Earlier this week, and as expected, USC was stripped of and forced to vacate their 2004 BcS championship due to the Reggie Bush imbroglio.
Many have chimed in on the BcS’ decision — including Tommy Tuberville continuing his stumping for the title for Auburn and Bob Stoops doing the exact opposite when it came to Oklahoma — with the big and, honestly, unexpected exception of the head coach of the ’04 Trojans, Pete Carroll. Until now.
Breaking his week-long public silence, Carroll was interviewed by ESPN radio earlier today and was asked about having the title stripped. As expected, Carroll played the card most everyone who doesn’t call The Plains home has: vacated or not, USC knows what happened on that field in January of 2005.
“Just watch the comments of the players,” Carroll said by way of ESPNLosAngeles.com. “They know who won, who didn’t. [Matt] Leinart and Lofa Tatupu and those guys, they all know. The whole thing is so unfortunate.”
Just as expected, Carroll chided the NCAA for punishing players who had nothing to do with the scandal involving his Heisman-winning running back.
“[The NCAA has] to do what they do. They figure out how the thing is supposed to work,” Carroll said. “I don’t agree with much of any of it. It’s unfortunate that kids, years and years after, are punished for what the NCAA is dealing with from years and years before. That’s the most unfortunate thing … kids that were in junior high at the time, or in grade school, are paying the price for it.”
That would mean something and carry a heck of a lot more weight… if it weren’t coming from an individual who made sure he got the hell out of Troy before the NCAA fit hit the shan. And under whose control an atmosphere was created that all but placed out a welcome mat inviting this very type of Bush thing to transpire, “the most unfortunate thing” that Lane Kiffin and “the kids that were in junior high… in grade school” are now forced to take part in cleaning up.
When you’re sitting in a plush NFL office in Seattle, though, it’s very, very easy to stake a claim to the moral high ground. Especially when you ensured you weren’t the one left picking up the pieces.
“Flight On!” though, right Pete?