Pete Carroll said he would have stayed at USC if he knew sanctions were coming in an interview with the L.A. Times. Five years ago, it did seem like the NCAA was never going to wrap up the Reggie Bush case.
But it was still the elephant in the room around USC. There were countless time I asked Carroll about the status of the case. Everyone knew something would come down at some point. So, no, I don’t believe him now. I think he is simply appeasing USC fans.
Carroll knew potential sanctions were on the horizon. Maybe not the draconian sanctions that hit USC but something. He left because he always wanted to correct his NFL image that he could not win at that level. And he knew USC was probably going to struggle a bit (those 2009 blowout loss to Oregon and Stanford were big signs) compared to the lofty success he had from 2002-08. And he probably was a little burned out at USC, where he and Mike Garrett were growing apart.
So it is simply revisionist history for him to say now that he would have told the Seahawks to buzz off and stuck out probation at USC.