With Sam Bradford, Tim Tebow, and Colt McCoy all deciding to return to school for the 2009 college football season, USC QB Mark Sanchez took a leap of a faith (no disrespect Tim Tebow) and decided to declare for the 2009 NFL draft without Pete Carroll’s endorsement. Sanchez has 16 games and one full year as a starter on his resume, which evidently doesn’t meet Carroll’s criteria for the NFL.
Said Sanchez: “It is with a heavy heart that I say goodbye to this university.”
Said Carroll: “We didn’t see this decision the same.”
Said Sanchez: “I will always fight on.”
Said Carroll: “Mark is going against the grain in this decision, we know that, he knows that.”
Pete Carroll was so upset that he refused to sit by Sanchez during the press conference and then proceeded to walk by Sanchez without looking him in the eye after his statement.
I’m a little perplexed as to why Pete Carroll is doing this. For starters, Sanchez has the opportunity to be taken first overall and clearly has the physical tools to play immediately in the NFL. Secondly, if a player that has put in 4 years of hard work for your team and program makes a decision that he feels at peace with, then why wouldn’t you do everything to support him? Bashing his decision and readiness for the next level is certainly going to plant a seed of doubt to a few NFL general managers, especially when it comes from a former NFL head coach.
I’m not sure if I can ever remember a coach this infuriated about a player deciding to leave early for the NFL. It’s one thing to not to agree with your player’s decision, but it is a whole different ball game when you put your discontent out there for everyone to hear.
On the other hand, if I was Pete Carroll, I wouldn’t be real excited about the upcoming battle about to take place between Mitch Mustain’s mom and the rest of the quarterbacks either. While Mustain’s mom – Beck Campbell – usually balances her delicate offseason schedule between the football and the men’s basketball programs, she will have to refocus most of her energy back to football with the departure of Sanchez. Be careful, Pete.