Kliff Kingsbury blocked by USC from having Jets, Cardinals interviews

The University of Southern California has denied permission to the New York Jets and Arizona Cardinals to interview the Trojans’ newly hired offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury, according to an ESPN report. 

USC’s move comes on the heels of the NFL’s new rule update that doesn’t allow its teams to interview head coaching candidates without getting permission from college athletic directors. The league will dock draft picks from teams if they do not oblige. Speaking to candidates without university permission would be considered detrimental conduct, NFL executives learned at last month’s owners meetings in Dallas. 

“If permission is denied, the NFL club should respect that decision just as it would respect a similar decision from another NFL club,” the rule states in part. “NFL clubs that fail to follow these protocols may be subject to disciplinary action.” 

Both the Jets and Cardinals have head coach vacancies but have had to entertain other candidates while waiting to see if USC changes course.

Kingsbury, the head coach at Texas Tech this past season, was hired by USC as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in December after being fired from the Red Raiders. He went 35-40 in his time at Texas Tech. The 39-year-old Kingsbury is slated to work under head coach Clay Helton in 2019. 

Kingsbury has drawn NFL interest in the past, and has experience coaching Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Cleveland Browns QB Baker Mayfield at Texas Tech. Mayfield transferred to Oklahoma and won the Heisman Trophy before being the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft in April.


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