Pete Carroll Says He Made a Mistake in Hesitating on Reggie Bush
In his new book "Win Forever", Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll says in retrospect, he is not sure why he hesitated in signing Reggie Bush to a scholarship at USC.
Says Carroll: "There is probably no better example of someone contributing from the outset than former Trojan Reggie Bush. It's amazing that it took us so long to decide to offer Reggie a scholarship because his film was so unusual that we couldn't really tell what sort of player he would turn out to be.
"When I'm looking at prospects, the most important things I'm looking for are competitive will and love of the game. It was obvious Reggie had extraordinary talent, but it was his desire to separate from the crowd to be special that we questioned.
"With Reggie, it was just so easy for him in high school that it was hard to tell. I must have watched his high school film thirty times, and time after time he was jogging in the end zone with no one else in the frame.
"I remember during one of our recruiting meetings I learned that his high school quarterback was Alex Smith, who would go to play at Utah and eventually be selected by the 49ers as the first pick of the 2005 NFL draft.
"For all the times I studied those tapes before making a decision, I had never noticed Alex—I just couldn't take my eyes off Reggie. He was just so fast. Once we got him to USC, it only took a few minutes into the first practice to see that he was going to be a great contributor, but until we knew that, we could only hope that in addition to his extraordinary talent, he had the competitive drive.
"He did, of course—in a tremendous way, as he left USC with a Heisman Trophy and as an All-American, and this past season helped the New Orleans Saints become Super Bowl champions."
Said Pete Carroll in the June 28, 2010 issue of Sports Illustrated regarding his knowledge of any improper activity between Reggie Bush and sports agents:
"Listen, what we know now is different from what we knew then. Reggie Bush wasn't Reggie Bush when he was a sophomore (in 2004.) Now you look back—the second pick in the (NFL) Draft, a Super Bowl champion-but he was competing for a job as a sophomore.
"People ask, 'Why wouldn't you have known this or that; why didn't you anticipate this or foresee that?' He wasn't that Reggie Bush then."
SI's Selena Roberts says in the feature, "Carroll fails to note that Bush set a Trojans freshman record for all-purpose yards in 2003, and during his sophomore year he finished fifth in the Heisman Trophy balloting and was named the team's MVP."
Carroll Says NCAA Had a Hidden Agenda
Sports Illustrated also reported in the recent feature on Carroll:
"The selective vision was clear in Carroll's YouTube response to the NCAA sanctions, which he released through his Twitter page on June 10. "I never, ever thought it would come to this," Carroll said. "The agenda of the NCAA infractions committee took them beyond the facts, and the facts don't match the sanctions...I feel terrible for the Trojan family that we have to go through this, but as always we'll be strong and keep our heads...Fight on."