The NCAA Needs To Use Pete Carroll as a Precedent for New Sanctions

Dumont WalkerSenior Analyst IJanuary 12, 2010

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 07:  Southern California head coach Pete Carroll stands on the sidelines during the Citi BCS National Championship game between the Texas Longhorns and the Alabama Crimson Tide at the Rose Bowl on January 7, 2010 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
With Pete Carroll leaving USC for the Seattle Seahawks and the NFL, there are plenty of conspiracy theories circulating about what prompted Carroll to make the move.
An overwhelming number of fans believe Carroll is leaving USC due to possible pending NCAA sanctions that will be levied against USC's football program. If the NCAA is prepared to levy sanctions against USC, it is our belief that the NCAA needs to take this opportunity to implement new precedents for how they punish programs and coaches who have violated NCAA rules.

If the USC football program faces sanctions from the NCAA, the punishments will affect USC football, but Pete Carroll will get a free pass because he is no longer a part of USC football.
This is a scenario we have seen countless times in college athletics. A coach comes in, allows for violations to occur under his or her watch, and then the coach hops ship before the rulings come down from the NCAA. Sure the coach is thought to be a bad person, but they always find another job and emerge virtually unscathed. Meanwhile the program they coached is sent into purgatory for the foreseeable future.

You don't have to take our word for this; simply look at John Calipari at the University of Kentucky. Two of his former schools have faced NCAA investigation, most recently the University of Memphis. Calipari has not been held responsible either time for what happened—other than some media scrutiny—at those programs under his watch. In fact, Calipari was rewarded by essentially being promoted and earning better coaching jobs at more prestigious institutions.

While Calipari, Tim Floyd, and company move on to new opportunities, the schools they leave are left to pick up the pieces. In actuality, the people who suffer most at these schools are the athletes who are stuck in their scholarships and now lose the opportunity to earn higher honors.

So the question remains: What is the NCAA to do with coaches who run corrupt programs and then split?

One solution is to ban them from coaching in the NCAA for a specific number of years. Say three to five years or seasons. Yes, keep the coaches out of the ranks of the NCAA for that long. That doesn't mean they cannot coach. It just means they cannot coach college football, basketball, or any other NCAA sport.
If the coach is good enough, let them go to the NBA or the NFL, but for the determined amount of time that coach should not be allowed to handle a college program.

While, this idea does not solve the problem of corruption in college athletics, it does help to properly direct the punishment. An incoming freshman, who is just trying to make it, should not be punished and forced to leave his dream school, when the coach who allowed the corruption is able to get a pay raise and new benefits at a new institution.

Now is the perfect time for the NCAA to begin using these new sanctions.
With USC under investigation, the NCAA could use this new ruling to punish Pete Carroll in a symbolic manor and also to set a precedent. Pete Carroll is obviously out of college football for a few seasons with his move to Seattle, so suspending him from coaching in the NCAA would not hurt him, but it establishes a precedent for the NCAA.

Now is the time for the NCAA to take action and try to take some control of the programs they oversee.