USC quarterback Mark Sanchez has decided to skip his senior season and become eligible for April’s NFL Draft.
Here’s Trojan head coach Pete Carroll’s reaction to Sanchez’s decision:
Trojan beat writer Scott Wolf, for example, described the scene as “pathetic”:
USC coach Pete Carroll was extremely ungracious during the Mark Sanchez press conference. He stormed out of the room and did not even sit at the table before Sanchez addressed the media. Something he never did when Matt Leinart, etc., announced their decisions.
Carroll never sat down at the table but stood with his palms on the table. His anger was clear if you spend time around him.
Not a great moment.
Wolf is not known as “Caesar’s” biggest fan, but Rose agreed that Carroll was “peeved,” and that seems to be the reaction that’s picking up steam. Sanchez is earning his degree this spring (from the Annenberg School of Communication, which ain’t no joke), and he said all the right things today. I don’t know where Sanchez is going to be drafted or what kind of career he’ll have, but it seems an especially inopportune time for his coach to tell to a rapt media audience, essentially, “I expect this kid to fail.” I don’t know what else he could mean by pointing out the “less than 50-50” success rate of first round quarterbacks.
I equate Carroll’s reaction to a father who’s disappointed in one of his son’s big decisions. Carroll wants Sanchez to stay in school, get another year of experience under his belt and then turn him loose on the NFL world.
But like a father voicing his displeasure with his son’s decision in front of his friends and peers, Carroll shouldn’t have done it this way. There’s no doubt deciding to go pro was a hard decision for Sanchez and now that he’s made his decision, this should be a time for celebration. Regardless of how Carroll felt, he should have supported Sanchez, wished him luck and then got the hell out of the way. If he wanted to voice his displeasure, he should have done it behind closed doors, which I’m sure he did anyway.
It wasn’t Petey’s moment – it was Mark’s. Yet because Carroll’s ego got in the way and because he wanted to “state for the record” that he wasn’t happy with Sanchez’s decision, he came off as kind of a jerk in my eyes.