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Pete Carroll says NCAA did not understand having fun

February 24, 2012|By Gary Klein
  • Pete Carroll celebrates with receiver Damian Williams after he made a catch in the 2009 Rose Bowl game.
Pete Carroll celebrates with receiver Damian Williams after he made a catch… (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles…)

Pete Carroll has been gone from USC for two seasons, but he still doesn't miss a chance to criticize the NCAA -- even in its own backyard.

Carroll, the coach of the Seattle Seahawks, is in Indianapolis, home of NCAA headquarters, for the NFL scouting combine.

Mike Sando of ESPN.com writes that Carroll had the quote of the day from the combine.

"A reporter from New York noted that players pointed to Carroll and the Jets' Rex Ryan as the coaches they most enjoyed playing under," Sando wrote. "But with Ryan taking some heat for his colorful ways following a disappointing season, the reporter asked Carroll whether the former USC coach ever needed to 'tamp down' the fun.

"Well, the NCAA thought we had to," Carroll replied, drawing immediate laughter from reporters. "They didn't quite understand how you could have this much fun playing football. I'm serious about that. They could not figure it out and thought something must be wrong."

USC, of course, was hit with four years of probation, a two-year bowl ban and the loss of 30 scholarships as a result of the Reggie Bush investigation. Carroll left to become coach of the Seahawks before the NCAA handed down the penalties.

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