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#101 mweb08

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 02:07 PM

I'm going to answer my question.

 

Bilas: http://insider.espn....ilas/post?id=97

 

Let's begin with the case against USC. As we all know by now, the NCAA came down hard on the Trojans in the Reggie Bush matter. The key to the harsh punishment in the Bush case was not whether Bush and his family accepted impermissible benefits. They did. USC admitted that Bush and his family received impermissible benefits from agents and sports marketers, and the school accepted certain sanctions related to those impermissible benefits. 

 

The agent in question was an acquaintance of Bush from San Diego, from well before Bush had ever decided to attend USC. The agent is a convicted felon and former gang member that has served prison time and has never held a legitimate job. Upon his release from prison, the agent decided to start an agency and targeted Bush as a potential client.

 

According to USC, the allegations made by the NCAA are weak and, on some issues, can be disproved. After reading the notice and response, it is hard to argue that point. As previously stated, the school has admitted that some penalties levied by the NCAA -- and USC itself -- are justified. But other than the agent's uncorroborated account, the only link between the "agent" and the football program are four cell-phone calls between the agent and a USC assistant coach (the longest call lasting two and a half minutes) and a single photograph in which the agent appeared to be in the background. That's it.

According to USC, credible witnesses discredited the agent's account, and there was no other evidence to establish a direct institutional link between the agent and USC. Clearly, the unsworn word of a convicted felon has significant credibility problems from the beginning, and it is hard to understand how -- even with the NCAA's vague standard -- it could ever be relied upon by a reasonably prudent person in the conduct of serious affairs (whatever that means).

When the NCAA interviewed the agent, representatives of USC were denied the right to be present, despite USC's repeated requests to be there. The only evidence of the interview is what NCAA reps chose to record. Representatives of USC were not allowed to cross-examine the witness, assess indicators of credibility, or otherwise challenge the statements procured by the NCAA.

In the several months before the NCAA allowed USC access to a transcript of the interview with the agent, the agent had done media interviews and had collaborated on a book. The idea that the word of a convicted felon, not subject to cross-examination and without corroboration, could convict USC offends any notion of fair play.

As an aside, and using as a backdrop this lame standard of proof and such paucity of credible evidence and corroboration to find an institutional link and convict USC football, consider also that Tim Floyd was not found guilty of anything in the NCAA's findings regarding the allegations surrounding O.J. Mayo. Not a single thing. That means the evidence that the NCAA had against Floyd was so flimsy as to be nonexistent. After all of that hand-wringing, finger-waving and high-horse posturing, Floyd was basically declared innocent of the charges brought against him by the NCAA.

Despite the clear problems with the NCAA's standards and the case against the Trojans, many would say, Good riddance, USC; you got what you deserved. Despite the lack of credible evidence, many would consider USC's coaching staff to be guilty and complicit in any wrongdoing because the head coach and coaching staff are always responsible for everything that goes on in the program. Always.

Well, if that goes for Pete Carroll, it goes for Jim Calhoun. And it goes for John Calipari, despite the fact that Calipari has never been named in an NCAA finding of wrongdoing (notwithstanding the NCAA's flimsy standards of proof). If you are in charge, say many, you are ultimately responsible, and there is no way that the head coach couldn't know what was going on right under his nose.

Well, if you are among those that feel that way, you just called John Wooden a cheater. And as blasphemous as it seems, you would have to call Wooden an admitted cheater, and the chief witnesses against him would be his former players.

Several of Wooden's players on his championship teams have admitted taking extra benefits from Sam Gilbert, an established representative of UCLA's athletic interests during most of Wooden's championship years, and have admitted knowing that such actions were illegal. In addition, Wooden himself is on record saying that he suspected that Gilbert might have been doing illegal things, and that Wooden may have been guilty of "trusting too much."

 

So Bush took money from agents and sports marketers and there apparently wasn't even a link between them and USC. 

 

Many people also feel that USC got screwed with the sanctions. 

 

So if Carroll had nothing to do with this, which is easy to believe, and they got punished beyond reasonable expectations, and Pete wanted to wash away the bad taste in his mouth from his previous NFL head coaching stints, I don't see much of an issue here.



#102 mweb08

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 02:18 PM

http://espn.go.com/b...-there-usc-fans

 

Adopting a placid pose — at least as best as you can — will be good practice for handling potentially more infuriation ahead. The NCAA also likely will give even worst upcoming cases — North Carolina and the University of Miami at Paul Dee — less severe penalties than it gave USC. 

Why? Because the NCAA treated USC unfairly — everybody in college sports knows this — and it likely won't revisit such irrational harshness. In the end, the justification for such severe penalties, meted out in contrast to past precedent, was little more than "just because." 

But the NCAA, an organization not endowed with a sense of self-awareness, failed to foresee when it curb-stomped USC that among the lawbreakers in college football, the Trojans were jaywalkers amid a mob of bank robbers. Ohio State's sanctions, in fact, represent a return to NCAA normalcy: Mostly toothless penalties that will have little effect on the program's prospects, other than a single-season bowl ban. 



#103 mweb08

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 02:50 PM

ESPN / KVV: The adoration of Russell Wilson
http://espn.go.com/n...-russell-wilson

 

Another great piece by Kevin. Wilson really does seem like a great guy even though I definitely get where his one critic in the article was coming from. 



#104 mweb08

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 03:06 PM

I just saw him on the ESPN set after the game and yeah, it's hard for a coach to be much more likable than that over the course of an extended interview.

#105 Pedro Cerrano

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 03:36 PM

Nothing against Carroll for leaving.  People love to play the "holier than thou" card in situations like these.

 

If your company was folding, and you got a more lucrative job at the next highest level at a better company, would you say "no thanks"?  I doubt it.

 

It's like those dumb fans who hate A-Rod for signing a 250 million dollar deal in 2001 or whatever.  I dare any of them to turn that sort of offer down.


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#106 Oriole85

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 04:17 PM

Nothing against Carroll for leaving.  People love to play the "holier than thou" card in situations like these.

 

If your company was folding, and you got a more lucrative job at the next highest level at a better company, would you say "no thanks"?  I doubt it.

 

It's like those dumb fans who hate A-Rod for signing a 250 million dollar deal in 2001 or whatever.  I dare any of them to turn that sort of offer down.

Well said, not to mention, Pete Carroll paid his dues at USC. He had multiple chances to leave. This wasn't a Lane Kiffin situation.


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#107 mweb08

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 11:18 PM

So do any of the Carroll haters have a response to the links I posted?

#108 Dupin

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 05:14 AM

Pretty much every major program is going to pay players under the table in some fashion, we heard the same thing about Cam Newton at Auburn and I'd be very surprised if Manziel wasn't making cash on the side in addition to his autograph money.  As was pointed out, Carroll wasn't really involved.  He's an enthusiastic and exciting coach who his players clearly love, and I have nothing against him.  I'm glad the Seahawks won, I like them, their franchise, and their city.  I think people just like hating on successful teams.  That's how more gets made of things like the USC thing and Spygate.


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#109 glenn__davis

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 07:48 AM

So do any of the Carroll haters have a response to the links I posted?

 

I am not a Carroll hater, but I absolutely do believe these coaches (him included) are knowledgeable regarding most of the shady stuff that goes on in their program.  Or, at a very minimum, they purposefully turn a blind eye to it.  But like I said, that really doesn't bother me at all because I'm sure it happens at just about every major program.



#110 mweb08

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 10:37 AM

So do any of the Carroll haters have a response to the links I posted?

 
I am not a Carroll hater, but I absolutely do believe these coaches (him included) are knowledgeable regarding most of the shady stuff that goes on in their program.  Or, at a very minimum, they purposefully turn a blind eye to it.  But like I said, that really doesn't bother me at all because I'm sure it happens at just about every major program.

I bet other shady stuff was going on at USC besides the Bush incident and Carroll may have been aware of some of it, but why would anyone assume he was involved in the Bush part? That doesn't seem to be likely at all based on what we know.

#111 glenn__davis

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 10:58 AM

I bet other shady stuff was going on at USC besides the Bush incident and Carroll may have been aware of some of it, but why would anyone assume he was involved in the Bush part? That doesn't seem to be likely at all based on what we know.

 

Because he's the head coach of a major program and Reggie Bush was one of his star players.  Most head coaches are control freaks who want to know everything going on in and around their program, particularly with their best players.  There certainly are exceptions, and maybe Carroll is one of them, I don't know.  But like I said, I kind of assume that, at a minimum, who turned a blind eye to it.



#112 DJ MC

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 11:12 AM

Because the NCAA is such a cluster, it is very difficult to differentiate between the big stuff that should be against the rules and the little stuff that the association's investigators touch themselves to the idea of discovering. However, that doesn't mean that the big stuff, even if "everyone is doing it", isn't wrong.

 

There were some serious issues with those USC teams, even if not all of them were directly connected to the coaching staff. But there is no way that the coaching staff didn't know what was going on, even if they weren't told outright. That would be just as bad as knowing and doing nothing.

 

If Carroll honestly did not realize that Bush was receiving payments to play at USC, that just makes me respect him even less.


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#113 MattJergensen

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 11:19 AM

So do any of the Carroll haters have a response to the links I posted?

 

So everyone cheats.

 

We know it. We admit it. We accept it.

 

If you aint cheatin, then you aint trying.

 

So does that make it all okay?

 

What is a person's incentive NOT to cheat? Personal fulfillment?

 

I don't hate Pete Carroll but please save the talk about what a great human being he is. He's paid to win football games, which he did very well this season. That's it, that's all.



#114 mweb08

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 11:32 AM

Because he's the head coach of a major program and Reggie Bush was one of his star players.  Most head coaches are control freaks who want to know everything going on in and around their program, particularly with their best players.  There certainly are exceptions, and maybe Carroll is one of them, I don't know.  But like I said, I kind of assume that, at a minimum, who turned a blind eye to it.

 

Eh, maybe there were rumors or something, but the guy paying him wasn't even related to the program. But alright, lets say Pete heard that Bush may have been paid. I think we'd all agree that the vast majority of major program coaches would turn a blind eye to that right?



#115 mweb08

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 11:36 AM

So everyone cheats.

 

We know it. We admit it. We accept it.

 

If you aint cheatin, then you aint trying.

 

So does that make it all okay?

 

What is a person's incentive NOT to cheat? Personal fulfillment?

 

I don't hate Pete Carroll but please save the talk about what a great human being he is. He's paid to win football games, which he did very well this season. That's it, that's all.

 

He wasn't even involved in the cheating with Bush.

 

And yeah, I do think it's okay that these players get a cut of the revenue they generate, so it's not a big issue to me. The NCAA is the villain here, not generally the coaches and players.



#116 mweb08

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 11:39 AM

Because the NCAA is such a cluster, it is very difficult to differentiate between the big stuff that should be against the rules and the little stuff that the association's investigators touch themselves to the idea of discovering. However, that doesn't mean that the big stuff, even if "everyone is doing it", isn't wrong.

 

There were some serious issues with those USC teams, even if not all of them were directly connected to the coaching staff. But there is no way that the coaching staff didn't know what was going on, even if they weren't told outright. That would be just as bad as knowing and doing nothing.

 

If Carroll honestly did not realize that Bush was receiving payments to play at USC, that just makes me respect him even less.

 

What evidence is there that he was receiving payments to play at USC? The evidence shows that he was accepting payments, but as an investment by the people paying him, not accepting payments to play at a particular school.



#117 Ricker Says

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 11:39 AM

He wasn't even involved in the cheating with Bush.

 

And yeah, I do think it's okay that these players get a cut of the revenue they generate, so it's not a big issue to me. The NCAA is the villain here, not generally the coaches and players.

 

I think it's incredibly naive to just accept this as true. It just goes against human nature. I don't believe for a second that he wasn't involved/didn't know/didn't indirectly sign off on this at a minimum. And yes, I've read the articles.

 

Regardless of that - yes, guys cheat - and it doesn't make it right that that's the case - but no one is close enough to these guys anyway to determine who they are as a person. Cheating at big money NCAA I Football doesn't make you a bad person. Having your players love the lockerroom you created in the NFL doesn't make you a good person. No one can evaluate that, in truth.

 

All we can evaluate from here is how good he is at his job. And he was one of the best at his job in college, and is turning out to be one of the best in the NFL so far here in round 2.


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#118 mweb08

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 11:51 AM

I think it's incredibly naive to just accept this as true. It just goes against human nature. I don't believe for a second that he wasn't involved/didn't know/didn't indirectly sign off on this at a minimum. And yes, I've read the articles.

 

Regardless of that - yes, guys cheat - and it doesn't make it right that that's the case - but no one is close enough to these guys anyway to determine who they are as a person. Cheating at big money NCAA I Football doesn't make you a bad person. Having your players love the lockerroom you created in the NFL doesn't make you a good person. No one can evaluate that, in truth.

 

All we can evaluate from here is how good he is at his job. And he was one of the best at his job in college, and is turning out to be one of the best in the NFL so far here in round 2.

 

Again, he may have heard something about it, but it doesn't seem that he was personally involved in the cheating other than failing to report it. I think it's unlikely that the head coach is putting himself in the middle of something like this. If a school/boosters wants to pay an athlete, I don't think they're going to have the coach involved in that. Now again, he would probably have an idea of what's going on, but I doubt he's saying to pay specific players x amount.

 

And again, this wasn't even a booster situation, this was an agent trying to forge a relationship with a potential future star so he can get paid later.

 

Anyway, yeah, you're right that we can't totally evaluate him as a person, but I think we can get an idea. I've followed Pete since his start at USC and he seems like a good dude to me. 



#119 mweb08

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 11:51 AM

If USC received a more appropriate punishment, I wonder if this thread would even exist?



#120 DJ MC

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 11:59 AM

Again, he may have heard something about it, but it doesn't seem that he was personally involved in the cheating other than failing to report it. I think it's unlikely that the head coach is putting himself in the middle of something like this. If a school/boosters wants to pay an athlete, I don't think they're going to have the coach involved in that. Now again, he would probably have an idea of what's going on, but I doubt he's saying to pay specific players x amount.

 

And again, this wasn't even a booster situation, this was an agent trying to forge a relationship with a potential future star so he can get paid later.

 

Anyway, yeah, you're right that we can't totally evaluate him as a person, but I think we can get an idea. I've followed Pete since his start at USC and he seems like a good dude to me. 

 

Do you really believe this is the only case?


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