When Pete Carroll left the USC Trojans head coaching job back in 2010, he did so just in time to conveniently avoid getting hammered with NCAA sanctions that saw the Trojans lose a National Championship, lose a Heisman Trophy and become banned from bowl games for the next few years.
It was a move that many rolled their eyes at at the time as it was pretty clear what Carroll was doing, but four years and a Super Bowl win later and Carroll is looking back at the incident in the most innocent of ways.
Carroll told the Los Angeles Times that he didn’t join the Seattle Seahawks in 2010 to run away from the NCAA sanctions a lot of people saw coming, and even went as far as to say he would have stayed at the school had he known they were coming.
“The truth was, an opportunity came up and it was one I couldn’t turn away from,” Carroll told the Los Angeles Times. “. . . 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.”
It really doesn’t matter if Carroll knew the sanctions were coming or not, as he was replaced by a man who ended up being more hated than Carroll ever could have for bailing on the school. Lane Kiffin destroyed his already putrid reputation at USC and made us look back at the Carroll-era sanctions with a bit of nostalgia.
If Carroll really wanted to repent and wasn’t just blowing smoke, he’d go back to USC right now — something he’d never do. But it’s nice to know that the Pete Carroll of 2014 is really no different than the Pete Carroll of 2010.