On one of the biggest days of young Mark Sanchez’s life, classless Pete Carroll decided to voice his opinion. The man who coached Sanchez to four Rose Bowl wins (Mark sat the bench during the 2006 National Championship), 2008 First Team All-Pac10 honors, 2008 First Team All-American honorable mention honors, and a bright NFL future, really put a dent in a day that should have been one of Sanchez’s finest.
Before yesterday, I really looked up to Pete Carroll. I thought he was on a certain pedestal when compared to other coaches. It would be hard to argue that he isn’t the best coach in the college game today. He is USC’s coach, the most decorated team in NCAA history. They have a hard time losing, and year in and year out they have a title-contending team. By all means, do not get me wrong, I think Carroll is one of the best college coaches to grab the clipboard. But as a man, things are different.
The dude gets what he wants, when he wants it. Out of all of the college coaches the currently hold the job, he has a higher winning percentage than all of them. I cannot imagine the percentage of players he lands after recruiting them. I know if I was Mr. Superstar football player, USC would be right at the top of my list for where I wanted to go to school. For those reasons, you usually see Pete Carroll jumping up and down with a huge smile on his face like a little school girl. Life is good for Pete. However, yesterday, we saw him whining like a little school girl.
What he did was low, and he embarrassed himself.
It doesn’t happen often, but when Carroll has a bad day, apparently you know it. His star Quarterback left for the NFL before his senior season and he did not like that one bit. Like I said before, he acted like a girl in his press conference following Sanchez’s announcement. As Carroll sat only five feet away from Sanchez, he decided to completely rain on what should have been a joyous day for Mark.
What proved to be a very awkward press conference concluded with Carroll treating his former QB like some kind of traitor. "We don't see this decision the same," Carroll said. "Mark's going against the grain on this decision and he knows that. He knows coming out early is a tremendous challenge for a quarterback and the statistics don't back up that it will be easy the way he's going about it. I am disappointed in that the information that we have wasn't compelling enough to make it clear to him," Carroll said. "Our view of it is, and as you guys will see as you dig into this a little bit more, you'll see that these early entry quarterbacks are less than 50-50 successful."
After his statements, Carroll wanted nothing to do with Sanchez. He got up and walked out, not supporting Sanchez what-so-ever like he did with numerous of players prior. He treated Sanchez as if he was statistics, instead of a person. Like he was numbers, instead of an excellent Quarterback.
“Congratulations, son. You deserve this. You’ve earned your chance. You are ready for the next level. You made my life as a coach a tad bit easier, and I can’t wait to see you excel in the big leagues. Good job.” Carroll could have said a number of things to that effect. For Christ sake, congratulate the dude. HE brought YOU your Rose Bowl this year. I don’t care if you mean it, but the least you could do was say good job. Yet, it almost sounds like he doesn’t want Sanchez to do well in the NFL. He went as far as to post a big ole article about why Sanchez is making a bad decision, like he hopes to prove Sanchez wrong.
That press conference was live, in front of tons of people. Can you think of what the conversation is like between the two behind closed doors??
It was understandable for Carroll to say whatever it took to get Sanchez to come back to school. Whatever he said to Taylor Mays amazingly kept him on campus for another year. But once Sanchez made his decision to go pro, Carroll should have respected his decision and saved his "50-50 failure" talk for another underclassman down the road. The fact that he couldn't resist taking one last public shot at Sanchez's decision before leaving the press conference early says a lot about the kind of man Carroll is when things don't go his way. Luckily for him, those moments are few and far between.
Unlike your former coach, Mark Sanchez, I will be rooting for you. Well wait, I will be unless the 49ers take you at #9. Have fun in San Fran or anywhere else you land. I wouldn’t mind one bit seeing you play for my Rams at some point, and I wouldn’t go on a rant if you left.
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