Marqise Lee: Lane Kiffin didn't know

Updated: September 11, 2013, 2:47 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

USC wide receiver Marqise Lee confirmed that there was a players-only meeting Sunday without coach Lane Kiffin's knowledge to discuss the future, a day after the Trojans lost to Washington State, the Los Angeles Daily News reported Wednesday.

"Kiffin don't know," Lee told the Daily News. "Players [only]. Players. Kiffin don't know nothing about it. No coaches [were allowed]. We did have that meeting. … Now [Kiffin] knows."

Lee, defensive end Devon Kennard and linebacker Hayes Pullard were identified as some of the players who spoke at the meeting.

Kiffin had said that no such meeting took place.

Lee went on Twitter on Wednesday afternoon to clarify that only a few players -- and not the whole team -- got together Sunday: "There was not a 'players only meeting.' Just regular get together with a few players about staying positive and moving forward #FightOn!"

The Trojans are ranked 112th in the FBS in passing offense, and their longest pass play this season is 19 yards. USC threw for only 54 yards -- the program's fewest in a game since 1998 -- in Saturday's 10-7 loss. Fans were chanting "Fire Kiffin!" as the clock wound down at the Los Angeles Coliseum.

"It was about what we do after that point," Lee told the Daily News. "I think everyone got it."

Backup quarterback Max Wittek, who was beaten for the starting spot by Cody Kessler, also disputed some of Kiffin's earlier comments regarding the coach's choice at the position.

"I spent a lot more time when these things happen with the guy that doesn't get it," Kiffin had said Monday. "Obviously the one guy's going to be excited. I spent some time [Sunday] night with Max, making sure that he's ready to go and that he's in a good place. We don't expect him to agree with us. He's very competitive, like all the guys we recruit. They all should think they should be the starter."

On Tuesday, Wittek said there was never "extensive" conversations with Kiffin about his choice: "It was real brief," he told the Daily News.

Ted Miller of ESPN.com and Arash Markazi of ESPNLosAngeles.com contributed to this report.

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