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MORNING BRIEFING

'60 Minutes' will find out what makes Pete Carroll tick

December 12, 2008|DIANE PUCIN | ON THE MEDIA and Pucin is a Times staff writer.

USC football Coach Pete Carroll did not immediately accept the CBS invitation to be profiled on "60 Minutes" when it arrived last summer

"I was kind of doubting it at first," Carroll said Thursday. "I may not know everything about the show, but I do know they've been kind of tough on people in the past. I saw the piece they did on [Notre Dame Coach] Charlie Weis a couple years ago. I thought it was horrible.

"But I took a leap of faith and decided I needed to represent USC and the stuff we do for the inner city."

Carroll will be the focus of a "60 Minutes" segment Sunday between 7 and 8 p.m. on Channel 2. Carroll was interviewed by Byron Pitts on campus, at practice, in the locker room and during his late-night trips to the inner city, where Carroll, who has started a group, A Better LA, makes contact with young men on the street.

Pitts, 48, was a defensive back during his college days at Ohio Wesleyan and at first said he thought he might put on pads and participate in a Carroll practice. "That desire lasted about a minute," Pitts said.

The filming began last summer during two-a-day practices, and Pitts said Carroll's unsuccessful NFL days as well as the issues surrounding former USC tailback Reggie Bush and possible NCAA violations were discussed.

"We brought up some not particularly pleasant topics," Pitts said. "What I found with Pete was that, like every successful person, he has a certain amount of ego but there is also a real level of decency that you do not always see at this level of sports.

"I grew up with the Bear Bryant, Woody Hayes approach to coaching, and what struck me was how Pete uses the power of positive thinking so effectively. He uplifts players instead of breaks them down."

Pitts has also done recent stories about televangelist Joel Osteen, presidential candidate Barack Obama and Dr. Paul Farmer of Partners in Health, which goes worldwide to give medical help in countries where natural disasters strike.

"What these men have in common," Pitts said, "is that while they all think in different ways, they all are men who like to be in control. But each of them is relentlessly positive about everything."

Lakers on the move

Starting next season, Lakers radio broadcasts will move from 570 KLAC to 710 ESPN. Lakers play-by-play caller Spero Dedes and color analyst Mychal Thompson will continue doing Lakers games.

This year the Clippers are on 710. Joe Safety, Clippers vice president of communications, said in an e-mailed statement, "Right now we're looking forward to the remainder of this season at 710 ESPN. . . . As this season unfolds we'll certainly be reviewing all the options."

Bill Lennert, marketing director at 710, said the Clippers will not be on that station next season. "We will have only the Lakers starting next year," Lennert said.

Right on schedules

If you need to know what college football and basketball games are being televised, go to http://mattsarz44017.tripod.com. Matt Sarzyniak, a 30-year-old computer programmer from Cleveland, posts a weekly grid of every football and basketball game. For example, tonight at 5 p.m. if you have satellite television, Sarzyniak's site will tell you that the Iowa State at Iowa game is on the Big Ten HD Network.

Sarzyniak spends about three hours a week putting together his grid, done by hand. He uses Google, contacts college sports information directors and even has an occasional phone call from a network director returned. In the last year his site has gotten more than 141,000 hits.

Friday best

It's an NBA kind of night. At 5 p.m. on ESPN you can gauge how well Boston is playing in its bid to have the best record in the league when the Celtics face New Orleans. At 7:30 on FS West, the Lakers will aim to avenge their loss to Sacramento.

Oh, and the Clippers do play and, yes, you can watch them against Portland on Prime Ticket.

Saturday best

The Pac-5 high school football championship game between Tesoro and Long Beach Poly is at 7:30 p.m. on Prime Ticket and if you're up early, at 9 a.m., Long Beach State will play basketball at Syracuse on ESPNU. This is the kind of game where a fearless underdog (Long Beach) can take advantage of a perhaps nonchalant Big East team that must be looking forward to conference play.

Sunday best

Again, up early? Check out the Maggie Dixon Classic women's basketball games on ESPNU, Army versus Rutgers and Penn State against No. 1 Connecticut. Dixon, from North Hollywood, was the talented young Army coach who died unexpectedly from a congenital heart defect nearly two years ago.

Later, it's the New York Giants at the Dallas Cowboys at 5:15 on Channel 4.

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diane.pucin@latimes.com

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