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ESPN's 'Outside the Lines' on USC's Mike Garrett: Not much new

April 11, 2010 | 12:47 pm

ESPN's in-depth weekly news program "Outside the Lines" took on Mike Garrett on Sunday morning. Reporter Steve Delsohn offered a retrospective of Garrett's football career at USC.

Henry Bibby spoke of the roughness of Garrett's neighborhood. There was rehash of both the successes Garrett has had at USC -- hiring Pete Carroll as football coach, spearheading the fundraising and getting the Galen Center built -- and of the recent controversies that have resulted in a lengthy NCAA investigation that may result in further sanctions against the basketball team and new ones against the football team.

There were some nuggets of new information. Former basketball player Keith Wilkinson told of how Garrett berated a weeping Daniel Hackett in a locker room at Madison Square Garden after Hackett had missed a crucial free throw in USC's 62-58  loss to then-No. 2-ranked Memphis in 2007. Wilkinson said he believed that incident resulted in Coach Tim Floyd keeping Garrett out of USC's basketball locker room from that point on.

Jeff Fellenzer, a USC professor who teaches "Sports, Business and Media in Today's Society," told Delsohn that Garrett should take the responsibility for allowing Rodney Guillory around the program. Guillory is the AAU coach and event promoter who steered West Virginia prep star O.J. Mayo to USC and Floyd. Guillory had already helped get USC an NCAA violation while Garrett was athletic director but before Floyd arrived.

"I think it's the responsibility of the athletic director, especially in a case where you have a very high-profile athlete with question marks surrounding his recruitment," Fellenzer said.

Garrett, Carroll, Floyd and USC President Steven B. Sample all declined to be interviewed for the story and it felt as if it was done for no real purpose other than that ESPN had some leftover footage of USC football and basketball practices. The question OTL seemed to pose was whether Garrett should be fired.

It's not a new question, and for those with strong opinions either way, not much reason was given to change them. 

-- Diane Pucin