USC restores reporter's access after 'productive conversation' with Lincoln Riley

Southern California football has rescinded its suspension of a reporter after the two sides said they were able to discuss the situation.

On Tuesday, the football team suspended Orange County Register and Southern California News Group USC beat reporter Luca Evans from access to the team for two weeks after he reportedly violated university media policy for mentioning a conversation a player had prior to media availability.

USC would uphold the suspension after the publication asked for it to be lifted, and head coach Lincoln Riley later said it "needed to act" against the violation and he needed to protect his players.

Southern California head coach Lincoln Riley and reporter Luca Evans talked out the situation.
Southern California head coach Lincoln Riley and reporter Luca Evans talked out the situation.

Lincoln Riley, reporter had 'candid and productive conversation'

Two days after the suspension was upheld, Lincoln Riley said in a statement Thursday that he and Evans had a "candid and productive conversation," in which they agreed they could have handled the situation differently. Riley also announced the suspension would be lifted.

"I appreciate Luca recognizing the policies we have in place to protect our student-athletes and acknowledging to adhere to those in the future," Riley said. "We welcome Luca back to practice and look forward to his continuing coverage of the Trojans."

Evans said in a statement he had a "long conversation" with Riley, and the head coach "made it clear his intent to protect his players" while the reporter made clear his goal was to "tell compelling, honest stories on USC." The suspension was widely criticized by media members, who called for the ban to be lifted in recent days.

"I respect and understand the program's outlined policies regarding media access, and any missteps came through intent of doing my job and pursuing relationship-building and storytelling," Evans said.

The Trojans will visit Arizona State Saturday night.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: USC lifts reporter's suspension after conversation with Lincoln Riley