Are USC fans catfishing football coaches?

The search for a new head coach at USC figures to be a high profile one, and one that everyone will want to have a say in. Apparently that can be taken figuratively.

USC was put in an awkward situation Monday that had the school release a statement announcing that some individuals have been contacting potential coaching candidates falsely representing the university in the process. USC says the two individuals who took it upon themselves to contact an NFL coach and former football coach Tony Dungy have been identified and action is being taken, although what that action is remains unknown. In fact, it may have been Dungy that broke the news while appearing on the Dan Patrick Show. During the interview Dungy said he had been contacted by USC, which apparently catching USC AD Pat Haden off guard.

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

One of the early candidates for the USC job was thought to be Denver Broncos assistant coach Jack Del Rio. Del Rio was reported to be spotted at a Los Angeles airport shortly after the school fired Lane Kiffin, and thus leaving Kiffin at the same airport. Real quick, off topic, has anyone seen Kiffin since he was fired? Is he still at the airport waiting for a ride home? Back to Mr. Haden…

"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."

The whole thing does come off comical in many respects. People acting as representatives of USC hoping to gauge the interest of a coach to take over the Trojans? Who takes the time to seek out a coach under the false identification of a USC representative? This all sounds like a case for the Catfish crew to investigate.

Or perhaps USC did contact those coaching candidates and learned there was no interest and USC is just covering their tracks for fear of being ridiculed. Odds are probably decent USC is moving forward to approach ideal candidates that may be available, but as Haden said in his statement, it is not a story the school will be commenting officially on until there is a hire made.

We previously took a look at some potential candidates for the USC job, but rest assured none of us sought out contact for Kevin Sumlin, Steve Sarkisian or James Franklin while posing as a representative of USC.

Kevin McGuire is the managing editor of Crystal Ball Run. Follow McGuire on Twitter,Facebook and Google+.

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About Kevin McGuire

Contributor to's College Football Talk, Athlon Sports and The Comeback. Host of the No 2-Minute Warning Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher Radio and iHeart Radio. FWAA member and Philadelphia-area resident.