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Carroll denies charge

first_img“The way he says what he said, his words might have been twisted,” Carroll said. “They never talked and never had a conference call or speakerphone conversation. Joe knows that. “I’m not worried about it one bit. There are phone records to show it never happened, and if it comes down to it, they will find that out.” Under NCAA rules, former players are forbidden to speak to recruits because they are considered boosters or representatives of the university. USC’s compliance office is investigating the matter. Ironically, Carroll said he considered setting up a conference call with Bush and McKnight during a home visit in Louisiana last week but was told by his staff such a conversation was against the rules. Instead, Carroll said he spoke to Bush. Before he signed, McKnight was concerned about possible NCAA penalties against USC involving allegations that Bush received improper benefits from agents. Carroll said Friday that he was looking for a tape of McKnight’s press conference because he was concerned that the tailback’s comments were “twisted.” McKnight followed up his initial comments and said they were mistaken. “When Joe was trying to get a hold of me, he wanted to know what was going on, so I talked to Reggie and asked for some details and got him up to date,” Carroll said. “That conversation with Bush (and McKnight) never existed.” Carroll said he blames Louisiana State fans for the controversy because they are unhappy that McKnight left the state and chose USC. “The LSU people are going crazy with it,” he said. “Everyone down there is raising a stink. “There’s nothing to worry about. It absolutely did not happen.” [email protected] (818) 713-3607 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!center_img USC coach Pete Carroll said Friday he is not “fazed” by a university investigation into whether NCAA rules were broken in the recruitment of star tailback Joe McKnight because “nothing happened, so we won’t get penalized.” McKnight caused a controversy during his press conference to announce he signed with USC on Wednesday, suggesting he picked the Trojans after he listened to a conversation between Carroll and former tailback Reggie Bush. last_img read more