With Pete Carroll gone, what happens to the USC dynasty?
Carroll rebuilt the Trojans in nine seasons, but leaves behind a mess as he heads for the Seahawks. USC is in disarray, and an NCAA investigation that has lasted three-plus years continues to hover over the program.
Just who USC will turn to will be discussed and dissected over the next few days, but so will the inevitable question – Who would want this job? It is difficult enough having to fill the shoes of a man who returned the Trojans to national prominence.
But one look at the team and the future could send many coaches away screaming in terror. The team’s top three offensive players – receiver Damian Williams, and running backs Joe McKnight and Stafon Johnson are leaving for the NFL. The defense is a disaster. Backup QB Aaron Corp is leaving for Richmond.
Top-flight prospects are reconsidering their verbal commitments and interest in USC.
Even bigger is the idea that NCAA sanctions could be coming. The program has been under investigation since 2006 amid allegations that Reggie Bush and his family received improper benefits. McKnight is under NCAA investigation after questions were raised about his use of an SUV that did not belong to him. He was held out of the Emerald Bowl as a precaution.
Last week, USC announced it would penalize its basketball team with sanctions that included forfeiting victories and money, skipping postseason play and limiting recruiting after allegations that O.J. Mayo received improper cash and gifts while in school. The NCAA combined its investigations of Bush and Mayo, looking for evidence that the athletic department failed to exert reasonable control over athletes.