USC may have violated NCAA rules that prohibit consultants from coaching, according to a report by the Los Angeles Times.
Pete Rodriguez, whose coaching resume includes stops at the Jacksonville Jaguars, Seattle Seahawks and Washington Redskins of the NFL, helped with the Trojans' punting and kicking game last season. Rodriguez told the newspaper that he attended practices, monitored games and offered coach Pete Carroll behind-the-scenes advice.
Rodriguez said he believed that his work complied with the rules, but former NCAA investigator J. Brent Clark suggested that was not the case.
"That's coaching," Clark said. "The rules are designed to level the playing field for all institutions regardless of the size of their budgets. It would make no sense for the rich and powerful to be able to compensate coaches with NFL backgrounds outside the coaching-limitation rules.
Under NCAA rules, Division I-A teams are allowed nine assistant coaches and two graduate assistants. Carroll was unavailable for comment, but Thursday is Pacific 10 media day and he no doubt will be asked about it.
The newspaper, citing an unnamed source, said Carroll previously brought in Alex Gibbs, another coach with a lengthy NFL resume, to help the Trojan staff. Gibbs is now an assistant with the Houston Texas and when contacted, declined to comment.
The NCAA has been investigating USC football for more than three years and started a probe of the basketball program last year.