USC has refused to allow the New York Jets and the Arizona Cardinals to interview the offensive coordinator of the Trojan Kliff Kingsbury, sources in the league told ESPN The situation in which the Jets and Cardinals are not one of their candidates for the coaching coach.
At last month's Dallas NFL owners' meeting, league officials informed team leaders that they should now seek the permission of college sports directors to become college coaches. If this were not done, this would be considered "harmful behavior" and the NFL could then dock election designs of teams, the sources said.
"If permission is denied, the NFL club should respect this decision as much as a similar decision from another NFL club," it says in part. "NFL clubs that fail to comply with these protocols may be subject to disciplinary action for adverse League conduct."
The USC's refusal to release Kingsbury for an interview prevented the Jets and the Cardinals from meeting with a candidate they would like to meet. Teams have been interviewed by other candidates while awaiting USC approval.
Kingsbury was hired by USC in December as an offensive coordinator and quarterback coach after being fired as Texas Tech coach after a 5-7 season. The 39-year-old Kingsbury replaced Tee Martin, who was fired in November by coach Clay Helton.
In December, he told Shelley Smith of ESPN that "I did not even think" of taking the leap to the NFL and said he was looking forward to the impact he can have on college players. But ESPN previously said that Kingsbury had been followed by several NFL franchises before the USC job and that he obviously continues to arouse interest at the pro level.
The new enforcement of the NFL made the questioning of college coaches a bigger challenge certainly for teams who are interested in candidates like Kingsbury.