Now that ESPN is reporting that Pete Carroll has indeed accepted the offer by the Seattle Seahawks to become their next head coach, it is time to look at the legacy that Carroll leaves behind at USC.
Over the last nine years, Pete Carroll has turned in a sterling 96-19 record for the Trojans along with one BCS championship and two AP titles.
Along the way, Carroll has returned the Trojans to national prominence with his fiery, enthusistic style.
That style allowed him to lure prep talent from all across the country to come play for the Trojans.
It also allowed Pete Carroll to become an icon in Los Angeles where his prowess as a football coach walked hand-in-hand with his altruistic side that motivated him to create a charitable foundation, “A Better LA,” which focused on the problems of the inner city.
For everything that Carroll accomplished on the football field…and on the streets of Los Angeles, we in the southland thank him.
Pete Carroll returned a moribund program with tons of tradition but no leadership, to one of the premier college football teams in the nation.
We will never forget Pete Carroll for those contributions.
Yet there are other things we may never forget about Pete Carroll and those things are yet to become evident.
The ncaa is continuing their investigation of the Reggie Bush scandal.
Bush, the former Trojan running back is alleged to have received improper benefits from Trojan boosters specifically in regard to housing arrangements made for his family.
To what extent this investigation will impact USC remains to be seen.
Speculation has USC being imposed with sanctions and it is these sanctions that prompted Carroll to seek employment elsewhere.
Other rumors suggest that the working relationship Pete Carroll has with Mike Garrett has deteriorated to such an extent that Carroll was not even advised when Joe McKnight, the former Trojan running back, was declared ineligible for the Emerald Bowl.
Whatever the reasons for Carroll’s departure, the main thing that matters for Trojan fans are what he leaves behind.
If the ncaa determines that the infractions, if any, in the Bush case are so egregious that it warrants severe sanctions, Pete Carroll will have to carry the mantle of that punishment with him to Seattle.
Pete Carroll already will leave behind the wreckage of a very promising recruiting class.
The Trojans have lost many prep players already just due to the rumors of Carroll’s departure and more are to follow.
Exactly how many high school players will now defect remains to be seen but suffice to say, the damage has been done for this years class.
Yet, that isn’t Pete Carroll’s fault.
After seven great years of Trojan football (his first and last years at USC were just “so-so”), Pete Carroll has given his best to USC football.
And in America, we all have the right to better ourselves and if money is the primary consideration, the Seahawks will pile far more in Carroll’s bank account than USC can.
What may be Carroll’s fault, although this remains to be seen, are the sanctions that may be imposed by the ncaa.
If they are severe, and if it is shown that Carroll was responsible for their imposition, then Pete Carroll’s USC legacy will be tarnished.
The last impression that Pete Carroll will leave Los Angeles with will be one of angst for those USC fans he has left behind.
The sweet taste of Trojan football will become bitter for their fans if those sanctions cost USC scholarships or are manifested in a lengthy probation.
So we thank you Pete Carroll, for everything you did for USC football.
However, the full measure of our appreciation remains to be seen.
Your legacy in the annals of Trojan football will be written by the ncaa.
And that is an author with few, if any, bestsellers.