Sunday, April 20, 2008

USC Coach Pete Carroll Walks the Walk

Five years ago USC Coach Pete Carroll started a foundation, A Better L.A., which works to end inner-city violence.

In conjunction with that, a couple nights a month Carroll walks the streets of South L.A., trying to encourage people to turn their lives around and letting them know that someone outside their neighborhood cares.

Carroll is known for generously giving his time and attention to those who need it, as illustrated by this story last Thanksgiving. Having a winning team is far from the only reason Carroll is so popular at USC and in Southern California.

Stay safe, Coach.


Blogger UGN said...

OK, I am saying right up front that I am putting my cynic hat on for this one, but...

Don't you think this do-gooding could have the ulterior motive of ultimately bringing more football talent to his team? The area he works is a hotbed of football talent. Certainly, he is not out there recruiting, but this is some genius branding. I am sure that word gets around that Coack Carroll Cares (there's the name for the program!) and this kind of street cred is bound to sway people who are trying to decide where to play their ball.

Ok, now comes the mean, nasty UCLA-fan side of me: This is exactly the type of player that USC goes after, the borderline thugs who couldn't possibly get into a school with academic standards to meet.

I told you I was cynical.

6:12 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

"who couldn't possibly get into a school with academic standards to meet."

Aw, c'mon...!

I don't know what sort of academic exemptions either school carves out for their football talent (I would think it's a pretty even playing field in that regard, sports pun not intended) but speaking in general terms, last I heard it's harder to get into USC than UCLA. The acceptance rate is lower, the SAT, ACT and GPAs are higher for USC. (Here's one college discussion thread reprinting some recent stats.) Old stereotypes die hard.

Long may the rivalry live --
Best wishes,
Laura :)

6:39 PM  
Blogger UGN said...

IN the spirit of the rivalry :),

I have no reason to doubt that you are correct about it being harder to get into USC than UCLA (I didn't check the link you posted), but that is for students, not student athletes; If has always been the case that UCLA can't touch some of the athletes that USC recruits because of the academic standards. I don't know where you would verify such a thing, but many times UCLA has missed out on players due to their grades, SAT scores, etc. USC has no such problem. I have no doubt about this fact, but can't back it up with anything right now, but I will work on it.

9:10 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I'll be interest what you are able to come up with and whether there are any cold, hard stats to back up your theory.

I was curious last evening and did some Googling on this -- was unable to come up with any hard stats, but did come across a sports discussion thread where people were arguing this topic. Anecdotally, it was pointed out that USC had refused to sign a player signed by UCLA, who later dropped out; that there was another player neither school would sign who went to an AZ team; etc.

Also came across a Cal vs. UCLA thread inquiring if Cal had lower academic standards for its players than UCLA. That particular author's conclusion:

"...higher academic standards can probably only apply to a few schools - the Ivy League ones. While some recruits do have more trouble than others getting through the admissions process, I find it hard to believe that if Karl Dorrell wanted a borderline student badly enough for his program, he wouldn’t find some way to get them in. The fact that both Cal and UCLA recruited so many students with similar academic profiles (a profile that was hardly outstanding) should speak to this. So the next time the head of your favorite Division I-A program says they can’t compete because of academics, it’s probably something else. It almost always is."

All this said, I'm no college football expert (!!), just very familiar with the schools' overall academic profiles and curious about how that relates to their athletic programs.

Best wishes,

6:34 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Typo above: first line should read "I'll be interested..." not interest. :)


6:38 PM  
Blogger UGN said...

Well, Laura, I went to the team at to see what I could come up with. I didn't really get anything there that I could call conclusive, but I thought you might get a kick looking over the help they gave me in the discussion. Here is the link address:

10:25 PM  
Blogger UGN said...

I've found it!

My buddies at have com through. It turns out the Orlando Sentinal has a thing where they rate colleges on how hard it is to get into sports as far as academics. On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the most difficult and stringent standards, UCLA was an 8USC was a 3. :) :) :) :) :)

10:04 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thanks for the info. Is there a link you can post here to that story? (Maybe it's part of the same thread you linked to the other night?) I'd enjoy checking out the Sentinel's criteria.

I admit I sure had to roll my eyes at that thread the other night. :) Many of the comments struck me as weak or defensive (hmmm), i.e., having a problem with USC "superscoring" SATS (taking the best score on each section from multiple sittings) which is an extremely common practice.

My Trojan daughter went to a talk by Disney's John Lasseter at UCLA the other night -- she even dared to wear her USC jacket in Westwood. LOL.

Best wishes,

10:26 AM  
Blogger being707 said...

being707...I suppose that the UCLA cynic can appear to be ssuperior to the thugs...but do they realize that the thugs are thugs because they do not have the atmosphere to become people. These thugs are children of God and I think that Pete Carroll has put his money and fame down on the line of justice. If these thugs had the opportunities that nice town america has they would not be DROPOUTS OR DRUGDEALERS. They function to survive in a war zone.

7:15 PM  

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