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Wednesday, September 11, 2013
USC players downplay meeting

By Garry Paskwietz
We Are SC

A players-only meeting that USC wide receiver Marqise Lee said took place after the team's loss to Washington State last Saturday was downplayed by other members of the Trojans on Wednesday.

"There was no huge players meeting with all the players," USC outside linebacker Devon Kennard said. "It was just guys talking and making sure that everyone is on the same page. There is a lot of season left, and we're going to make sure people are ready and focused to bounce back from that loss.

"It got blown up out of proportion. It was just some guys, we had training table on Sunday, and at training table guys were just talking a little bit. It's something that we do every day pretty much, so it wasn't some huge formal meeting with the entire team and coaches aren't allowed. It wasn't anything like that."

Speculation about the meeting and what had taken place was started when Lee said after Saturday's loss that a players-only meeting would be held. He followed that up after practice on Tuesday by saying it had taken place.

When asked why coach Lane Kiffin said in his Sunday night media session that the meeting didn't take place, Lee told the Los Angeles Daily News, "Kiffin don't know. Players [only]. Players. Kiffin don't know nothing about it. No coaches [were allowed]. We did have that meeting. ... Now [Kiffin] knows."

Lee was one of several players who then took to Twitter on Wednesday to soften the stance and describe the meeting as more of a "regular get-together with a few players to talk about staying positive and moving forward."

As for the reaction to the meeting, defensive back Dion Bailey had some advice for Lee.

"It was definitely funny," Bailey said with a smile. "I don't know where everybody got this players-only meeting, like we rally up all the guys, then kicked all of the coaches out of the room or something like that. Every little thing Marqise does gets blown out of proportion, so I mean, he just needs to stay away from the media."