LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 01: Running back Dillon Baxter #28 carries the ball during the USC Trojans spring game on May 1, 2010 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
As noted last night in Lane Kiffin's conference call, Kiffin met with Dillon Baxter and familyy to discuss playing time.
Baxter and his family proceeded to meet with Kiffin for what the coach called a "long period of time," although the topic of a transfer did not come up, Kiffin said in a Sunday evening conference call.
Instead, the conversation centered around playing time. Baxter and his family were upset that he didn't carry the ball at all and caught the ball just once against the Gophers after Kiffin had talked him for much of fall camp and praised the changes he had made to his game and character since last season.
"It happens a lot, especially with your highly-recruited players," Kiffin said of the meeting. "If they’re not playing, the expectations are so high on them among everyone around them. It’s not abnormal to have those type of meetings.
"I call them tell-the-truth meetings, where you just explain exactly where everything is and why things are happening and go from A-Z."
One of the big questions from Saturday's game was why didn't Kiffin use Baxter more?
Hard to know all of the specifics, but it was definitely a head scratcher as the game progressed. We heard numerous reports that Baxter was doing all the right things in camp but that apparently didn't translate to actual playing time.
Kiffin and staff know far more than anyone else and they sharing it, so it really is hard know all specifics.
I am a little perplexed, though, as to why a supposed private meeting was made public. I am not sure how that helps the situation. In fact, one person I discussed this with thought that this was Kiffin's way of forcing the issue, basically telling Baxter to crap or get off the pot...stay and fight for a spot or leave and take your complaining with you. I am not sure how legitimate that is but it is one way of looking at it.
Unfortunately, this is more undercurrent that the program really doesn't need.
We'll see how it all shakes out...