In the two weeks since USC fired Lane Kiffin, the rumors about who will eventually replace The Visor have begun to take a familiar shape: coach is linked by unnamed source on local radio station, coach/USC denies report, lather, rinse, repeat.
This week’s edition of random and unlikely USC coaching search reports comes via a Chicago radio station, WSCR 670 The Score. According to Mike Mulligan, the host of The Mully and Hanley Show, he was told by an anonymous source that former Bears head coach Lovie Smith interviewed for the Trojans’ vacant position.
Smith’s son and agent, Matt Smith, quickly denied the rumor with a tweet:
While USC would be an incredible opportunity, Lovie Smith did not interview for that opening. Any reports to the contrary are false.
— Matt Smith (@Matt_Smith_IMG) October 14, 2013
The nature of a high-profile coaching search like USC’s makes these kind of rumors inevitable. For all we know, Pat Haden has yet to contact any coaches. It’s safe to say USC is a ways away from the interview process in any case. That won’t stop radio stations and small news outlets from running with dubious rumors for the sake of a big headline and right now “USC interviews Coaching Candidate X” is certainly a headline.
One thing to consider is that radio shows looking for some publicity aren’t the only ones who can get something out of a coaching rumor. Interested parties often use the media to float their interest. Matt Smith calls USC “an incredible opportunity” for his father, who has taken the year off of coaching since being fired by the Bears last December. Lovie may not have interviewed with Pat Haden, but with one tweet he’s sent a message — he wouldn’t say no to one.