So USC's athletic program is about to get hit with major sanctions related to improper benefits given to O.J. Mayo and Reggie Bush, and there has already been a chorus of self-appointed guardians of virtue stroking their beards and clucking their tongues... The main point appears to be: "See! This is why Carroll left mighty USC to coach the lowly Seahawks!"
To quote Dr. Robert Doback: I... Don't give... a FUCK.
Let's inventory the various reasons this is an absolute non-story in my book:
1. I have no emotional investment in college football, and I think the whole system is rotten to the core anyway. As I've said in this space before:
The college fans I know like to prattle on about how NCAA ball is more "pure" than the NFL. What a crock of fucking bullshit.
NCAA football is a multi-billion dollar machine, raking in vast sums of cash from advertising, merchandising, ticket sales and subscription services like ESPN Game Plan. The main difference between the NCAA and the NFL? The players don't get jack fucking squat until they get the the pros.
It's the NFL that provides the more "pure" product: It's about the money. The players are professional gladiators, and they are well-compensated to play a game that could leave them crippled for the rest of their lives.
Plus, since I'm not a rabid UW or WSU fan, I get no satisfaction from USC getting punished.
2. I'm sure USC deserves punishment for violating NCAA rules, but what are we talking about? Boosters giving free shit to Reggie Bush and his family? No, it's not cool to break the established rules, but these rules DON'T APPLY TO NFL TEAMS, and seem irrelevant to Carroll's ability to lead the Seahawks effectively.
Did Carroll videotape opposing teams' practices? Did he pump his players full of steroids? As far as I can tell, nothing that happened under Pete Carroll's watch at USC approached the level of say, The U or OU under Switzer, or even Bill Belichik's malfeasance.
3. Another deeply flawed argument is that this shows that Carroll won't be a successful NFL coach. First of all, stewarding the MUCH dirtier Miami program back in the 80s didn't keep Jimmy Johnson from winning two Super Bowls, did it? This doesn't mean the Seahawks WILL succeed on Carroll's watch, but it DOES mean that his triumphs and tribulations will have nothing to do with what happened at USC years ago.
4. The thing that really bothers me is the notion that Carroll would only take the Seahawks job because he knew these sanctions were coming down soon. First of all, ANY NFL job is more prestigious than ANY college job... Sorry, NCAA fans... That's just stark reality. Beyond that, the Seahawks can offer a coach almost boundless resources, amazing facilities, and one of the NFL's most rabid fanbases. Yeah, why would anyone want to coach in Seattle, huh?
Even if Carroll WAS running from NCAA sanctions, I don't care. If he turns out to be a great NFL coach this time around, I don't give a frak how he decided to take the job. Do you? He will be judged by the Twelve Army on Ws and Ls, and I guarantee that if he turns things around for the Hawks, NO ONE WILL REMEMBER ANY OF THIS USC SHIT.
Plus, it was fairly obvious SOME sort of NCAA penalty was coming, which means Seahawks ownership knew this day might come and hired Carroll anyway.
Like me, it appears that Paul Allen didn't give a crap about this noise.
What do you think, sirs?