Pete Carroll isn’t backing down


USC Coach Pete Carroll is not backing down. Not much, anyway.

A day after his agitated appearance at quarterback Mark Sanchez’s news conference, during which the junior announced he would make himself available for the NFL draft, Carroll stood by his tone and his explanation of why Sanchez was making a mistake by not exhausting his eligibility.

But he also said he might have left something out. “If it didn’t come across clearly how I feel about Mark, I’d like to say that Mark was a great football player for us and was on course to be as good as anyone we ever had,” Carroll said. “We loved him, he was a great, terrific kid in this program, and we are going to miss him.”


Sanchez and Georgia’s Matt Stafford are regarded as the top two quarterbacks in the April draft. Carroll reiterated Friday he would help and support Sanchez as he went through the draft process.

But Carroll also explained that since arriving at USC before the 2001 season, he has approached his coaching responsibility “from the perspective of how a parent would look after their kid going through here.”

“If your child decides to do something that you know isn’t what you agree with, I think you bag out on him to not show him your true self, for what you believe,” he said. “That’s the bottom line here. And I don’t mind standing for that.”

Carroll said he would have said the same things he said at the news conference if his own son was the player in question.

“I’m the football coach,” he said, chuckling. “If he’s playing for me I would have done exactly that.”

So, no regrets?

“No. Maybe I could have sat down for it,” he said. “Or they could have had the podium there so I could have stood up. . . . I was ready to battle.”