Thursday, January 14, 2010

Nominations for "Weasel of the Week" continue!

From the wacky world of college sports comes our next contestant.

On Monday, Pete Carroll resigned as head football coach at the University of Southern California (USC) in order to return to the NFL, this time to coach the Seattle Seahawks. Carroll had previously coached the New England Patriots & New York Jets during the 90's, and it's his first pro job since his lone season with the Jets in 1994. A former Carroll assistant, Lane Kiffin, left Tennessee after 1 season to return to USC as its new head coach.

USC is up to its collective waistline in scandals engulfing both the basketball & football programs, for the usual reasons, such as overzealous boosters offering gifts to superstar recruits, such as football hero Reggie Bush (now with the NFL's New Orleans Saints) and hoopster O. J. Mayo (currently with the NBA's Memphis Grizzlies).

Kiffin, less than a year after being booted as head coach of the Oakland Raiders, signed on to succeed Tennessee legend Phil Fulmer as football coach. About the only thing Kiffin learned from Raiders owner Al Davis was how to stir up controversy and leave enough wiggle room to escape at a moment's notice. Kiffin was cited for a few minor violations less than a month after arriving at Tennessee. The Volunteers went 7-6 this past season, not exactly world-beaters in the talent-rich SouthEastern Conference (SEC). In taking the USC gig, Kiffin demonstrated what kind of a weasel he really is by not only taking two assistants, including his father, defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, with him to USC, but trying to convince new recruits not to enroll at Tennessee and join him in California.

USC is almost certain to end up being placed on probation somewhere down the road if the NCAA's investigation comes up with any hard evidence to prove anything went wrong as it relates to Bush, or more recently, Joe McKnight, who's about to turn pro. The school has already decided it's vacating its basketball record for the one season Mayo played there (he was drafted by Memphis in '08) after conducting its own internal investigation. Athletic Director Mike Garrett took pity on Kiffin, claiming that Kiffin had been "beaten up" at his last two jobs. As Jay Mariotti pointed out earlier today on ESPN's Around The Horn, Kiffin's track record at Oakland & Tennessee wouldn't merit him the USC job, if it wasn't for the fact that he was previously an assistant there and was considered a prodigy when Davis hired him after the 2006 season.

Not that Pete Carroll gets off scot free. He flees USC for Seattle, knowing that the allegations of gifts being given to Bush & McKnight happened on his watch. Since Garrett had his head in the sand, paying no heed to the antics of Kiffin in Knoxville, then Garrett, Kiffin, & Carroll are all being nominated for "Weasel of the Week".

Sam Wilson has chosen evangelist Pat Robertson as his "Idiot of the Week" over at Think 3 for insinuating that the Haitian earthquake was the result of a pact made with the Devil more than 200 years ago to end slavery under French rule. Of course, on The 700 Club, Robertson has spun it to say he wasn't condemning the Haitian people, and that like all Christians, he's praying for the survivors. Robertson has said some strange things in recent years, which leads one to wonder if he's really on the same page with God.

We'll decide the true "Weasel of the Week" this weekend.

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