Just in time for Norm Chow’s return to the Coliseum as Hawaii’s head coach, USC Coach Lane Kiffin confirmed Thursday that USC would no longer make the stadium available to visiting teams for walk-throughs the day before games.
“It shouldn’t be a big deal,” Kiffin said. “We don’t go to other people’s stadiums.”
Schools customarily make their stadiums available to visiting teams for walk-throughs.
Defending Bowl Championship Series champion Alabama allows walk-throughs, a school spokesman confirmed. And UCLA went through a walk-through at Rice Stadium on Wednesday in preparation for Thursday night’s opener.
Former USC Coach Pete Carrollrelished walk-throughs as an opportunity to acclimate players to unfamiliar surroundings and also to have some fun.
But since Kiffin became USC’s coach in 2010, he has chosen not to do walk-throughs on the road, saying he wants players to conserve energy for the game.
Kiffin said the decision to cut off access to the Coliseum was “solely based” on preserving the field.
The Trojans held last week’s mock game on their campus practice field rather than the Coliseum for the same reason, Kiffin said.
“We put a lot of resources into that field and what I’m hoping is that our fans are going to see the best that field has ever looked,” Kiffin said. “The problem with walk-throughs… You tear it up because people put cleats on and go on there.”
But couldn’t USC stipulate that visitors wear turf shoes or running shoes for the walk-through?
“Yeah,” he said, “but how would we control that?”
Kiffin said other schools have cut off access for walk-throughs, but he declined to identify them.
“I don’t want to start getting into names,” he said.