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USC Coach Pete Carroll enlists Bill Withers for 'Lean on Me' prank

August 22, 2009 | 10:13 am

Pete Carroll told his USC players he would get even when they "punked" the coach by staging a fake fight.

Carroll got even on Friday night by enlisting the help of Bill Withers: Withers posed as an NCAA representative, who talked about fictional fungus before telling the players his true identity and joining them in song.

Withers' connection to USC came about after freshman linebacker Marquis Simmons led the team in a version of Withers' hit "Lean on Me," earlier in training camp.

"He was more than willing to do it," Carroll said after the Trojans' morning practice Saturday. "It was an extraordinary gift he gave us, but he had a ball."

-- Gary Klein