All is forgiven as USC fullback Stanley Havili returns to the fold – LA Times


By Gary Klein
Los Angeles Times

August 7, 2010

USC fullback Stanley Havili described it as “a bonding moment.”

Cornerback T.J. Bryant, wearing dark sunglasses, said it was “over and done with.”

So ended at least one distraction of Coach Lane Kiffin’s first training camp, the teammates standing side by side after practice Saturday and saying there were no hard feelings over the altercation that led to a fractured cheekbone and surgery for Bryant.

Kiffin allowed Havili to return to practice after holding him out of team activities for a day for injuring Bryant during a conditioning drill on July 30.

Kiffin had said Friday, “We just don’t condone that behavior,” and that he did not know how long he would keep Havili away from the team. But he reinstated the senior at the behest of players, including Bryant.

“They basically begged me to bring him back,” Kiffin said. “I know after talking with Stanley a lot of different times the way he feels and how hurt he was by what happened and the attention brought to it.

“The biggest thing to me was dealing with T.J. and T.J. explaining to me . . . Stanley had apologized to him and they moved on eight days ago.”

Kiffin said he planned no further discipline for Havili and was not concerned about the possible perception by some that he went easy on the three-year starter. Havili is the only scholarship fullback on the roster.

“I don’t really concern myself with the perception of people outside our program,” he said.

Havili had been unable to finish practice Thursday because of a hamstring strain. He was limited to only a few drills Saturday.

“We could have kept him out . . . and said we were keeping him out longer to please people outside of our program if we wanted to because he really didn’t do anything today anyway,” Kiffin said.

Bryant, who had surgery Thursday, did not practice but said “it was great to be out here with the fellas,” and that he was looking forward to returning when cleared.

Bryant said he asked Kiffin to reinstate Havili because “we were both at fault. We both just made a bad decision. . . . Somebody sitting at home; that doesn’t make sense. We’re all grown, we learn quick. The time that he sat out was too much to me.”

Asked whether he would look for Havili on the field when he returns to practice, Bryant quipped, “Stanley plays offense. I try to kill all the [offensive] players. Nothing personal.”

Bryant had reported to training camp intending to compete to start opposite senior Shareece Wright. He did not appear worried about falling behind.

“I just put my trust in the Lord,” he said. “It was difficult, but just thinking positive and knowing everything happens for a reason. . . . Everything will work out just the way it’s supposed to work out.”

Havili was just thankful to be back.

“It meant a lot for T.J. to say it and for the players to come forth and say they wanted me back on this field,” Havili said.

Quick hits

The Trojans will scrimmage for the first time today. . . . After three consecutive practices that ran three hours or longer, Saturday’s workout went 2 hours 30 minutes. . . . Kiffin said freshmen receivers Markeith Ambles and Robert Woods “don’t look like freshmen,” and that Woods, from Gardena Serra High, “most resembles [former USC receiver] Steve Smith.” . . . Redshirt freshman James Boyd, who has worked out at tight end, defensive end and quarterback during his time at USC, is once again a defensive end. Kiffin said the 6-foot-4, 245-pound Boyd, a former star at Los Angeles Jordan High, asked to play the position and is performing well. “He came to me and said he felt like that was where he felt his future would be,” Kiffin said. . . . Tight end Blake Ayles did not practice because of a hamstring strain and offensive lineman Martin Coleman was held out because of a concussion, Kiffin said.