Kiffin not $4 million man

Lane Kiffin's salary at USC has long been an issue. It's been widely reported as $4 million annually, and when reported as such, widely mocked.

But finding out the real number has been difficult, because USC is a private school and doesn't have to provide the media with his contract.

Ah, but USC does have to pay taxes! USA Today got a look at the school's returns and it turns out the Kiffins do make nearly $4 million.

Yeah, Kiffins. As in both of them. Combined. From USA Today: "The University of Southern California paid head football coach Lane Kiffin $2.4 million in 2010 and paid his father, assistant head coach Monte Kiffin, more than $1.5 million, according to the school's new federal tax return."

That likely does make Monte Kiffin, Lane's pop, the nation's highest paid assistant coach. But it also means that Lane Kiffin made in 2010 the same money new UCLA coach Jim Mora will make in 2012.

In other words, USC was once mocked -- incorrectly and unfairly -- for paying $4 million a year to an unproven, controversial coach.

Now? USC should be saluted for a savvy package deal. And, if the Trojans return to the top of college football in 2012, then Kiffin likely will be getting his $4 million.