Leinart has not decided

Syracuse makes Greg Robinson's hiring official.


Published: Wednesday, January 12, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 12, 2005 at 12:08 a.m.

With his self-imposed Thursday deadline approaching, Heisman Trophy winner Matt Leinart still doesn't know whether he will return to Southern California or go to the NFL.

"I have no idea. I'm just in a loop with all this," the junior quarterback said Tuesday. "I don't know what to do.

"There have been certain times of the day when I think, 'Yeah.' Then my feelings will change and an hour later, I'll hear something or talk to someone and think, 'Aw, maybe not.' It's always back and forth."

Chuckling, he added, "I really have to get on the ball. I'm trying to delay everything but I realize I don't have much time."

Leinart is one of three USC players facing the same decision. Linebacker Lofa Tatupu and punter Tom Malone, both juniors, also plan to announce Thursday whether they'll leave school. The NFL's deadline to declare for the draft is Saturday.

Leinart has been bombarded with both information and opinions.

"It almost seems like an easy decision to people outside of USC, 'Why stay when you can be a top pick?' But it's really a lot harder than it seems to make the decision. There are so many pros and cons to both decisions," said Leinart, who started classes on Monday and could complete requirements for his sociology degree this semester.

"Whatever I do, I'm going to be happy with my decision and move on from there. I look at it as a win-win situation."

  • SYRACUSE:

    After 30 years as an assistant coach in the college and pro ranks, Greg Robinson finally realized his career goal of becoming a head coach by accepting the job at Syracuse.

    A year to the day after resigning as the defensive coordinator of the Kansas City Chiefs and after a short, but successful stint at Texas, Robinson was introduced as the new coach of the Orange on Tuesday.

    "It has been a long time coming," Robinson said, a little more than an hour after arriving on campus. "It's funny how your blessings come, but I am really glad that the opportunity is coming now in my career. I've been waiting 30 years for this. It's been a long, hard road."

    The 53-year-old Robinson spent 15 years in the college ranks before jumping to the NFL for 14 years, including stints as defensive coordinator with Kansas City and Denver. He also was an assistant with the New York Jets from 1990-94, and last season returned to college as co-defensive coordinator for the Texas Longhorns.

    Robinson succeeds Paul Pasqualoni, who was fired Dec. 29 by new athletic director Daryl Gross. The firing came eight days after Syracuse lost to Georgia Tech 51-14 in the Champs Sports Bowl.

    n AUBURN:

    Defensive coordinator Gene Chizik won the Broyles Award on Tuesday as college football's top assistant coach.

    The Tigers (13-0) finished No. 2 in the final rankings behind national champion Southern California, but Chizik's defense was No. 1 in fewest points allowed - 9.6 per game.

    "This is a very special year - a year that comes along, I don't know, maybe once in a lifetime," Chizik said.

  • MEINEKE CAR CARE BOWL:

    Charlotte's college football bowl game is changing sponsors but retaining an automotive theme, as officials announced Tuesday that the Meineke Car Care Bowl will take the place of the Continental Tire Bowl.

    Meineke, best known for installing mufflers, will have a three-year contract to sponsor the bowl. The game, which pits teams from the Big East and Atlantic Coast Conference, is played at Bank of America Stadium, home of the NFL's Carolina Panthers.

    Financial terms were not released, although it was known that Continental's agreement with Raycom was for $1 million a year.

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