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Carroll Treats Team to a Little Trickery

November 01, 2005|Gary Klein | Times Staff Writer

USC got into the Halloween spirit Monday as Coach Pete Carroll treated unsuspecting players and coaches to a perfectly executed trick play with help from running back LenDale White.

As the top-ranked Trojans went through stretching exercises, White irritably jawed with teammates and assistant coaches. The exchanges continued and with about 10 minutes remaining in practice, White barked at Carroll, saying he wasn't getting enough carries.

As stunned players looked on, Carroll yelled at White and told him to leave the field. White exited, followed through the gate by a group of reporters, and boarded a cart and angrily threw a pair of athletic gloves as he was whisked away.

After practice, Carroll told stunned players they could not let distractions get in the way and that the Trojans had lost players before and moved on.

Offensive line coach Pat Ruel interrupted Carroll and pointed to a six-story building beyond the practice field fence. From the top of the building, White was yelling in apparent anger.

Suddenly, a stuffed figure wearing White's No. 21 jersey fell from the rooftop, a few players gasping in disbelief while most erupted in relieved laughter.

"I thought it was real," wide-eyed long snapper Will Collins said.

White returned to the field laughing and said that Carroll had prepped him for the prank. "We wanted my teammates to really believe it," he said.

Added Carroll: "He was most convincing. He did a great job."


After a halftime incident that featured USC and Washington State players jostling in the Coliseum tunnel, USC asked the Pacific 10 Conference to waive the rule that requires teams closest to the tunnel to exit the field first.

John Henderson, an assistant athletic director in charge of game management, said that if the waiver is not granted, USC will be prepared to separate the tunnel into two areas.

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