USC: No one authorized by us contacted Dungy or Del Rio

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Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio has been linked to the head-coaching job at USC, and former Bucs and Colts coach Tony Dungy said today that USC sent out feelers to him. But USC’s athletic department says it never authorized anyone to contact either coach.

The official USC athletics website published a statement today saying, “USC has been alerted that individuals posing as USC representatives made overtures to two coaches regarding the Trojans’ head coaching position.”

The USC statement goes on to say that “a person falsely identifying himself as a high-ranking member of the USC athletic department attempted to make contact several times with the Denver Broncos.” Although Del Rio is not mentioned by name in the USC statement, he has been the subject of a great deal of speculation surrounding the job at USC, where he was an All-American linebacker in the 1980s.

USC Athletic Director Pat Haden said the job hasn’t been offered to anyone.

“Tony’s discussion on the radio today of being contacted by USC was a complete surprise to us,” Haden said. “So were the calls made to the Broncos. I can assure you no authorized representative of USC or our athletic department made these calls. As I said last week, we will not comment on every name that comes out. It would be a disservice to our players and coaches, who are devoting everything they have into the remainder of our season. We have a head coach right now in Ed Orgeron. We have not offered the job to anyone.”

As Manti Te’o knows, it’s easy for pranksters to falsely represent themselves over the phone and the Internet. It’s not clear from USC’s statement exactly what happened here, but it’s possible that this was all some kind of scam.

It’s also possible that USC is engaging in some face-saving: Perhaps USC really did send out feelers to people close to Dungy, but did so indirectly so that if Dungy declared that he wasn’t interested, the school could say no one from the school reached out. USC, after all, wants its head-coaching job to be viewed as desirable. And Dungy didn’t say he heard directly from USC, he said it was more of a “your people called my people” situation.

But the USC statement suggests at the very least that the school won’t be naming its next head coach any time soon. And any coach who’s interested in the job should probably speak to Pat Haden directly.

Let’s just hope Ronaiah Tuiasosopo doesn’t do a good Pat Haden impression.

31 responses to “USC: No one authorized by us contacted Dungy or Del Rio

  1. Preeeeeety sure that Del Rio and Dungy, with DECADES of NFL experience, have the type of agents that know a real contact from some Joe Schmoe on their phone.

  2. Sounds like another example of how out of control boosters are. I mean if it really wasn’t USC then it was probably a booster or group of boosters that were responsible for this. They need to understand that they’re only doing more harm than good. Just because they’re writing big checks to USC, doesn’t mean that they’re entitled to do Haden’s job for him.

  3. Haden’s interview with Colin Cowherd actually handled this more cleanly – Haden said Korn/Ferry is on retainer and will help with the search. How it works in 2013 is a coach’s agent calls Korn/Ferry and everything goes through intermediaries. K/F also likely has a short list of names to reach out to simply to gauge a person’s ‘availability’ – as in “would Tony Dungy be available to coach a high-profile D1 school in 2014 should a position open up?” This is not the same as asking if he’s interested in the USC job – it’s a fine but important distinction in the job recruiting world.

  4. gloryfromheaven says: Oct 7, 2013 6:36 PM

    Del Rio ain’t goin nowhere, he wants a ring in Denver

    You mean the ring he could never attain as a player or a head coach? Ahh. Got it.

  5. peopletrains says: Oct 7, 2013 6:39 PM

    Did his wife authorize him to pick out those god-awful glasses?

    In his defense. He was a decent NFL quarterback back in the day. So…

  6. We all know this is a “face saving” move. But, considering #USC hired Lane Kiffin….I would think USC fans would be happy they are considering coaches like Tony Dungy & Jack Del Rio, even if they were turned down. It sets the bar for the kind of coach they want.

  7. USC doesn’t officially contact anyone until they know interest is mutual. All the lowest level guys call around to guys they think would be good fits there and they bring a list of interested candidates to someone who can show official interest.

    I’m officially interested in Emma Watson.

  8. gloryfromheaven says:
    Oct 7, 2013 6:36 PM
    Del Rio ain’t goin nowhere, he wants a ring in Denver

    Good luck with that.

  9. Well USC has a stellar reputation for honesty and integrity in all phases of the program from the players to the AD, so I believe them and everything they say. That settles that.

  10. Let’s get real. Te’o wasn’t some innocent victim. He was in on the hoax and played the media. Same with University of $poiled Children. They’re trying to save face about being publicly rejected. Anyone who lives in LA or has watched games against U$C in person has experienced the arrogance of the Trojans and understands why they’re so despised.

  11. Almost ALL football (and basketball, hockey, baseball, etc.) coaching ‘permanent’ hires are made in the off-season. The major exception is when ALL the coaches are killed or hospitalized (almost always by accident) during the season.

    And the coaching hires described above are from the high school to college to professional level. Interim head coaches are almost always hired “until the end of the season” and many are then hired as the ‘permanent’ head coach.

  12. I’m no big Tony Dungy fan, but I don’t believe he would utter a falsehood for the world to hear.

  13. @gloryfromheaven

    Since Del Rio won a ring as an assistant with the Ravens in 2001, I sincerely doubt doing the same with Denver is anywhere near the top of the depth chart. The guy wants to be a head coach again.

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