As part of a promotion blitz for his new book Win Forever, Pete Carroll spent thirty minutes on the set of ESPN’s College Football Live. The former “Prince of Los Angeles” discussed the NCAA sanctions, his tenure at USC, Lane Kiffin, and his new book. As he has so often, Carroll came off as charismatic and endearing. Here are some highlights:
Q: What is your take on the level of punishment handed out by the NCAA?
A: “We were unbelievably shocked by the severity of it. Didn’t think the incident here warranted all that compared to other situations it just seems like it’s way out of whack.
Q: When did you know about what Reggie was doing off the field when he was your tailback?
A: “We didn’t know anything about these allegations until probably about the time he applied for the NFL Draft. We had no information at all.”
Q: How does the coach not know?
A: “This in particular was so far away from campus and all. It was stuff that was happening out of the area. It wasn’t in the campus environment…I was responsible. I understand that.”
When asked what he thought was the harshest penalty opposed on USC, Carroll asserted it was the 30 scholarships. He lamented that the number was way too high for the circumstances. Furthermore, he couldn’t believe the NCAA allowed juniors and seniors to transfer without having to sit out a year, adding that it created a “free agency” type situation.
On Lane Kiffin, Carroll offered high praise to one of his former assistants. “He is a gifted young coach…I think he is going to do some great things.”
Although he was the head coach during the Reggie Bush era, Pete Carroll continues . It is hard to begrudge him given that he resurrected USC’s program and led them to seven straight BCS appearances. Tomorrow, Carroll will appear on HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel at 6 P.M. (PDT).