Mora’s comments ignite feud with Kiffin

Former Falcons coach Jim Mora says he had no idea two students were murdered near the USC campus. (AP photo)

Former Falcons coach Jim Mora says he had no idea two students were murdered near the USC campus. (AP photo)

L.A.’s a big town, but it might not be big enough for both Lane Kiffin and Jim Mora Jr.

Two large egos, two large mouths — it was only a matter of time before they butted heads.

USC coach Kiffin took exception to comments that Mora, his cross-town rival at UCLA, made on the radio Wednesday about the safety of the two schools’ campuses.

According to the L.A. Times, KLAA 830-AM host Roger Lodge asked Mora how he sells UCLA to recruits, and the former Falcons coach responded with a thinly veiled shot at USC.

“When you’re talking about UCLA, it’s one of the great schools in the world — not just America, but in the world. It’s a safe, beautiful campus in a great area of town. I mean, we don’t have murders one block off our campus.”

In April, two USC students from China were fatally shot in an apparent robbery attempt near campus.

Mora was defiant when asked about the comments.

“I just said our campus is safe,” Mora told The Times. “I didn’t say anything about anyone else’s campus. I just said it about our campus. I didn’t mention another campus. We don’t have anybody getting murdered a block off of our campus. If anybody, whether USC or Cal State San Bernardino, is offended by the statement, then that’s their insecurity, not mine.”

He later offered an apology after saying he didn’t even know about the April murders.

“After learning the details of the shootings downtown earlier this year, I can understand how my comments on the radio yesterday could be interpreted as insensitive to the victims and their families,” Mora said. “The interviewer and myself were talking about UCLA football and the tremendous attributes of the UCLA campus and I truly regret and I’m sorry if my words caused any pain. That was not my intention.”

Kiffin, however, wasn’t buying Mora’s explanation.

“I don’t really think that’s something to joke about,” he told the Times. “That’s all I got to say about that.”

However, that wasn’t all he had to say about that.

Kiffin told the Times that campus safety at USC only comes up with recruits “when opposing coaches bring it up.”

“And we have stats to show the facts, not opinions,” he said.

“I would like to say that our staff does not negative recruit. There’s so many good things to talk about here, as far as the school and the history of the program. It’s the greatest place in the world, so there’s no need to talk about other places.”

But in the end, Mora said he won’t worry too much about the controversy.

“I don’t spend the day thinking about what USC thinks. Just like they don’t spend the day thinking about what we think.”

58 comments Add your comment

bibadbob

August 10th, 2012
2:43 pm

USC TROJANS FAN : You have to talk trash on blogs because USC hasn’t been able to win without cheating for the past 25 years. I hope you enjoy having Kiffin…maybe you can get Bobby Petrino as offensive coordinator. I guess all the sportscasters, pollsters, coaches, and computers have been wrong about USC and you are the only one smart enough to know THEY are the best team…

USC is a ghetto...kinda like tech, but worse

August 10th, 2012
3:15 pm

They’ll both be gone and have destroyed their schools with probations within a few years.

Wow

August 10th, 2012
4:38 pm

Do they actually play football in the Pac 12?

Riz

August 10th, 2012
4:56 pm

Jim Mora is a idiot! That losing A$$ football program at FUCLA is an insult to be in Los Angeles first of all. We all know that USC TROJANS (FIGHT ON!) is and will be the best college in this great city of ours. You can’t compare a PHD with a GED and that’s the scope of the scale when it comes to comparing USC TROJANS and FUCLA Ruins. No comparision…. Jim Mora is a idiot!

Riz

August 10th, 2012
5:00 pm

FUCLA is the bottom of the barrel in the PAC 12! All you Ruins that’s blogging know the truth and truly understand that USC will always be the best school in Los Angeles. RESPECT your elders RUINS!

Brian

August 10th, 2012
5:54 pm

Kiffin saying they don’t negatively recruit is like saying Paula Deen refuses to use butter!

Big Crimson 75

August 11th, 2012
9:48 am

Stay Classy, Moron Jr.

Pac 12 Supporter

August 15th, 2012
2:27 pm

SEC fanatics, you can try and knock the Pac- 12 all you want, but it remains the most successful division across the spectrum. It is home to UCLA, Stanford, and USC, the top 3 ncaa champions, oh and those schools along with UW and Cal are among the most prestigious in the nation and world. SEC has great football but what else? Watch as the Pac-12 continues its domination and grows into the primary football powerhouse division. The west coast has recently become the largest hotbed of h.s. talent and the majority of that talent stays in the west.