Few things are more enjoyable than someone in the public eye beginning a statement with “I don’t want to sound like a jerk, but…”
When that happens, we can only hope that (a) that person will sound like a jerk, and (b) we can enjoy a rare moment of candor that’s becoming all too rare in this sports world of sound bytes and coachspeak. And when USC football’s beachcomber-in-chief Pete Carroll uttered the aforementioned words to SPORTINGNEWS.COM, he did not disappoint.
“I don’t want to sound like a jerk,” Carroll says, “But other coaches … they’re just lazy.”
The comment came on the heels of a significant rules change from the NCAA in an attempt to curtail “bumping,” which occurs when a coach visits a prospect’s school and that prospect happens to “bump” into the coach.
Two months ago at the NCAA convention, the SEC proposed legislation — and a majority of its coaches agreed — to prohibit head coaches from making off-campus visits during the spring evaluation period. It passed and kicks in next month, from April 15 to May 31.
The reality is the new rule penalizes those who work hard and build relationships and rewards those who are, yep, lazy. Nick Saban visited more than 100 high schools in last spring’s evaluation period. Urban Meyer’s spring jaunts are legendary, and Ron Zook once visited more than 70 schools in 30 days.”
Less travel for coaches? More free time? Somewhere, Mark Mangino is celebrating with a bowl of ice cream.