clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

More Rationalizing Mischief At USC

I shouldn't be surprised.  It started as just another column by a so-called neutral college football site, with obvious USC sympathies, seeking to excuse/rationalize the recent spate of misconduct from Pete Carroll's football team.  

This isn't the first time. In the beginning, we were told that every team is equal when it comes to off the field problems, and that a "gentlemen's agreement" is all that has kept more misconduct from coming to light.  

Then, we were told that we were naïve to think such problems could be prevented, that every "elite team needs at least a handful of kids who are rough around the edges," that coaches who bend the rules are "shrewd," and that "it's simply impossible to run a spotless program and win a national championship."

Not unexpected.  Just par for the course.  I understand the urge of USC fans to try to rationalize things.  It's not their problem, right? Everyone's in the same boat. USC is blameless. Right?  

I've already added my two cents. I don't think everyone really does it in the same way as Trojan fans like to suggest. And as I've written, I simply don't believe that the pro-USC commentators reflecting this sentiment have some high-minded purpose in all this. In my opinion, they are angered by all of the negative attention USC has gotten in the press recently, are looking to rationalize it away, and are now engaging in no small amount of schadenfreude over what's happened recently at UCLA. They are writing articles that go to considerable lengths to poke a finger in UCLA's eye. And then they try to veil that motive by cloaking everything in an overarching argument that itself seeks to justify, excuse, and in a way, glorify, the transgressions of USC players and coaches as just the realpolitik of college football. And, for what it's worth, I'm not the only one to point out the flaws in CFR's logic.

But the latest takes the cake.  CFR now says (in the comments):

Is it any surprise that UCLA's last basketball title was under one coach Harrick? You think Ben Howland's running a perfectly clean program? Hah. Neither is your rival coach Tim Floyd. That's the sport though. The players come from the suspect AAU and other circuits and all the criminals, thieves, hangers-on, degenerates and con men who make a living in them.

That's quite an allegation.  It one thing to wax philosophic about "everyone doing it" or to "blame the system." It's quite another to call out a rival program and suggest that it's dirty based upon no evidence whatsoever.  If CFR has evidence to support this claim, let's have it.  Otherwise, this kind of tactic smacks of desperation and is a shame.