Kudos to USC athletic director Mike Garrett for putting himself out there on USC’s football blog and his very own Twitter page. But once you’re out there, you’re susceptible to friendly fire. Hope he can take it as well as he dishes it …
Item 1: Garrett laments the USC women’s basketball team not making the NCAA Tournament.
Garrett says: “The feeling is even worse because there’s no transparency with the whole system. The selection committee makes their educated decisions, but for USC, the 65th-best team and first one out of the tournament, there’s no rationale for why we weren’t included. We’re just left wondering.”
Reaction: See what it feels like when Garrett and other members of the USC athletic department refuse to comment on any aspect of the NCAA’s investigation into their alleged violations? With no rebuttals, we’re just left wondering.
Item 2: Garrett complains about the Pac-10 getting snubbed in both tournaments.
Garrett says: “It’s a major disappointment that the Pac-10 has only two teams in both the men’s and women’s tournament brackets this year, and it bugs me that the conference has been getting belittled in the press like it has. … It’s disappointing that we don’t get the same benefit of the doubt that other conferences get.”
Reaction: I agree that the Pac-10 is a victim of East Coast bias, but the NCAA Selection Committee apparently knew what it was doing when it excluded Arizona State from the men’s field. ASU, the only other viable conference candidate, lost its 1-versus-8, first-round NIT game to Jacksonville.
Item 3: Garrett reiterates that no member of the USC athletic department will be participating in an NCAA pool because it’s considered a form of gambling.
Garrett says: “There have been several notable examples of college athletic department employees who have broken this rule, and we’re fortunate we have those examples to teach us all that the only way to do it is the right way.”
Reaction: Garrett couldn’t have been referring to UCLA football coach and former Bracketologist Rick Neuheisel, could he?
Garrett says: “I’m here to win and be involved in the lives of our student-athletes, and for someone with tunnel vision like me, it’s not best for our program if I sit on committees that consume such time and take me away from my No. 1 job. I’m into helping and educating our student-athletes — not being a cog in a bureaucracy.”
Reaction: UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero was the chairman of the men’s committee this year. Just sayin’.