USC is being real protective of their new offensive coordinator. According to a report from Adam Schefter of ESPN, the school prevented Kliff Kingsbury from being interviewed by two NFL franchises looking for a new head coach.
According to Schefter, the New York Jets and the Arizona Cardinals were prevented from being able to organize an interview with Kingsbury after USC athletics director Lynn Swann rejected the request. That would be the end of the conversation for the Jets and Cardinals, who are forced to move on from their interest in Kingsbury as a result of a new NFL rule that requires NFL teams to ask for permission from university officials before approaching potential candidates from college football, be they head coaches or assistants.
“If permission is denied, the NFL club should respect that decision just as it would respect a similar decision from another NFL club,” the rule states in part, according to Schefter. “NFL clubs that fail to follow these protocols may be subject to disciplinary action for conduct detrimental to the League.”
While that gives USC the power, that still feels like a tough situation for Kingsbury. Although Kingsbury publicly turned down the idea of going to the NFL to coach previously, it feels pretty odd for someone else to essentially block him from exploring other potential opportunities at the next level. Of course, if Kingsbury really had no interest in the NFL at this time, even if a head coaching job was potentially on the table, then he had no risk in signing on as the offensive coordinator at USC when he did.