Answer Monday (Football Forum, Part 5)

In this segment, we answer a question on a familiar feud.

Q: What do you make of the recent back-and-forth between Neuheisal and Ken Norton Jr? I’d heard that Neuheisal had been saying he had Norton lined up for a while now, so one would think this is Norton’s way of putting an end to that, but it also closes the UCLA coaching window for him, at least as long as Neuheisal is there.

A: The superficial answer is Ken Norton got tired of hearing rumors about UCLA and wanted to put an end to it. But if that is the case, why did Norton refuse to answer several times this week whether he would talk to UCLA if they talked about the defensive coordinator’s position. Even after the Rose Bowl, he refused. Now if I was so angry to complain about things Rick Neuheisel said, I would think you would have no problem saying you’re not interested in working at UCLA.
However, here is my own theory on the situation. It was Pete Carroll, not Ken Norton, who was upset about any alleged comments made to recruits. Specifically, the decommitment of Morrell Presley. So a plan was orchestrated to go to the media to get out a message that Norton was upset about these alleged comments. I doubt Norton was behind it because he really hates dealing with the media.
Even if Neuheisel said it, it’s no different than if other Pac-10 schools say Pete Carroll is going to the NFL. And I know schools are talking about the shooting of track star Bryshon Nellum. So why isn’t USC complaining about these too? Maybe because they don’t think it affected Presley?

Q: Couldn’t Orgeron be hired to coach the d-line with Holt going back to lb coach and just wishing Watson well ( hello Texans ?? lol ), and wouldn’t that be a total upgrade at those coaching positions??

A: This question was asked before Orgeron went to Tennessee. But let’s say Holt went to Washington today. USC could try to hire him as defensive coordinator before he starts full-time at Tennessee although at this point the contract might already be signed. So USC would probably have to pay off Tennessee in order to get him. It would probably make Orgeron look bad, however, to leave Tennessee so quickly after getting a $650,000 per year contract.

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