In a new interview with Andrea Kremer of HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll talks at length regarding the controversy that ultimately resulted in seasons full of wins being wiped off the books due to the ineligibility of running back Reggie Bush — and USC’s failure to know (and to put a stop to) the fact that Bush was getting paid.
Carroll acknowledges that, when it comes to Bush receiving money and other things of value, Bush is likely guilty.
Though Carroll said he isn’t mad at Reggie, Carroll had this to say when asked whether he thinks Bush took money: “I don’t know. Something happened. Something happened in there. There’s too much stuff. . . . There’s a house and there’s a lot of things going on.”
Still, Carroll insists that he didn’t know about Bush receiving cash or other things of value from would-be agents, at one point suggesting that the compliance department (which per Carroll had one employee at the time) was overmatched. For example, when Bush showed up with a new “tricked out” Chevy and was required to fill out paperwork, he failed to complete the portion of the form regarding how it was purchased — and no one followed up on the omission.
As to the fact that Bush’s parents moved into a new house after being evicted from their last one, Carroll offered up an analogy that, to be somewhat kind, we’ll merely call “frickin’ lame.”
“When you were growing up, Andrea, did you have any idea of your parents’ mortgage situation?” Carroll asked. “Think about it. None of us do. I couldn’t tell you now how my mom and dad paid for our house.” (Maybe they were cooking meth.)
Carroll also resisted the hindsight notion that he should have been watching Bush more closely, rejecting the idea that Bush was one of the best players on the team. When pressed by Kremer, Carroll claimed that quarterback Matt Leinart was the best player on the team at the time, and that Bush was “just emerging.” Kremer points out in response that the team’s media guide for Bush’s sophomore year called him “college football’s most exciting player.”
Carroll also refuses to accept the fact that wins racked up after Bush became ineligible have been expunged. “They all happened,” Carroll said. “Every one of them happened. Every one of those games, every one of those runs, every one of those finishes to the season, every one of those championship matchups, all those kids did all that stuff.”
Yes, they did it. And they beat programs with players who weren’t cheating — or, at a minimum, that didn’t get caught.
Carroll also insists that he didn’t leap to the NFL in January 2010 due to the looming sanctions, pointing out that the sanctions had been looming for five years. But this argument ignores the obvious reality that, with everyone expecting the sanctions to come in 2010, Carroll’s move amounted to Indiana Jones sliding under the stone door and reaching back to grab his hat — and to give one last middle finger to the NCAA.
The interview airs, by the way, at 9:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday night.