Pete Carroll should probably just stop doing interviews. By returning Reggie Bush's Heisman Trophy, Carroll's former school, the University of Southern California, has at least admitted some culpability in the violations that led to its two-year postseason ban, the harshest NCAA sanctions in 15 years. Carroll, however, continues to play dumb, claiming he had no idea his former player was bending the rules, even as he peddles his unironically titled book "Win Forever." After the jump, watch Carroll mumble and squirm his way through an interview with HBO's "Real Sports."
The clip is, unfortunately, just that: a small piece of a larger feature. But from it we can glean a few things, best summed up by Yahoo!Sports' Dan Wetzel.
As Wetzel writes, Carroll's defense was "based on naivete, outright stupidity and even the inability to judge pro football talent." When he told interviewer Andrea Kramer that he and USC "didn't have the awareness," he seemed to be saying the neither he nor the school could possibly fathom an agent offering a future star illegal money or perks, a scenario that plays out often on major college campuses.
When he said that Bush "started regularly his junior year," he seemed to be trying to downplay the running back's potential. As if he, the guy who saw Bush every day in practice, didn't know he had an absolute stud on his hand, one who would go on to be picked second in the NFL draft.
And finally, Caroll blamed the compliance office. Which during his time at USC only had one employee. And, well, let's let Wetzel deliver the knockout blow.
So, you run the Barnum and Bailey of football programs in one of the fastest, most materialistic cities on earth and you figure your poor, unpaid megastars don't require more than one person checking VIN numbers and VIP rooms? Sure.
Pete Carroll always looked a little like Jeff Spicoli. Who knew they shared IQs? Fast Times at Heritage Hall.