About to finish my Ph.D., I was discussing a possible teaching position with my academic advisor. The job was at a small, liberal arts college.
I asked him if he would accept an offer if one came forth.
“Let me put it this way,” he began. “That school is a great place to COME FROM.”
I chewed on that for a while before making my decision.
I always felt he meant: “Look, that place is a good start, but you don’t want to get bogged down, there. Take it for now, and then move on.”
Has USC become that type of place for young quarterbacks–a great place to come from?
It has produced a lot of winners that have gone on to stardom in the NFL. But since Mark Sanchez left the fold after only one season, way too early according to Pete Carroll, the school seems less like a cozy and nurturing home away from home for four years or more.
It is starting to look like summer camp with a football season appended to it.
A great place to meet and greet cheerleaders, get a Hollywood makeover, and then negotiate an eight-figure pro contract.
Wasn’t this Mark Sanchez’s short trajectory to the top?
Aren’t future USC flamethrowers going to burn through the brush the same way?
Not if Coach Carroll has anything to say about it.
This week, two stunning things occurred in SC World: Mark Sanchez was anointed starting quarterback for the New York Jets, and Matt Barkley, a true freshman was chosen to lead USC’s offense, demoting Aaron Corp to being a warrior-in-waiting, a clipboard carrier.
What message is Pete Carroll sending forth to all that aspire to play at Troy?
“You’re mine for at least 2-3 seasons, if not longer!”
Shifting allegiance from Corp, a redshirt sophomore, to the true freshman, Barkley, almost completely assures Carroll he won’t have to groom a successor for two or three seasons, and maybe four.
There is an expression that holds if someone is rude to you it is often less about you as an individual, and more reflective of the person’s experience with your predecessors.
Publicly stung twice by Sanchez, first for leaving, and then for becoming a rookie NFL starter, Carroll might be vowing to never let that happen, again.
Something tells me Sanchez’s impact on Trojan football will extend into the indefinite future, or at least as long as Carroll remains King.