|Pete Carroll is one of three head coaches to win a Super Bowl and college football national title.|
Carroll had a speaking engagement at the school, and afterward he said the USC case "was dealt with poorly and very irrationally and done with way too much emotion instead of facts," according to the Los Angeles Times.
Carroll also said "we made some mistakes along the way," and was asked to elaborate.
"We just didn't know what was going on," he said. "Had we known, I would like to think we would do the right thing and would have stopped everything and fixed it by doing what we should have done. But, unfortunately, because we didn't know, the university gets killed over the deal."
Carroll also said he sat it on the meetings with the NCAA and "listened to the venom that they had for our program. They didn't understand a thing about what we were all about. .. They never were here. And they didn't want to hear it. They never even got close to hearing what we're all about."
Carroll coached USC from 2001-09 and went 97-19 with the Trojans. He left for the Seahawks on Jan. 10, 2010, and in June of that year, the NCAA handed down severe sanctions that included a two-year bowl ban and scholarship reductions spread over three years. The recruiting class signed earlier this month by new coach Steve Sarkisian is the first non-sanctioned class since the NCAA ruling.
Then-AD Mike Garrett was criticized heavily for his handling of the investigation, specifically what some called a combative attitude toward the NCAA. A few days after the sanctions were handed down, Garrett said, "I read between the lines and there was nothing but a lot of envy, and they wish they all were Trojans. As I told my staff, I said, 'You know, I feel invigorated by all this stuff. ... With the penalty we got today, I know we're bigger than life.'"
Garrett was fired by USC in July 2010.
Mike Huguenin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.