Pete Carroll to the NFL

Apparently, Pete Carroll is leaving USC and returning to the NFL to coach the Seattle Seahawks. What if anything can be drawn from this turn of events?

First, time really does heal all wounds. Carroll has already been an NFL coach, coaching the Jets in 1994 and going 6-10, then spending 1997-99 in New England where he went 27-21, with his record getting worse each year. Of course, those numbers are much better than Bill Belichick‘s tenure in Cleveland, when he was 36-44 over 5 seasons. Nevertheless, the Seahawks are playing with a known commodity with a poor track record.

Second, I worry about the future of USC football. I use worry loosely, given that I basically dislike USC and am happy to see them lose. Still, USC has won parts of two national titles under Carroll, along with three Heisman trophies. Before this year, they had won 7 consecutive Pac 10 titles. Yet this season, they went a mere 9-4, including a bowl win over Boston College. At the same time, the school is facing a series of NCAA investigations relating to football players Reggie Bush and Joe McKnight and basketball player O.J. Mayo. Why do you leave a secure spot in one of college football’s most elite programs? If I were a USC follower, I would worry that either the team is finally having trouble reloading from losing players to the NFL, is facing imminent NCAA sanctions, or both.

It will be interesting to see if Carroll will be a better NFL coach this time around. Do any of you think he has learned his lessons?

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