Carroll: 'We needed to see this coming'

Updated: May 1, 2006, 10:25 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

LOS ANGELES -- In the midst of multiple investigations of the USC football program, coach Pete Carroll told the Los Angeles Times that the program needs to work harder to control outside influences on its players.

"We needed to see this coming, and we didn't," Carroll was quoted saying in a column about the recent spate of trouble facing some of the team's current and former players. "It's gone beyond all the heads up, all the alerts, all the education we give these kids. We need to do more."

In the past week, questions have been raised about housing arrangements for the family of Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush, taken No. 2 overall by the New Orleans Saints in this weekend's NFL draft, and about whether an upscale apartment that wide receiver Dwayne Jarrett shared with former teammate Matt Leinart violated NCAA rules. Also, the unversity has indefinitely suspended backup quarterback Mark Sanchez, who is under investigation on allegations he sexually assualted a female student.

Speaking generally about the recent problems, Carroll told the Times he needs to better educate his players about outside influences, especially now that USC has become a college football powerhouse -- and a target.

"Our guys are marked guys, they have had success and there's people trying to get in on that, and we need to do a better job of making them understand the problems there," he told the Times. "We have moved into very different territory now, all the hype, all the distractions, all the people who want to influence us, and we will be more aware of that. We will work harder to control that."

Leinart's father, Bob, put the duo on the lease at the secured apartment complex downtown after Leinart moved out of his former residence near campus because he was constantly hounded by fans.

Leinart -- the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback picked 10th by the Arizona Cardinals in Saturday's NFL draft -- and Jarrett each paid $650 a month for the apartment that cost $3,866 a month, according to the Times. Leinart's father paid the difference and said he's been told Jarrett might have to repay him about $10,000, the newspaper reported.

University compliance officials are looking into whether the football program received an unfair advantage. While Bob Leinart would have been allowed to make up the difference for his son, he might not have been allowed to do so for another player.

Tim Tessalone, USC's director of sports information, confirmed Sunday that an investigation involving Jarrett's living arrangement was under way.

"At this point, we're still gathering information," Tessalone told The Associated Press, declining further comment.

Meanwhile, the Pacific-10 Conference is looking into the living arrangement of Bush's family, who lived in a house owned by a man who reportedly sought to market him while he played for USC last season. NCAA rules prohibit student-athletes and their families from receiving extra benefits from agents or their representatives.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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