After a closer look, USC's exhaustive 2 1/2 -hour search for a new football coach makes perfect sense. To meet USC's standards, Mike Garrett considered five people:
Bernie Madoff -- Really unavailable.
Ex-Gov. Blagojevich -- "Celebrity Apprentice" prefers the East Coast.
Pete Rose -- Not enough games to wager on.
Amy Winehouse -- visa problems.
Then the brainstorm of Lane Kiffin. I can hear Mike thinking, "He knows the way to the Coliseum, will blow off Tennessee in a heartbeat and has no character or class. A perfect fit!"
I tried to sell this script to a TV producer:
A coach at a prestigious university leaves his lifetime commitment to take an unbelievable challenge in professional football. He is replaced by a coach who takes the only job he would leave his current school for because he is offered the job of his dreams by an alumni committee, not the athletic director who doesn't like him. All of this is taking place at a college that is facing sanctions by the NCAA. The new coach's recruiting coordinator has already violated ethical rules on his first day on the job.
The producer laughed me out of his office, saying that this was unbelievable.
"One and done" used to be a basketball problem. Evidently Mike Garrett has declared it as no problem with the hiring of Lane Kiffin. I wonder how Coach Kiffin is going to spin the word "commitment" when he demands it from his players.
Isn't it amazing that when it appears that NCAA sanctions will most likely be assessed against USC football, and just as soon as Stanford, Washington, Oregon, Oregon State and Arizona become "competitive," Pete Carroll decides to leave for the NFL to take advantage of "the opportunity of a lifetime"?
As if he had not already had the "opportunity of a lifetime" in New York and New England.
Pete Carroll's book is titled "Always Compete." The original title of Pete's book was "Always Compete When You Hold All the Aces, Have All the Players You Need and You Are Not Facing NCAA Sanctions."
I guess that wouldn't fit on the cover.
First, possible sanctions coming from the Pete Carroll era, and now they hire Lane "There's an NCAA Rule Book?" Kiffin. USC should change its name to the University of Sanctioned Coaches.
Hooray for coaches like Bobby Bowden, Joe Paterno and Mike Krzyzewski, who can't be bought. As for Pete Carroll, don't let the door hit you on the way out.
After reading Bill Plaschke's article Saturday, I am waiting to hear that he is following Pete Carroll to Seattle in some capacity with the Seahawks. How can you worship a guy who does not manage his players off the field or have any respect for the rules he supposedly agreed to follow when he became a college coach? Sure, the rules are not easy to follow, but we see a lot of honorable and successful football coaches decide to discipline the kids without waiting for the NCAA to tell the school how to do it.
Despite what Plaschke says, PC bolted out the back door because he knew next year would be no better than this year and the NCAA was nearing knocking on his door.
Secondary (minor) NCAA violations are as commonplace in college football as are the absence of mea culpas in prison yards, Steve Sarkisian incurring three of them in his first year at Washington. Lane Kiffin had twice as many as Sarkisian, posting six at Tennessee, which he has said was more or less in keeping with the rest of the league.
When he coached at Colorado, Rick Neuheisel, UCLA's current coach, was tagged with more than 50 secondary violations, the accumulation of which led to a major NCAA infraction, for which Colorado was punished.
In comparison with Neuheisel, Kiffin is a piker.
As a third-generation Trojan and with a family that has had season tickets since 1931, I have had the opportunity to see great coaches, players and men come through our beloved university. Pete Carroll was certainly one and will be remembered as a tremendous coach, teacher and Trojan. I want to thank you, Pete, for your positive influence on your players, USC and Los Angeles. Thanks for your relentless work ethic, and for bringing back the fun and respectability that had faded through the Smith, Tollner and Hackett years. I wish you nothing but the best in Seattle, my new favorite pro team.
For some reason Pete Carroll got a bad rap from his time in the NFL. Now people think he is a college coach moving up when actually Pete is an NFL guy who moved down to USC.
He was defensive coordinator for two playoff seasons with the 49ers and has a better-than-.500 winning percentage as a head coach with two playoff appearances.