the third game of the season but the Trojans were 6-1 when they traveled to play Arizona.

A 39-36 loss at Tucson, Ariz., started the Trojans on a spiral that saw them lose four of their last five regular-season games.

After a 38-28 loss to UCLA, Haden said he supported Kiffin “150%.”

With Barkley injured, the Trojans lost the regular-season finale against Notre Dame and then lost to Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl.

The season also was marked by several off-the-field distractions.

After being told that Arizona Coach Rich Rodriguez had voted the Trojans No. 1 in the USA Today coaches poll, Kiffin said he would not have done that. USA Today then revealed that Kiffin had voted the Trojans No. 1. Kiffin subsequently gave up his vote in the poll.

Kiffin also banned a reporter from practice for reporting that kicker Andre Heidari had undergone surgery. The reporter was reinstated when it was shown that he had not violated USC’s policy about reporting injuries that occurred during practice.

Kiffin and his staff came under scrutiny after quarterback Cody Kessler switched jerseys during a game against Colorado.

USC was later fined $25,000 after it was discovered that a student manager had deflated footballs against Oregon.

After the season-ending loss in the Sun Bowl, players reportedly argued in the locker room.

Kiffin closed practices to the media this season.


It's a horror show in 62-41 loss to Arizona State

Photos: Sun Devils manhandle the Trojans in Arizona

Marqis Lee tops USC's all-time receiving yardage list, is injured