That seems to be the implication from Scott Wolf's eye opening piece in the Daily News (emphasis added):
[L]ast week's firing of running backs coach Kennedy Polamalu sparked outrage because few anticipated or understood it. Polamalu was the only former USC player on the staff and a highly respected assistant coach. His players revered him and his dismissal angered current and former Trojans.
They wanted to know why Kiffin fired him. That was the big question left unanswered as Kiffin waited two days to release a terse statement.
"As we continue to evaluate all facets of our program, including the organization of our staff, we made the decision to go in a different direction at this coaching position," Kiffin said. "Kennedy Polamalu is a good coach, a good person and a good Trojan. We wish him and his family the best."
Kiffin's comment offered no insight into why Polamalu was fired. But several sources inside the football program said Kiffin and Polamalu's fallout occurred two days before the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas.
According to sources, Polamalu yelled at Kiffin and the pair had a heated argument on the evening of Dec. 29. Kiffin arrived at a Sun Bowl news conference the next morning with a scrape on his forehead, but sources said that was not related to his argument with Polamalu.
Please don't be too mean to Kiffin in the comment threads. Play nice. We need him.