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Pete Carroll news conference: What they said

January 11, 2010 |  7:17 pm

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Pete Carrollended a weekend of speculation, rumor and "sources said" breaking news alerts with a news conference at Heritage Hall to announce what everyone knew was going to happen: He's leaving USC to become coach of the NFL's Seattle Seahawks.

The following are snippets of what Carroll and others had to say during and after the media session.

Carroll during his news conference:

"If you know anything about me, you know I can't pass up this challenge."

"I do not expect to ever be able to top what we just did. I think it's just been a beautiful time together. It hurts to separate right now ... but it can't keep on going, because I can't pass up this opportunity. [The NFL is] the highest level of competition."

USC quarterback Matt Barkley on Carroll and other coaches leaving:

"It's kind of disappointing to see them leave. More than anything, it's a challenge to get better and just reach another level. I came to this school because I wanted to be a Trojan, and nothing about coaches leaving would change that for me."

Tailback Allen Bradford:

"I kind of didn't want to come to the meeting today, but it's something you've got to do. How he got us training and competing, I don't think that's ever going to leave us. The new coach coming in is going to see this team is hungry and wants to win."

Receiver Brice Butler:

"[Carroll] doesn't have to apologize. He made the decision that was best for him. You can't cry like a baby. Crying doesn't get you anywhere."

Athletic Director Mike Garrett on a replacement for Carroll:

"I'm working on the next step, and when I finish, you'll hear about it. I don't talk about my search."

-- Dan Loumena

The Associated Press contributed to this entry.

Photo: Media members surround Pete Carroll at USC's Heritage Hall after his news conference Monday afternoon to announce he'd be leaving the university to coach the Seattle Seahawks. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

RELATED: Photos from the Pete Carroll news conference

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