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Marshall Faulk on College Players Taking Money: I Would, Too

Former St. Louis Rams star and future Hall of Fame running back Marshall Faulk answered a few questions about Pete Carroll and the USC sanctions recently at the Jim Mora Celebrity Golf Tournament.  He raised what I think is a valid point when talking about how penalties like the ones USC is facing have a huge effect on the school’s players but the coaches get to walk away with nothing but a hit to their legacy.  Here’s what Faulk had to say, courtesy of Pro Football Talk via SeattlePI.com:

I love Pete, and I’m not quite sure how they’re gonna turn out, but I’m sick and tired of seeing programs get in trouble, and coaches can move on, but the players at USC can’t go to bowl games,” Faulk told Jim Moore of SeattlePI.com.  “There’s got to be some accountability and responsibility.  I’m not just blaming Pete; I’m talking about guys in that situation. . . .

Couldn’t agree with Faulk more here.  While Pete Carroll is raking in millions in Seattle for however long he lasts, the players who committed to USC either have to alter their plans dramatically and change schools, or accept the fact that they can’t play in a bowl game.  What’s the worst that can happen to Carroll?  He gets called a cheater and everyone moves on.

Another interesting topic Faulk hit on was the concept of players like Reggie Bush and O.J. Mayo accepting money while they’re in college.

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Carson Palmer Ripping Ohio State Was Cool, Apologizing Was Weak

Given that I’m a Bruin and dislike darn near everything SC (with the exception of a few reasonable Trojan friends and other things), it’s pretty hard to say that I have a favorite Trojan. So I guess if I had a Trojan who I disliked the least, it would probably be Carson Palmer. It’s pretty tough when you have a guy beat on your school like a drum (while you’re a student no less) and pretty much hate him, and then see your favorite NFL team take him with the first pick in the draft and make him the face of their franchise. So no, I don’t like Carson, but I dislike him the least. Keep in mind that in addition to performing like one of the top five QBs in the NFL the last three years, Carson has also done pretty much everything right (with the exception of a few ill-advised hot dog ads) and stuck to saying all the right things from day one. Rather than complain about going to the Bengals, he embraced the opportunity and vowed to turn them around. Rather than rip on Chad for being Ocho Cinco or his teammates for getting arrested, Carson’s pretty much avoided the fray. In addition to maintaining a good image, Carson has a lot of school and Pac-10 pride, both of which I appreciate. So it was pretty cool when Carson Palmer ripped on Ohio State when he joined PMS on KLAC recently:

I cannot stand the Buckeyes and having to live in Ohio and hear those people talk about their team, it drives me absolutely nuts. We got Keith Rivers out there and we got Frostee Rucker, we finally got a couple other ‘SC guys. It’s amazing to hear what those guys think about that university and what they think about that football program and Tressel and all the crap I got to put up with being back there.

“I just can’t wait for two years from now when ‘SC comes to the ‘Shoe and I get to, hopefully have a home game that weekend and I can go out there and watch us pound on them on their own turf and kind of put all the talk to rest, because I’m really getting sick of it. I just can’t wait for this game to get here so they can come to the Coliseum and experience L.A. and get an old fashioned, Pac 10 butt-whooping and go back to the Big Ten.”

Now that I can stand for! Carson’s very much a fan like us who listens to sports radio and watches local sports on TV and gets fired up about his team. Does it get much better than that? And this is the same Carson who ripped Nebraska on The Jim Rome Show before USC ran through them last year. Like I said, always appreciate a guy with a lot of school and Pac-10 pride. Unfortunately just as Carson was racking up all the cool points, he had to go out and issue a statement.

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Tighten up that Entourage, OJ Mayo

I’ve already made it pretty clear that I can’t stand OJ Mayo for some of his on-court antics. I also said the NCAA was right to investigate him for accepting tickets to an NBA game because that came to close to crossing the line for amateurs going pro. And as you could imagine, I’m not at all surprised to hear the reports by ESPN that Mayo was supposedly accepting gifts from a potential agent the past few years. Dude’s been a lottery pick since sperm — of course agents will be on his jock trying to buy him cars (bikes?), phones, clothes, and whatever else you can think of. And judging by his Russian KGB like actions to tell Tim Floyd that OJ Mayo was coming to school, you could see he was a little out there and quite high profile. Here’s my one comment to OJ Mayo: tighten up that entourage.

I didn’t realize it until like now that the story got out there to ESPN because a former “associate” who used to be in Mayo’s inner circle decided to sell the goods. For all we know, the two-wheeling Mayo could be telling the truth that he did nothing wrong and this Louis Johnson character can just be out to get OJ. I certainly think that’s possible. But let’s be real here: almost all players are on the take. You don’t even have to be good and you still get plenty of perks playing at a big time school. Whether it’s better grades, improved housing, cars, clothes, or cash, almost all of these guys are on the take. I’ve seen it happen plenty of times. I can’t accuse OJ of doing anything wrong at this point except for having a bad entourage and keeping too high of a profile. When you come to LA to try and build a personality and a brand, you subject yourself to more scrutiny. So OJ: tighten up that entourage if you want to be a big-time personality.

And Pat Forde suggesting USC should get the death penalty for this when all the investigations haven’t even taken place? What a nut. If we investigated all D-I schools we’d get the same results and nobody would have scholarships. Then we’d be left with a whole bunch of walk-ons, and you still would have people coming to watch their alma-maters play. And you know what, that wouldn’t be such a bad thing.

Mark Sanchez Wears the Pride of Mexico in His Mouth

Yes, literally. You know how boxers usually sport their native country’s flag on their trunks? Well, Sanchez is doing the same thing, only with his mouthpiece. In fact, he had the USC team dentist customize it for him with the Mexican flag for the game against Notre Dame.

“He put the eagle with the snake on it — it was looking sweet so I had to wear it,” said Sanchez, who is of Mexican descent.

Sanchez said he took pride in the influence his role as USC’s quarterback could have on youngsters.

“When I see little kids after the game and they’re Mexican like me . . . they see hope,” said Sanchez, who attended Mission Viejo High. “That means a lot to me playing for them, playing for my community and this greater L.A.

“I really take that to heart and I think the mouthpiece is just a portrayal of that.”

Sanchez added, “It’s not a Mexican power thing or anything like that. It’s just a little bit of pride in our heritage. Hopefully, it inspires somebody and it’s all for the best.”

“That’s fun. I love it. It’s just all part of it,” Sanchez said. “The band’s going to start playing, ‘Lean Like a Cholo,’ or something. Sweet.”

Lean like a Cholo? That’d be interesting. But someone please tell Mr. Sanchez to chill out on the “model for kids” thing. He’s played just one game (though he did look great), and isn’t assured of the starting job. Wouldn’t want any kids rushing out to purchase the jersey of a backup QB. Now, should he put that mouthpiece on Ebay, that would be a different story.

Chest Bump to EDSBS