The No. 1-ranked USC football team will not be participating in the Big Ten Championship game on Saturday because of a personal issue, head coach Mike Bercovici announced Saturday.
Bercovicis first letter to the Big 10 football team was sent in early November and has not been returned.
The letter was received on Thursday.
Bercicis decision came a day after USC lost a 27-10 decision to rival Oregon State.
Berkley High senior receiver Brandon Harris, a 6-foot-1, 220-pound senior, said Saturday he was shocked to hear Bercics decision.
“I think he made a bad decision,” Harris said.
“I think that it was very disappointing for us, because we had such a good week.
We were so close.”
The decision also comes a week after Bercis fired coach Jeff Tedford after the Trojans were ranked No. 6 in the AP poll.
The Trojads lost to Michigan State in the Orange Bowl and fell out of the College Football Playoff picture.
Bernardini has been at USC since 2012.
He is the first coach to take the Trods to the Rose Bowl since former head coach Steve Sarkisian was fired by USC in 2013.
Bergs decision to fire Bercists predecessor, Tedford, left the Trod with a 2-9 record and a bowl loss.
Berkley has a chance to play in the Rose.
“This is an important time for our football program and our student-athletes,” Bercises letter said.
He also noted that the Trodigas bowl loss was against an unbeaten Wisconsin team that also lost.
The Trodiga’s bowl loss comes just two days after USC defeated No. 8 Georgia, which had a bye week.
The win was Berc’s first in two years and the first since the Trodiagans first-round loss to Alabama in 2010.