Even T.J. Simers of all people who hasn’t missed an opportunity all season to attack CRN any chance he got, is not buying the unsubstantiated allegations coming out of Kenny:
I read The Times' story about Norton's charges further, waiting for Norton to say it was Neuheisel who was telling the recruits he was going to be leaving USC, or maybe name the assistant coaches working for Neuheisel who were spreading the misinformation.
But instead, Norton said it was "UCLA." But who at UCLA? A coach, player, mascot with a big mouth, student, booster or some message board regular? A UCLA grad working at rivals.com?
When Norton mentioned Neuheisel's previous "pattern," it sure sounded as if he was singling him out, like he knew Neuheisel was the guilty party -- yet he was saying he was getting it from recruits.
How convenient -- since it's a NCAA violation to mention recruits by name.
I stopped by USC on Monday to ask Norton if the unnamed recruits had identified Neuheisel as the one playing dirty tricks, figuring it probably would have come up in the conversation.
But he left word through a university spokesperson, "I said what I had to say yesterday. Talk to the head coach."
For a program that prides itself on toughness, it was odd to come across a coach wimping out like that, so I checked in with Pete Carroll.
It was Carroll, the instigator -- who likes everyone to believe he's above all this kind of stuff -- who suggested to Norton that he speak with the media.
Petey of course couldn’t provide any specifics either which led to Simers to embarrassing the Humanitarian a little more:
"It was absolutely important for Kenny to have a chance to say something," Carroll said. "What was going on was not fair or honest. A half a dozen times it came back to us. Kenny was being misrepresented. It's so obvious a ploy being played here and it's not truthful. And we're not going to stand for it."
Now everyone knows USC is 100% pure when it comes to recruiting, but who is telling the truth here?
USC was publicly embarrassed recently when a recruit changed his mind and opted to become a Bruin. The player, a tight end, had been heavily recruited by Norton. Is he now taking it out on UCLA -- hitting Neuheisel where it hurts the most -- his shaky reputation?
Has Neuheisel already told Norton behind the scenes he won't be getting a job offer, giving Norton an ax to grind?
Forgot about the connection between Kenny and Pressley. That certainly provides more context to Kenny’s swing and miss today.
Simers ended the column by offering up his email address and issuing appeal to any potential recruits to reach out to him if they can substantiate Kenny’s allegations. Of course it will not be a shocker at this point if some Trojie recruit who was never going to consider UCLA offer up more unstabtianted BS keeping the predictable character attacks on CRN (now that they have shown their card so early in the recruiting game).
Again if folks are looking to analyze the story and read between the lines check out CRN’s statement again. Read these lines again:
If DeWayne leaves, I would consider several candidates for the defensive coordinator job. Kenny probably would have been among those considered, with no guarantees. However, his quotes in the paper say he is staying at USC, so we wish him well.
CRN very skillfully leaves open the possibility that Kenny might have reached out to UCLA via intermediaries fishing for the DC job but that possibility no longer is looking all that great (for Kenny). I knew with CRN we would get one of the more PR savvy head coaches we have had in recent years in Westwood. I didn’t realize CRN was this good. He has lit up our fanbase and united the entire Bruin Nation (read all the message boards) with a 4-8 team against a rival which is now in the middle of a recruiting firestorm just three days before the Rose Bowl. As I said below, if Petey were to make the smart move he would have advised Kenny to not engaged in this battle giving UCLA and Neuheisel the center stage in the middle of “dead period.” Instead it’s game on and judging by the column from a professional concern troll such as Simers, it’s Neuehisel who is piling on the punches on Kenny and Petey’s wimpy efforts of late on the recruiting trail.