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Pete Carroll denies leaving USC because of sanctions

Pete CarrollPete Carroll left USC for the NFL roughly five months before the NCAA dropped the hammer on the Trojans, slapping them with a two-year bowl ban, the loss of 30 scholarships and a forfeiture of victories from their 2004 championship season. The assumption has always been that Carroll knew what was coming and got out while he could. He claims that is not true at all.

Even after taking the job with the Seattle Seahawks, Carroll has maintained that he did nothing wrong at USC. He calls the penalties “extraordinarily overdone,” claiming USC had no knowledge of Reggie Bush or anyone else receiving cash and benefits.

“It does bother me because it’s not right and it’s not accurate,” Carroll said, per Gary Klein of the LA Times. “I didn’t feel bad about leaving at all. I didn’t feel bad about it because I knew what the truth was.”

Carroll insists he had no idea the NCAA was about to slap USC with such a massive punishment before he left for the NFL. In fact, he says he would have stayed and tried to right the ship had he been aware.

“The truth was, an opportunity came up and it was one I couldn’t turn away from,” he said. “The NCAA came back at the university … ‘Now we’re going to revisit after five years.’ I had no knowledge that was coming. We thought maybe it wasn’t coming because they didn’t have anything to get us with. It wasn’t five days, it wasn’t five weeks. It was five years.

“Had we known that that was imminent … I would never have been able to leave under those circumstances. When I look back now, I would have stayed there to do what we needed to do to resolve the problem.”

Sure you would have, Pete. USC hasn’t been the same since Carroll left, while his career has turned out just fine. While the Seahawks are still smiling from their dominant Super Bowl victory over the Denver Broncos, Steve Sarkisian will look to bring the Trojans back from the dead. I’m sure Carroll really wishes he could be there to rebuild.

Jameis Winston’s girlfriend Breion Allen makes 1-handed touchdown catch (Video)

Breion Allen catchJameis Winston had some fun on Instagram Wednesday, posting a few videos of him doing big things on a practice field. But nothing can top what his girlfriend did.

Included in the videos he posted was a clip of him throwing a pass to his girlfriend, Breion Allen, in the end zone for a touchdown. Allen impressively runs a post pattern and makes a one-handed grab for the score. She wanted to go up and dunk the ball as celebration, but she couldn’t quite make it.

Allen, you may recall, plays basketball at Rice, so that explains her impressive skills.

Not to be outdone, here’s Jameis throwing himself a deep pass and snagging it like a couple of crab legs:

Just like Sid Luckman.

Purdue football helmets will feature pictures of students next season

Seemingly every school is trying to one up each other right now with their football helmets. Some have gone with shiny, metallic lids. Others have chosen matte paint jobs. Carbon fiber and camouflage are popular as well. Colors are bright, logos are big. Subtlety is becoming a thing of the past.

The Purdue Boilermakers will be debuting a new helmet during the upcoming season that won’t look dramatically different than what you’re used to seeing, until you view it close up.

The athletic department announced students who purchase a VIP card (includes season tickets for football and men’s basketball) by June 10 will get their photo inside the logo on the football helmet. Granted, you wouldn’t be able to spot your picture as you’re watching the game from the stands or on television, but still pretty cool.

Michigan QB commit Alex Malzone already has anti-Ohio State mentality down

Alex MalzoneAlex Malzone may not even be a Michigan Wolverine yet, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t already completely embraced the rivalry with Ohio State.

Malzone, one of the top quarterbacks in the 2015 class, was participating in an Elite 11 event in Columbus, Ohio, and played well enough to become a finalist in the nationwide competition. On his way home to Bloomfield Hills, Mich., he fired off the following shot at the Buckeyes:

No surprise, his tweet was not well received by the Buckeye faithful. Still, Malzone enjoyed riling up Ohio State fans:

While we like Malzone’s confidence, he now put a lot of pressure on himself. He darn well better live up to those tweets. It’s one thing to talk a big game, but matching his confidence on the field is a totally different story; Michigan hasn’t won in Columbus since 2000.

He’ll have plenty of work cut out for him, and he still has his senior season of high school to play. It’s going to be a long time before he has a chance to back up his words, if ever.

Below is a highlight video of Malzone:

Helmet smack to FOX Sports

5-Star DT Trent Thompson poses with Nick Saban during Alabama visit

5-star defensive tackle Trent Thompson, who is rated as the No. 1 player in the 2015 recruiting class by some services, visited Alabama over the weekend and even got all social media-y with Nick Saban.

Thompson, who has been chronicling his recruiting visits via his Instagram account, shared this picture of him with the Bama head coach on Monday:

Trent Thompson Nick Saban

Just so fans don’t feel left out, Thompson posted this picture of him with Georgia head coach Mark Richt last month:

Georgia is considered the front-runner to land Thompson, who attends Westover High School in Albany, Georgia. Back in March, he said that Bama was his No. 2 school. Obviously things may have changed since then, but he certainly is having his fun. He also attended cat weekend at Auburn two weeks ago, so the Tigers are very much in play too.

H/T AJC

Auburn paints path of Iron Bowl winning touchdown on field for recruiting weekend

During last year’s Iron Bowl, Chris Davis gave us one of the more exciting moments in the storied rivalry game between Auburn and Alabama when he returned a missed field goal 109 yards the other way for the game-winning touchdown with no time left on the clock.

chris-davis-109This weekend is a big one for Auburn’s football program. 25 of their top 30 commitments and recruiting targets will be in town for a tradition that began in 2009.

Given the nature of the event, it’s a good time to relive college football’s play of the year in 2013. And that’s exactly what the Tigers football program is going to do.

As Auburn’s grounds crew shows, the path of Davis’ return has been painted onto the field at Jordan-Hare Stadium for Big Cat Weekend.

Might as well use it to your advantage, right?

H/T For The Win

Lane Kiffin: Alabama’s running back trio is better than any NFL backfield

Lane KiffinLane Kiffin is extremely excited about the talent he will get to coach this season as offensive coordinator at Alabama. After hearing the comments he made about the Crimson Tide’s backfield earlier this week, some would say the former USC coach is too excited.

On Thursday, Kiffin said Alabama’s offense will be led by its tailbacks. And he thinks they’re all pretty damn good.

“As you guys know extremely well, I think the offense is led by the tailbacks,” Kiffin told those in attendance at the DEX Imaging 20th annual L’Arche Football Preview. “There probably aren’t three more talented tailbacks in the NFL on a roster than we’re fortunate to be able to work with at Alabama.”

Wait, what? Does Kiffin realize that there are countless backup running backs in the NFL who were absolute studs on their college teams? TJ Yeldon will likely carry on the tradition of Alabama running backs being taken in the early rounds of the NFL Draft, but we have to wait and see how second and third stringers Derrick Henry and Kenyon Drake will turn out.

As NFL.com’s Chase Goodbread noted, Nick Saban typically does not allow his assistant coaches to speak to the media. This is probably why.