Tuesday, January 12, 2010
So Long, "St. Pete"
Well, that was fun.
The decade of dominance at Southern Cal, while immensely entertaining to watch on TV, is about to experience a Lehman Brothers-like collapse.
Their current recruiting class in tatters, with NCAA investigators closing in with sanctions, Pete Carroll - the smiling, gentle, classy, go-into-the-ghetto-to-help-at-risk-kids - has pulled the rip-cord on his golden parachute.
Must be nice. For him.
For student athletes who can't as much talk to Deion Sanders about the NFL without losing their entire college career, their deal isn't so sweet. USC players helped put millions in Carroll's bank account while in LA, not to mention the millions more he has now extracted from fan-boy owner Paul Allen.
I wonder if he even had the guts to stand up in front of the team to say "Hey, thanks! I'll write when I get to Seattle. Love ya!"
This doesn't make Pete Carroll any worse than any other major college coach these days - grid or hoops - it just makes him the John Calipari of the gridiron. He's proven that if you push the envelope on recruiting, win big, and get out before the house burns down, life is good.
I just resented Pete's media sainthood the last 10 years. The uncritical eye from TV pundits. The feature stories showing him in the inner city. The "we are family" vibe on the running back who dropped the weight bar on his neck and almost died. The latest tear jerker angle on the blind kid.
Pete knew how to get the studs. He looked the other way when convenient. Won a lot of games. Looked great on TV.
But it's over, people. Go home.