USC says Tony Dungy, Jack Del Rio contacts were hoaxes

Christian Petersen

People posing as USC representatives reached out to two potential coaching candidates, per the school. USC says the job has not been offered to anybody.

According to USC, individuals posing as representatives of the school have been reaching out to potential head coaching candidates to gauge their interest in the job. In one case, multiple calls were made to the Denver Broncos, almost certainly with the aim of speaking to Jack Del Rio. In another, Tony Dungy was contacted. In its release, USC says it has identified the individuals in both cases and that it is taking "appropriate action."

Dungy went on Dan Patrick's radio show Monday and discussed the contact, and by every indication, he believed it came from a genuine representative of the Trojans. The discussion begins around the 14-minute mark. Dungy, for the record, says he isn't interested.

Whoever it was that reached out to Dungy apparently did so by calling his pastor.

USC athletic director Pat Haden had this to say about the whole thing:

"Tony's discussion on the radio today of being contacted by USC was a complete surprise to us," USC Athletic Director Pat Haden said. "So were the calls made to the Broncos. I can assure you no authorized representative of USC or our athletic department made these calls.

"As I said last week, we will not comment on every name that comes out. It would be a disservice to our players and coaches, who are devoting everything they have into the remainder of our season. We have a head coach right now in Ed Orgeron. We have not offered the job to anyone."

Dungy's name hadn't been in the early discussion about likely USC targets, though Del Rio's name surfaced immediately. Del Rio, who is currently the Broncos' defensive coordinator, has strong ties to the school, though he has no coaching experience at the college level.

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