Former USC linebacking great and current Oakland Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio was inducted into the Trojans’ Athletics Hall of Fame. Prior to that induction, Del Rio was asked about the penalties levied on the New England Patriots as a result of Deflategate — $1 million fine, loss of draft picks (including a 2016 first-rounder) and a four-game suspension of star quarterback Tom Brady that’s being appealed — and used his answer as an opportunity to get in yet another dig at the perceived unfairness of the NCAA on his former college program.
“I think there are some similarities in terms of an overreaction, from my standpoint,” Del Rio said of the USC and Patriots situations. “I think it was a little bit overdone, but that’s somebody else’s problem right now.”
The Trojans, of course, we’re hit with near-historic sanctions as a result of the Reggie Bush impermissible benefits scandal. The significant difference between the situations involving the Trojans and Patriots is that the former is still feeling the effects of its imbroglio five years later while the latter will take what’s essentially a one-year hit.
Pete Carroll, who fled USC for the NFL prior to his former team being hammered by The Association, has been a long-time critic of the sanctions for actions that occurred on his watch. He was also a fellow inductee along with Del Rio… and used the occasion as a pulpit for yet another shot at an entity that’s failing miserably in the public relations game of late.
“It breaks my heart that is what happened to the university and for the kids playing here and for the fans that follow it, because it wasn’t dealt with properly and it wasn’t done rightly.”