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USC Football Fall Camp, Day 4: Lee Investigated, Cleared of Autograph Accusations

Ryan Nunez |
August 6, 2013 | 9:27 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

The only thing stranger on Tuesday than the Marqise Lee non-news was seeing Rick Neuheisel on the USC Trojans practice field. (Ryan Nunez/Neon Tommy)
The only thing stranger on Tuesday than the Marqise Lee non-news was seeing Rick Neuheisel on the USC Trojans practice field. (Ryan Nunez/Neon Tommy)
Now that's more like it.

Trojan fans closely following the progress of the team this August will be relieved to know that Tuesday's practice was the best of the fall camp on both sides of the ball thus far, and it appears that defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast is having no problems living up to his billing as Lane Kiffin's job savior.

The defense had the media buzzing with words like "swarming" and "suffocating", as linebacker Devon Kennard had an uncharacteristic interception that he took back to the house and linebacker Lamar Dawson stole the show with an amazing interception at the line of scrimmage that can only be described as Clowney-esque in regards to displays of athleticism.

Even still, Kiffin was quick to stick up for his unit after practice. "I thought the offense responded to yesterday, where the defense kind of was dominant. It went back and forth today", Kiffin said Tuesday after practice.

While it is true that both quarterbacks battling for the starting spot, Cody Kessler and Max Wittek, were much more efficient and effective and were relatively careful with the ball, it was abundantly evident that the defense was truly the story of the day.

Seemingly every defender was absolutely flying around the entire day and the unit simply took the ball away, often taking it to the house any time the offense (i.e. quarterbacks) made even the smallest of mistakes.

SEE MORE: USC Football Fall Camp, Day 3: Kessler, Wittek Share First Team Reps

Lee Cleared by Compliance Office for Autographs

As well as things went for the Trojans on the field Tuesday, it wouldn't be a Trojan offseason without some off-the-field compliance chatter to keep things on edge.

News broke Tuesday that Marqise Lee was investigated, and cleared, of any wrongdoing regarding autographs for sale on the internet, by the USC Compliance Office.

Even though the story appeared to be a non-newsworthy event, the moment had a touch of the surreal, with Lee doing a controlled, group media interview only, with USC's sports information director keeping a close eye on the proceedings.

While it was made clear that the receiver would be fielding on-the-field related questions only, Kiffin addressed the autograph situation head-on at the beginning of his post-practice comments.

"Our compliance department, once again being extemely proactive, brought the questions to us," he said. 

With the firestorm that's following Johnny "Football" Manziel from College Station to Miami, Canada and back, it's not surprising that USC and their compliance office wanted to get ahead of any issues that may've existed.

Kiffin went so far as to state that, "We're in constant communication with our players. Compliance went to Marqise just because of the attention to him right now [being a Heisman Trophy frontrunner]," before cracking a joke that brought the discussion back to the performances on the field Tuesday.


Neon Tommy caught up with all-world wideout Marqise Lee and quarterback Cody Kessler after practice.



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