Seahawks coach Pete Carroll talked to reporters today for the first time since the NCAA punished USC for violations committed while he was the school’s head coach, claiming his decision to leave for Seattle wasn’t an attempt to avoid punishment for those violations.
“The question comes up why I left and all,” Carroll said. “My coming to Seattle was for one reason. This is an extraordinary opportunity. This is an NFL dream opportunity for me and it had nothing to do with anything that was going on at any time.”
The idea that Carroll leaving USC had nothing at all to do with the looming NCAA sanctions is hard to believe. Maybe the Seahawks job is an extraordinary opportunity, but Carroll likely started looking for extraordinary opportunities after USC’s 2009 season because he expected USC’s 2009 season to be the last for a couple years in which it wouldn’t be dealing with NCAA sanctions.
And what Carroll said next made even less sense.
“That ongoing investigation was five years in the making anyway,” Carroll said. “Why wouldn’t I have left some other time?”
Uh, you didn’t leave some other time because you knew NCAA investigations can take years and USC wouldn’t have to deal with the result of the investigation “some other time.” USC has to deal with the result of the investigation now, after Carroll has left.
For his part, Carroll says he’s hoping for the best for USC.
“I feel very bad for the people who have to go through this now,” he said. “Hopefully the situation will be righted and they’ll get to the truth and to the right thing and make really good decisions from this point forward.”