Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll talked for over 15 minutes about the penalties USC suffered at the hands of USC last week. It was the first time Carroll talked to reporters in a group session since the announcement on Thursday.
Carroll maintained that he was unaware of the improprieties that took place on the USC campus involving Reggie Bush.
“We were not aware of what was going on,” Carroll said. “We didn’t know the stuff that was claimed, and it’s unfortunate that so much has happened because one person has stirred this up.”
However, Carroll ultimately accepted responsibility for what happened during his tenure at USC.
And he said by taking the Seattle Seahawks head job in January he was not running away from the sanctions handed down by the NCAA at USC.
“My coming to Seattle is for one reason: This was an extraordinary opportunity,” Carroll said. “It’s an NFL dream opportunity for me, and it had nothing to do with anything going on at any time. That ongoing investigation was five years in the making anyway. And why wouldn’t I have left some other time?
“There was never an opportunity that gave me the chance to do something in such a unique fashion here at Seattle, and I’m thrilled to be here. And it had nothing to do with anything else that was going on anywhere in the world.”
Carroll said he has not talked to his former player Bush since the announcement by the NCAA, but he has maintained contact with new head coach Lane Kiffin throughout the process.
Carroll went on to say he thought the penalty handed down by the NCAA was unfair, particularly to the players currently in the program. And he also believes the NCAA needs to take a comprehensive look at how they handled the investigation and ultimately hand out the penalties.
“I think the process needs to be looked at, for them to come to those conclusions and be that harsh on those young kids that are in the program for something that happen five years ago,” he said. “And really for something that came from outside the program element, totally distanced from the program.”