Coaches are lavish in their praise of Carr's coaching ability, but some would give anything to beat him because they believe he illegally recruits players from out of state.
"We have off years, they don't have off years," said Desborough of Cerritos, who still cherishes a win against Carr and the Dons last season. "I respect Ernie as a coach, but I'm unhappy when they beat you with seniors, then the next year they beat you and you don't see the same kids who played JV."
The accusations make Carr think for several moments, then the words leap from his lips:
"There's always innuendoes but never any documentation. If every school in our league would open up their records, then we'll open ours. There are teams in our league in boys and girls sports who are flagrant violators of rules, but it's always us. I know Compton schools lose kids to Paramount and Lynwood and the ABC School District.
"I remember when I had Ozell Jones, who played for the Clippers and the San Antonio Spurs. He was a 10th-grader and a Long Beach school moved his family down to Long Beach. That cost us two CIF championships possibly. I've suffered. That guy was a pro. I burped him, got him to a point where he could do some things, and then I lose him. So none of them can tell me about losing players."
So does Carr recruit?
"No," he said. "Every one of these kids is from Compton. Coleman (Ronnie Coleman, the team's star), for example, lives on the first street right over the bridge."
Lynwood High School co-head Coach Bill Notley said he doesn't care whether Carr's players live in Compton or not. "Anytime you succeed, you tend to draw more criticism," said Notley, who called Carr an outstanding coach.
The innuendoes fly, but Carr keeps winning and defending.