When the newspaper says you’re a cheater, a womanizer, and only got your job because of your father’s influence you must be a pretty bad person, right? Well, maybe not if it’s the Washington Post making the accusations.
The Post’s Norman Chad wrote these things last Sunday, in a piece headed “USC’s Kiffin and Carroll are the best – at circumventing the rules.”
It’s true that last year, as head coach of the Tennessee Volunteers, Kiffin broke some rules that the NCAA called secondary violations with no penalties, mainly speaking disparagingly of Southeastern Conference rivals. It’s also true that the USC football program was sanctioned by the NCAA because star running back Reggie Bush’s parents accepted gifts from an agent looking to buy influence with Reggie. No suggestion, however, was made by the NCAA investigation that coach Pete Carroll had even a hint of the payoffs—the charge was that the school’s policing of the rules was inadequate.
The Post calls USC football a rogue program. Far from it: to make up for its failure to learn about the Bush pere payola, USC has hired a new athletic director, the squeaky-clean Pat Haden, and appointed a university vice president for compliance. An example of USC’s dedication to compliance: the Trojans’ suspended their hot-shot running back, freshman Dillon Baxter, for the Oregon State game (which the Trojans lost) for accepting a campus ride on a golf cart that was driven by a student who—unknown to Baxter—was a part-time sports agent. Baxter was reinstated only after making a donation to charity of five dollars—the imputed value of the illicit ride. (more…)