ESPN, ever the paragon of investigative journalism, included a little snippet in an article about Pete Carroll cheering on the Los Angeles Marathon that caught my attention (HT Nestor who "fanshotted" the article earlier today):
Not only did Carroll help the university at the hearing, he also helped when it came to securing USC’s stellar recruiting class, which was rated by some recruiting services as the best in the country. He admitted he assured players on the fence that they were in good hands with Kiffin as well as Carroll’s mentor, Monte Kiffin, Lane’s father and USC’s new defensive coordinator.
“I tried to help [Kiffin] along the way and make sure [this recruiting class] happened,” Carroll said. “All those kids we worked so hard to get, we wanted to support him and give him any insight that he needed, and they did a fine job of finishing up and hitting on a couple of other kids we weren’t on. He really made it a great class.”
First of all, the article uses the word "admit", which makes me suspicious coming from someone I already expect to be trying to bend every rule he can find, and goes on to explain that Carroll had been in contact with more than one Southern Cal commit to extend his support of the new coaching regime.
I'm not entirely familiar with NCAA rules, but if Lane Kiffin was hired well after Carroll had fled Southern California for the rain and clouds of Seattle, far from the family he says he's already returned to Los Angeles more than once to visit despite the daunting heavy workload of his new job, I don't believe that Carroll would have still been legally allowed by the NCAA to contact recruits for the school he had just left.
I may be paranoid, but given that this school has a proven history of trying to skirt limits on the number of coaches allowed to work for a football program, I hope someone in the NCAA is at least making a couple inquiries into how, exactly, Carroll "assured players on the fence that they were in good hands with Kiffin as well as Carroll’s mentor, Monte Kiffin, Lane’s father and USC’s new defensive coordinator."