Though I’m certain Bruce Pearl has MySpaced a civilian or two in his time (perhaps even one who could play basketball), Sports Illustrated’s Andy Staples is pretty impressed with one Pac-10’s icon’s social networking initiative (link taken from Awful Announcing) :

I’ve never met Pete Carroll. As far as I know, we’ve only been in the same room once — at a crowded press conference at the Beverly Hilton the day before Carroll’s USC team faced Texas in the 2006 Rose Bowl. But this much I know about the man. Pete Carroll has added boogey boarding to his list of interests.

That little nugget popped up on my computer screen late last week. See, Carroll is my friend. Or at least he is in the wonderful, slightly terrifying world of Facebook, where you can poke a perfect stranger with absolutely zero legal consequences. So when Carroll blasts Dire Straits in his office, me and his other 1,025 friends (as of Thursday morning) know about it. I also know his favorite book is The Inner Game of Tennis, his favorite television show is 24 and his musical favorites include James Brown, The Fray, The Beach Boys and The Rolling Stones. (More on The Fray later, I promise.)

Here’s something else I know. Carroll’s Facebook page — created a few weeks ago and managed on a day-to-day basis by USC football Web site guru Ben Malcomson — is reason No. 347 why Carroll is light years ahead of his colleagues in connecting with the young men he coaches or hopes to coach.

Carroll and Malcomson insist the page has nothing to do with recruiting football players to USC, and Carroll even posted a note saying NCAA rules forbid him from responding to many of the messages posted on his page, but Carroll’s foray into Facebook will help him recruit players even as it helps his stated goal of recruiting fellow good Samaritans to his favorite charity, A Better LA.

Hey, I’m totally down with PC’s attempts to bond with the kids. I’m not above the same thing. My social networking profile is all about my stated goal of raising funds for Father Bruce Ritter’s Mittens For Boys charity.