Pete Carroll made it a weekend trip to Los Angeles last week. The Seattle Seahawks head coach and former USC head coach returned to campus for a victory lap.
His first stop, strangely enough, had nothing to do with athletics. Bright and early on a Friday morning, he walked across the commencement stage and received an honorary doctorate from USC. That’s right, Coach Carroll is now Dr. Carroll. The guy that has won 7 Pac-10 championships, 2 college national championships, 2 NFC championships, and one Super Bowl title (narrowly missing 1 more college national championship and 1 more Super Bowl title) now has a higher degree than you do (or at least tied).
The following day he made an appearance for his induction to the USC Hall of Fame. Both Carroll and former USC linebacker, Jack Del Rio, were part of the 2015 class. During Carroll’s Q&A session with the media, he had some great things to say regarding USC, the sanctions, and his time in the NFL.
On Todd McNair: “The fact that Todd continues to fights the fight that he has to regain his reputation and opportunities, I think is really stellar. He’s taken a stand and he’s stuck to it and there’s a lot of information that comes to light because of that, so I’m proud of him.”
On how USC is handling the situation: “As far as what happens after, the university knows what they’re doing. They’re on it and they’ll do a great job of dealing with the issues when the judgment comes down.” and “What I do hope is that the university eventually gets what they rightfully deserve.”
On his time with the Seahawks how it relates to USC: “I’m proud to say that we’ve gone to the NFL and won in similar fashion to show that we knew what we were doing”
His entire presser can be found here.
While he clearly remains popular with many Trojans, there are those outside the halls of USC that feel quite differently. There was still a noticable amount of backlash on social media sites (full of morons, I know). Despite all the news regarding the Todd McNair case and the injustice wrought by the NCAA, public perception still seems to be against USC. They believe that the acknowledment of what Pete Carroll has done for the university is an example of everything wrong with USC’s culture—how cheating is rewarded. It has almost been ten years, and people are still ignorant of the situation.
When will USC take charge of repairing their tarnished reputation? As a Comm professor (Durbin) once told me, bad news has to be taken care of immediately. With all the resources USC has and the importance of USC Football, it feels like they could’ve done more. USC Football does a lot in terms of funding other sports and bringing in other intangible benefits (not to be mistaken with impermissible benefits).
Granted, there’s no way to defeat ignorance on every corner of the world, but USC should do all that it can. For everything else, there’s the wise, wise words of Taylor Swift…