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Mike Garrett continues to embarrass USC

School needs to fire athletic director, who is talking nonsense after NCAA hammers school with sanctions.

June 12, 2010|T.J. Simers

From Boston — There was a time when the daughter and I did a radio show together every Sunday morning. Don't worry, no one else remembers either.

But Kobe came on the day after his initial Christmas meeting with Shaq. Donald Sterling did his first radio interview in more than 20 years. Vin Scully made our day. Jerry and Jeanie Buss were on together, as were Arte Moreno and daughter and John Wooden and daughter. Jamie McCourt was on, so was Frank McCourt, but for some reason we couldn't get Frank and Jamie together.

Miss Radio Personality, though, sure knew how to attract the guests. A husband was, and still is, a different matter.

We also had Mike Garrett on, and when reflecting on the hiring of Pete Carroll a few years earlier —- mentioning Carroll was something like the fourth choice behind Dennis Erickson, Mike Bellotti and Mike Riley —- Garrett put a defiant stop to it.

He insisted Carroll was his first choice, and I thought he was teasing, not knowing at the time he was incapable of doing so.

When I pressed the issue, and for some reason the daughter thinks I have something to do with scaring all the guys off, Garrett wouldn't hear any of it.

He had convinced himself he had discovered Carroll right from the start, thereby resurrecting USC's football program.

Fast-forward to Garrett's delusional response to the NCAA's ruling the other night while speaking to a group of Trojans boosters in Northern California as reported by The Times' Ben Bolch.

"As I read the decision by the NCAA … I read between the lines and there was nothing but a lot of envy,'' Garrett said. "They wish they all were Trojans."

I have no doubt he sincerely believes that.

Someone said he was telling USC boosters what they wanted to hear, but as leader of USC's athletic department at a time like this, should he sound off his rocker?

Later in his speech, he said, "Today I got a purpose for really wanting to dominate for another 10 years." He also said he felt "invigorated by all this stuff," and "with the penalty we got today I know we're bigger than life."

I have no doubt he believes USC is bigger than life.

I'm told this has been his only response to the NCAA findings to date, which leaves only one question: Why has another embarrassing day passed without USC demanding Mike Garrett's resignation?

I HAVE never thought it appropriate to advocate the dismissal of anyone in sports. Hard to argue sports is just entertainment, if you're calling for someone to be fired just because they can't win a game.

I make an exception here.

Accountability is something else, and the lack of institutional control, while starting with school President Steven Sample, eventually falls directly on Garrett, who was there every day with the assignment to oversee USC's sports empire.

Yet, he's still more football player than administrator.

His reluctance to accept responsibility and fall back on the old sports cliche, "you're either with us or against us," renders him useless as someone charged with the task of making USC respectable again.

He's never explained why he allowed Rodney Guillory to deliver O.J. Mayo to USC after knowing another USC basketball player, Jeff Trepagnier, had been suspended for dealings with Guillory. It's not as if he's bashful, and couldn't bring himself to stop Coach Tim Floyd from recruiting Mayo via Guillory.

A spokesman for USC texted to say Garrett has not done an interview since the NCAA ruling, but he would pass on the request to chat about his delusional remarks.

But why wasn't Garrett called before the president's desk the next morning after speaking in Northern California, sounding so arrogant and out of touch on the heels of failing to properly supervise his football and basketball programs?

Garrett has a "purpose" now, he said, to "dominate for another 10 years," which smacks more of juvenile revenge than some noble calling for everyone to do better now as one might expect from such a prestigious university.

Mike Garrett lost touch with reality, and probably some time ago, success in football his justification for everything.

But now he's an embarrassment, thumbing his nose at the NCAA rather than noting his own culpability in having his athletic program go on probation for four years.

It's time for him to go, and as of yesterday.

IMAGINE MY surprise when I approached the Boston Parking Lot Attendant here and he said his name was Wubishet Wselassie.

"Where's Frank McCourt?" I said. "You know, the real Boston Parking Lot Attendant?"

"I'm the Parking Lot Attendant here," Wselassie said. "I take care of my customers."

I didn't have much of a comeback at that point. It's $12 to park here, cheaper than Dodger Stadium, and did I mention McCourt no longer owns it? Just as many empty spaces, though, on most days.

"I know McCourt," the manager of the lot said. "But we just had a seminar and we're never supposed to talk to the media. I was never here."

Hard to believe McCourt doesn't still own the lot.

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