Bush, Carroll break silence by saying nothing
USC has spent the past week assessing its losses. Meanwhile, Pete Carroll is in the Pacific Northwest preparing to cash in on wins. In the midst of the dust settling on the recently sanctioned program, the former skipper is promoting his new book by informing the public that they can pre-order their copies of “Win Forever”.
The coach did take time out from marketing and his daily duties with the Seahawks to finally address the firestorm he left behind. As expected, he said a lot of something, but really didn’t tell us anything.
“We were not aware of what was going on. We didn’t know the stuff that was claimed. It’s unfortunate that all this happened because one person stirred all this up. The head coach is responsible. I’m not ever saying anything but that. The head coach is responsible for what goes on. We just weren’t aware of this situation, and we couldn’t do anything about it because we didn’t know.”
This has been the official stance from the start, and it continues to be repeated here at the finish. Carroll argues that the penalties are unfair, because the NCAA acted on a claim without factual evidence to connect money exchanges in San Diego with the program’s knowledge of those transactions. It’s a solid point, if this were a court of law, but it isn’t.
Investigators fitted pieces together, 67 pages of them, and came to a conclusion. Without a positive link, assumption alone was sufficient for a ruling. Fair? Not at all. But the NCAA isn’t always about fairness as much as its about flexing its power. And with the Trojans now penalized for the sixth time since 1957, with only 10 schools in America shamelessly admitting to more, fairness was not on the side of this repeat offender.
Carroll also reiterated his reasons for leaving USC, continuing to refer to the job in Seattle as “an opportunity he couldn’t pass up”. A lot of people aren’t buying it, saying that this captain abandoned a sinking ship.
One of his current Seahawks is among the disbelievers, as T.J. Houshmandzadeh told TMZ that Carroll’s leaving USC for the NFL was like “getting out while the house was still burning”. Another criticizing the coach’s decision was former player Lendale White. White had a brief reunion with Carroll until he was cut by the Seahawks two weeks ago. When asked about his relationship with the former coach, White responded with:
“Pete Carroll. The same Pete Carroll who ran out on ‘SC? I have no comment on Pete.”
Reggie Bush, now known as the man that single-handedly toppled a program, also issued a comment in response to the Sanctions.
“Because I have such a great love and respect for the University of (Southern) California, this has been one of the toughest things I’ve had to deal with in my life. But at the same time whether it’s all true or all wrong or whether we’re guilty or not guilty, it’s still my responsibility and I have to accept that.”
There is no love lost for Reggie Bush, because I understand the temptations that exist for 18 to 20 year old star athletes. But I will admit to being irritated by the word “whether” in his statement, as if he’s guessing. I don’t have the facts, so I can rightfully speculate. But of all the people in the world, it is Reggie Bush that knows what he did or did not do, and who did or did not know. For him to speculate is to say he doesn’t know himself, and I doubt Dissociative Identity Disorder will be raised as a defense during the appeal process.