Impostors from ‘USC’ contact potential candidates for coaching job
USC athletic director Pat Haden said two people pretending to be representatives of his school have contacted two coaches and attempted to discuss the Trojans’ coaching vacancy with them.
The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES – Apparently, even people who don’t work for USC are trying to hire the Trojans’ next coach.
USC athletic director Pat Haden said Monday two people pretending to be representatives of his school have contacted two coaches and attempted to discuss the Trojans’ coaching vacancy with them.
USC has identified the posers and is taking “appropriate action,” the school said in a blog post on its website.
The Trojans (3-2 overall, 0-2 Pac-12) fired Lane Kiffin on Sept. 29 and installed Ed Orgeron as interim coach while Haden looks for a new leader for one of the nation’s highest-profile programs.
Haden said somebody pretending to be a USC official repeatedly tried to speak to an unnamed member of the Denver Broncos’ coaching staff about the opening.
Jack Del Rio, the Broncos’ defensive coordinator, is a former USC linebacker who has been linked to the job before Kiffin was hired and after he was fired.
Another phony school representative contacted Tony Dungy, the former Tampa Bay and Indianapolis NFL coach. Dungy talked about his apparent contact with USC on a national radio show, saying he turned down the representative and outlining what the Trojans need in a new coach.
Dungy later tweeted that he had been misled by “someone acting on their own.” He apologized to Haden for the mix-up.
“Tony’s discussion on the radio today of being contacted by USC was a complete surprise to us,” Haden said. “So were the calls made to the Broncos. I can assure you no authorized representative of USC or our athletic department made these calls.”
Haden has said Orgeron will coach the Trojans for the rest of the season, but his early firing of Kiffin freed USC to spend plenty of time planning its next move.
Haden indicated USC is unlikely to do extensive formal interviews for the next two months.
No. 1 Alabama has some woes
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Top-ranked Alabama has had a string of stumbles off the field, even though the Crimson Tide is still rolling inside the lines.
The Tide has had suspensions and separate reports of NCAA violations, including one that has sidelined starting safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.
Despite the potential distractions, Alabama (5-0) has faced only one close game — against No. 9 Texas A&M — in its bid for a third consecutive national title.
Off the field, there were February arrests and subsequent dismissals of four players. The latest issue was last week’s indefinite suspension of Clinton-Dix, a potential first-round NFL draft pick who reportedly accepted and repaid a short-term loan from assistant strength and conditioning coach Corey Harris. Harris was placed on administrative leave.
Clinton-Dix was the ninth player suspended or dismissed for off-the-field issues since last season’s victory over Notre Dame in the BCS National Championship Game.
“I think that our concern is that we get our players to do the right things the right way all the time,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said. “If players are committed and doing the right things, we won’t have those issues to be dealing with. But if it’s not happening that way, I think the way to get it that way is to make sure everybody knows and understands that in this world we live in, there’s consequences for every choice and decision that you make.
“Those consequences can be good or they can be bad, all relative to the choices that you make.”