Back on June 17 USC Trojans running back Marc Tyler popped off to TMZ, making jokes about several things, including how USC football players were getting paid. In the video a clearly intoxicated Tyler embarrassed himself and the University. To his credit, oft-criticized USC coach Lane Kiffin suspended Tyler indefinitely.
Now, after doing months of penance, Tyler will be back in uniform this Saturday when the Trojans take on Utah. While the fifth-year senior’s suspension spanned just one game, he was also not allowed to participate in fall camp and was forced to train and workout on his own, away from the team.
Again, to Kiffin’s credit, that was an extremely harsh punishment for a kid who didn’t violate any rules, but demonstrated horrible judgment. The punishment sent a clear message to the team: don’t do anything to embarrass USC.
From all reports, the suspension served as a big time wake-up call for Tyler, who was expected to be the Trojans’ starting running back this fall. He has done everything the coaching staff and Athletic Director Pat Haden laid out for him to accomplish before he was allowed back with the team.
Last week, he was finally permitted to practice with the team and spent the week on the scout team taking some serious lumps.
Kiffin had this to say about Tyler after practice on Tuesday:
He’s looked very good. He did (scout) team all week for us last week and was very productive down there. I know they beat him up down there, which is what he needed after missing camp, so he still has a lot of work to do but it’s good to have a guy who’s played a lot back.
We don’t expect Tyler to start this weekend against Utah, but wouldn’t be surprised if he did see some carries.