Kiffin meets with Baxter and family
September, 4, 2011
By Pedro Moura | ESPNLosAngeles.com
Former top recruit Dillon Baxter requested a private meeting with USC head coach Lane Kiffin on Sunday, one day after the sophomore running back was a non-factor in the Trojans' season opener against Minnesota.
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."
After the game Saturday, Baxter appeared displeased when speaking with reporters. When asked if he was disappointed that he didn't get on the field more, his response was apathetic.
"There's really not much I can do," Baxter said. "Just keep working hard and when they want to put me in, they'll put me in.
"I guess when a game comes it's a different situation. I guess it doesn't go like practice and I guess I didn't really come up today at all."
Kiffin said he could not make a judgment on where the next step would lead with Baxter and he didn't provide any insight into the content of the meeting other than to say that transferring was not discussed.
“Sometimes you can read those wrong," Kiffin said. "I usually just wait to see how they come out.
"But we always tell them, just like we tell all the players: How much you play isn’t up to us, it’s up to you. You decide how much you play."