Pete Carroll’s own cheating could make it harder for USC on appeal
Pete Carroll is angling for maximum publicity this week. He’s on a book tour, hawking Win Forever . . . And Then Just Ignore It When They Take Those Wins Away After Evidence Of Cheating Emerges (a/k/a Cheat Forever). And he’s getting plenty of publicity, but surely not the kind he wanted.
Selling a book requires the author to submit to interviews, and since Carroll isn’t carrying around a ventriloquist dummy that bears a curious resemblance to Jim Gray, Carroll doesn’t get to pick the questions. So the interviews inevitably will include more than a queries regarding the strong sanctions levied against his former employer, USC, and Carroll’s role in the situation.
It started Monday, when the only thing anyone cared about regarding Carroll’s interview with the Associated Press was his acknowledgment that he “feel[s] responsible” for the situation in which the Trojans now find themselves. Tonight, the HBO-subscribing world will be able to watch for themselves as Andrea Kremer of Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel interviews Carroll, whose book gets only a passing mention amid a barrage of evidence and arguments indicating that Carroll can’t run or hide from the fact that he knew or should have known about Reggie Bush getting paid -- and that Carroll can’t credibly pretend he didn’t barge his way out of the party in front of the women, the children, and Eric the Clown when it appeared that the NCAA was preparing to burn the place down.
On Tuesday, Carroll had engineered a trip to ESPN, where he surely would be swatting softballs out of the park without once ever hearing the name “Reggie Bush.” Then came news of the passing of George Steinbrenner, and Carroll’s trip to Bristol became an afterthought.
Now comes a report from Paul Pringle of the Los Angeles Times that sets aside the more compelling Bush-got-paid storyline and focuses on the potential impact of a separate violation on USC’s chances of successfully appealing the sanctions imposed. Carroll, who already had the maximum number of coaches on his staff, secretly hired NFL special-teams coach Pete Rodriguez as a “consultant.” (Carroll previously told the Times that he had cleared the hire with the compliance office; the NCAA found otherwise.) And Pringle quotes a sports law expert and USC alum who believes that Carroll’s specific conduct in that instance will make it harder for the Trojans to prevail on appeal.
“There are major rule violations found against not only his student athletes but against his coaching staff and a decision he made,” Michael Buckner told Pringle.
Pringle also points out that Carroll’s two-minute YouTube video released in the wake of the announcement of the sanctions omits any reference to the sanctions arising from the clandestine hiring of Rodriguez, focusing only on the notion that he didn’t know about the money and other stuff Bush was getting.
Meanwhile, Carroll continues to relentlessly pimp his book on his Twitter account, with plenty of exclamation points and references to signing events. And not a single question submitted by anyone other than the ventriloquist dummy that bears a striking resemblance to Jim Gray.