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Pete Carroll blames NCAA sanctions for Lane Kiffin's downfall

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll has never been shy about expressing himself, with much of his harshest criticism aimed at the NCAA, especially after it hammered USC with a two-year bowl ban and significant scholarship reductions just after Carroll's exit for the Pacific Northwest.

Carroll unloaded once more on the governing body that oversees college athletics in an interview with NFL Network's Rich Eisen, pointing to those draconian measures as the main reason for successor Lane Kiffin's unsuccessful tenure with the Trojans.

"This whole NCAA thing I just think was so terribly out of balance," Carroll said on the Rich Eisen Podcast. "They had to try to survive all of that, it's awful that it was like that. But it didn't end well and it's unfortunate for Kiff. You know, he's a tremendous worker and all, it just didn't work out."

Kiffin was an assistant under Carroll at USC from 2001-06. Carroll has also known Kiffin since he was a child, as his father, Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, was one of Carroll's mentors dating back to their time together at Arkansas in 1977.

The younger Kiffin had a record of 28-15 in four seasons, with losses in seven of his last 11 games at USC, capped by the 62-41 humiliation at Arizona State that led to his firing Sunday.

Contrast that with Carroll's 97-19 mark in nine seasons at USC, restoring the Trojans to the top of college football with seven consecutive Pac-10 titles and BCS bowl bids and two national championships.

Another Carroll assistant, Ed Orgeron, will take over at USC as interim coach for the rest of the season. Carroll expects the larger-than-life Orgeron to do well in difficult circumstances.

"He's got a way about him that resonates, and I think he can take control of the very difficult situation and make something happen positively," Carroll said Monday. "I think he'll do the best anybody can do at this time."

As for the recruit who naively suggested Carroll -- nicknamed the "Prince of LA" during his historic run at USC -- return to the throne, sorry, kid, but that's not happening.

Follow Dan Greenspan on Twitter @DanGreenspan.

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