Carroll meets with Dolphins

Trojan head coach Pete Carroll held a news conference today to discuss the death of USC kicker Mario Danelo as well as the meeting he had in Costa Rica with the Miami Dolphins owner about the vacant head coaching position with that team.

Carroll, who has often made clear during his time at USC that he did not believe a job existed in the NFL which would give him the same kind of control he has at USC, opened his comments by saying it was in his best interests to know the status of the position being discussed by the Dolphins. Miami owner Wayne Huizenga flew to meet with Carroll and laid out a scenario which Carroll admitted basically gave the head coach control of the entire operation. After a four hour meeting, in which Carroll said a job offer was never discussed or made, the discussion ended.

"We didn't talk a contract or job offer," said Carroll during a Tuesday afternoon press conference at USC. "When all is said and done this will only strengthen the position I've held over a long period of time. I've said for six years that I couldn't imagine a situation that could have the kind of format and give me the kind of freedom to get me to listen. Wayne has that kind of situation and I listened.

"He's structured a program where the head coach has the entire say, from top to bottom, all facets. It's a "one-voice" program. I don't think there are any others like that in the NFL."

When asked if the door was still open for Huizenga to make an offer, Carroll replied "If he called, I would listen."

Carroll was then asked "Would you leave if he offered?"

"I've never been close to doing that and I'm not close now," said the Trojan coach. "There was an opportunity to listen to a situation that involved many of the aspects I've always talked about and I wanted to learn more about it. I think being curious has helped me appreciate what I have here. "I think what's important is what I do, that will speak volumes. I've given everything I have to this program and I will continue to do that. I think, if anything, if you can understand it this way, that kind of interaction only strengthens my resolve about being here and knowing what I have and how lucky I am to be in the situation that I'm in. I know there are recruiting innuendoes and things like that but I'm not worried because I know how it's going to end. I don't have any problem with that."

A reporter asked if Carroll felt the need to issue any blanket statements denying that he would be taking another job.

"I'm not concerned with that at all. I've said all the things I could say over the last six years. I've said all that. What's important are my actions."

Another reported commented that the meeting with Huizienga created a "firestorm".

"So what? I had a chance to better understand the situation and I took it. For anyone who is interested in me staying at USC, that's a good thing."

One of the final questions asked Carroll "ok, if all things are equal, full control there and full control here, do you stay at USC?"

Carroll replied "I love the Trojans. I love being here. I love California. We're in the middle of something really special here and I don't want to take any steps away from that".

Click here to listen to full Carroll press conference, courtesy 570-am KLAC radio (www.am570radio.com)

On a side note, Carroll called an LA Times columnist shortly after the press conference and reportedly insisted that he would not be leaving USC, even if the Dolphins offered him everything he wanted.


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