Pete Carroll was feeling reflective over the weekend. Pete took a lot of criticism for leaving USC just 5 months before the NCAA dropped the hammer on the Trojans with a two-year bowl ban and the loss of 30 scholarships.
The Super Bowl winning coach from the Seattle Seahawks had a big profile done on him in the LA Times where he continued to defend USC as their sanctions come to a close. Pete maintains that he would have never left USC if he knew sanctions were coming. Here is what he had to say in the piece written by Gary Klein:
“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.”
I don’t know that anyone believes that is true. The leading thought here is that Pete knew the hammer was coming down or at the very least suspected some sanctions were coming and bolted for another shot at the NFL. For what it’s worth, I didn’t criticize him at the time because there are only so many NFL coaching jobs and if you have a shot I say take it. I doubt there are many Trojan fans out there who believe this either.
Just let it go Pete and enjoy your run in Seattle.