Carroll Leaves One Month Before Bush Bombshell

Charles Robinson and Jason Cole of Yahoo Sports report this morning that after turning down the NCAA’s request for an interview for three years, Reggie Bush has finally met with NCAA investigators over possible improprieties while he played for USC.

Pete Carroll resigns one day before Bush NCAA interview revelation

(Careful with that, sir. Do you know our return policy?)

The revelation only hours after Pete Carroll resigned his position as USC coach to likely become the coach of the Seattle Seahawks.

While specifics of Bush’s interview are not known, Yahoo reports that Heisman Trophy winner Bush denied allegations that he received improper benefits from SoCal businessmen Lloyd Lake and Michael Michaels while playing at USC.

Bush was sued by both men separately after he left USC and did not enter into business agreements with them. The Saints running back later paid Michaels a $300,000 settlement but Bush’s case with Lake is still pending.

While the NCAA continues to investigate USC over the charges against Bush, and now allegations that Joe McKnight was improperly provided a free SUV by an L.A. businessman, the legal proceeding between Lake and Bush is a little over a month away. A proceeding that will almost certainly involve Carroll’s participation.

Yahoo Sports reports:

“The suit long has been tied up in legal wrangling between opposing attorneys for each side, but a recent ruling in Lake’s favor has opened the way for depositions of Carroll, Bush, Bush’s family and other potential witnesses in the suit. Those depositions could begin as early as March.”

Those depositions will be under oath, unlike Carroll’s comments to Gary Klein of the LOS ANGELES TIMES today on if he left USC because of the possibility of NCAA sanctions:

“Not in any way. Because I know where we stand. It’s just a process we have to go through. We know we’ve fought hard to do right.”

Carroll doesn’t identify who “we” is, but the USC administration, including Athletic Director Mike Garrett, has made no comment about the NCAA’s wide-ranging investigation into the football program.

Cole and Robinson, who originally broke the allegations against Bush, report that NCAA sanctions against the USC football program could be extremely damaging to the Trojans:

Such a penalty could result in a significant loss of scholarships, postseason bans, the stripping of wins, voiding of statistics and other far-reaching sanctions.

Those sanctions could also involve the Heisman Trophy won by Bush.

The Yahoo reporters also note that those penalties could be coming down at any moment:

“Multiple sources interviewed by the NCAA previously had indicated their belief the investigation would wrap in spring or summer, but recent developments at USC hint that a final determination – which would be issued to the school in a notice of infractions – may be coming soon.”

Carroll previously has interviewed for other NFL jobs, in fact a source told me recently that he actually accepted the job as head coach of the Atlanta Falcons before later changing his mind - leading the Falcons to hire Mike Smith.

Carroll also interviewed for the Dolphins coaching job before the team hired Nick Saban.

With that context, it makes you wonder about the timing of Carroll departing for Seattle at this juncture.

Actually, let’s be real, it makes you more than wonder.

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