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.

Did Pete Carroll leak news of Phil Jackson taking Knicks job?

Phil JacksonThere have been plenty of rumors and reports indicating that Phil Jackson will take a front office job with the New York Knicks by the end of the week, but nothing has been as concrete as this congratulatory tweet from Pete Carroll.

Does Petey know something the rest of us don’t know? Is he just reacting to media reports or has he spoken with the Zen Master?

It’s not like it would be a surprise at this point if Phil ends up with the Knicks. We told you earlier on Tuesday that the Knicks believe a deal is pretty much done and that they expect him to take over their basketball operations department, but nothing has made it seem finalized the way this Carroll tweet did.

Pete, always messing with us!

Pete Carroll wanted Steve Sarkisian to take over for him at USC

Steve SarkisianSteve Sarkisian and Lane Kiffin were both Pete Carroll’s understudies during the USC football dynasty of the 2000s. Kiffin already got his shot as the program’s head coach, and we all know how that turned out. Sarkisian now has a chance to prove he can rescue USC’s program from years of NCAA sanctions.

While discussing his “Win Forever” philosophy with USC students on Wednesday night, Carroll made it clear that Sarkisian would have gotten the job to begin with if the Seattle Seahawks coach had his choice.

“From early on, I tried to get the administration to guarantee that he would be the next coach if I left,” Carroll said, via Rich Hammond of The Orange County Register.

Carroll went on to say that Sarkisian’s “clarity with people” is the reason he hired him as quarterbacks coach. The former Washington coach has already done a great job of handling the Southern California media, which we know can be fairly scrutinizing.

“He knows what USC is about, what it is to work in SoCal and he is going to do a great job,” Carroll added, per Lindsey Thiry of FOX Sports. “I have no doubt in saying that.”

Of course, Carroll’s assertion that he pulled for Sarkisian is easier now that Kiffin’s time as head coach was such a failure. Had Kiffin enjoyed success, I doubt Carroll would have said he wanted Sarkisian to take over for him from the start.

H/T Bleacher Report

Pete Carroll got bruise on face returning kickoff during practice

Pete Carroll face

You may have noticed during the Super Bowl that Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll had a mark on the left side of his face and appeared to have a bruise. If you were wondering how Carroll got it, he answered that after the game. And it’s a pretty funny story.

Carroll was asked by FOX Sports’ Peter Shrager about the bruise on his face and explained that the wound came at practice during the week.

“Well I did get hit returning a kickoff in practice this week. I jumped in to give Percy a break, trying to do the right thing, and Derrick Coleman grabs me and (Chris) Maragos comes in and gives me a shot in the head,” Carroll said.

Though Carroll was marked up, he had a good attitude about it.

“Hey, we covered kicks like wildmen tonight, so it was OK. If I contributed to that in any way, I’ll take the hit.”

At least Carroll will now have photos from the biggest moment of his coaching career to remind him of what a nut job he is. An awesome nut job, that is.

Cocky Pete Carroll dials up the smug on the sidelines of Super Bowl – a timeline

If there’s anything Super Bowl XLVIII was missing, aside from the Denver Broncos actually being competitive, it was cocky Pete Carroll sideline shots. I mean the Seahawks turned the game into a rout within minutes, and FOX was lagging on the smug Carroll shots. I was very disappointed. But once Seattle just started pouring it on in the second half, they finally complied with my wish for max Carroll cockiness.

Below is a timeline of Carroll’s demeanor on the sidelines. The cockiness increases in correspondence with Seattle’s success.

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Pete Carroll gets top hat, cane and monocle in great GIF

Take a look at this GIF and tell me you’re not dying. I went to UCLA during the dark years when Cheaty took over USC and hate the guy’s guts, but even I have to laugh at that.

This dude on Twitter summed it up the best:

That’s exactly who Pete Carroll is. A smug a-hole of a coach. And he’s damn good.

Here’s the original smug Carroll GIF:

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Pete Carroll feels badly about Seahawks running fake punt while up 30

pete-carrollThe Seattle Seahawks rolled to victory for the second week in a row, blasting the Buffalo Bills 50-17 in Toronto on Sunday. They became the third team in NFL history to score at least 50 points in consecutive weeks, and they may have hurt some feelings in the process.

With less than 13 minutes left in the game and his team up by 30, coach Pete Carroll let his team run a fake punt. Michael Robinson took a handoff after the snap and gained 29 yards to take his team down to the Buffalo 14. The Seahawks ended up kicking a field goal on the drive to make it 50-17, which was the final score.

After the game, Carroll was apologetic for what many felt was an unsportsmanlike act.

“I feel bad about this,” Carroll told the media after the game. “I hear from the guys about the fake punt. That was part of our game plan. It was something I could have called off and I didn’t. It was an automatic for us, and I didn’t do it. It just happened. We’re trying to make first downs, so I let it go. It’s unfortunate that it comes across that we’re doing something wrong there. That’s my fault totally for not stopping it from happening.

“It was a very well executed play, we were looking forward to doing it, and when it popped up, it was just late in the game,” he said.

Carroll has no reason to feel badly in our eyes. Back in the day, I would have called this act unsportsmanlike, but I’ve seen way too many improbable comebacks in the NFL to complain about teams going hard despite having a big lead. There are professionals on both sides of the ball who are paid to go hard for 60 minutes, so nobody should apologize for that. I will, however, call Carroll stupid for letting his team run the fake punt.

Carroll could be seen smiling on the sidelines after the play was successful, and he even told his assistants “good job.” He knew exactly what he was doing, and it’s actions like that that can come back to burn them in the future. Buffalo will remember this, and they’ll be ticked the next time the teams meet (as long as that’s not in 3 or 4 years). Don’t lie, Pete, you knew what your team was doing and you were happy about it. Just give a Bill Belichick answer next time and say you don’t apologize for always going hard.