Ben Bolch of the L.A. TIMES reports on reaction from USC Athletic Director Mike Garrett to recently enacted NCAA sanctions now saddling the Trojans football program. Speaking to alumni in San Francisco last night, Garrett said of the penalties:
“As I read the decision by the NCAA … I read between the lines and there was nothing but a lot of envy. They wish they all were Trojans.”
Diamond Leung of ESPN.com describes exchanges with Garrett last night as Leung attempted to get a comment from the USC AD:
Wearing a striped cardinal-and-gold-colored tie — and a smile — Garrett had this to say when I approached him before the start of the event: “No comment. Don’t bother me. The world is great.”
While walking away with associates, he said, “Don’t talk to that guy. He’s the press.”
Later, when asked why he had not spoken publicly about the NCAA report or even issued a video statement, Garrett acted like he did not hear the question. He patted me on the chest and said, “God bless you.”
When a newspaper reporter asked if he were worried about his job,” Garrett patted that writer on the chest as well and said, “I’m just worried about your job.”
How did USC alumni react to Garrett’s comments about the penalties? From Leung:
The crowd gave Garrett a standing ovation and also applauded and cheered when he mentioned the school would appeal the NCAA ruling.
“We’re fighters,” Garrett said. “As I told my staff, I said, ‘You know, I feel invigorated by all this stuff.’”
For those who now think that all USC administrative offices are outfitted with padded rooms, Garrett will be gone at the end of the summer.
As I noted in January, the school will use the retirement of USC President Steven Sample in August as cover to nudge Garrett out the door. A USC administration source reiterated that plan to me this morning, indicating that a retirement announcement from Garrett will likely be made when Sample departs - or shortly thereafter.
After last night, that can’t come soon enough for USC-affiliated folks.