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USC coaching search prankster, Kenneth Tarr, arrested and released

Graham Watson
Dr. Saturday

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(USA Today Sports Images)

Kenneth Tarr, the man responsible for making prank calls to various coaches regarding coaching vacancies, was arrested and booked on suspicion of felony eavesdropping on Monday.

On Tuesday, Tarr was released on $20,000 bail, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's booking records. His next court date is set for Dec. 31.

In October, USC athletic director Pat Haden said someone impersonating a USC representative reached out to an unnamed member of the Denver Broncos coaching staff and former Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy about the Trojans’ coaching vacancy.

Tarr contacted Deadspin and claimed the calls came from him and then sent videos to the site of him making other calls to various coaches regarding other potential openings.

From the Deadspin article in October:

This is what Ken Tarr does. He's a 32-year-old college dropout who creates hoaxes that ripple out into the world beyond his Los Angeles home. His method is simple: He calls the offices of major companies and leaves the right voicemail message for the right person and waits for that person to call him back. He gained a measure of fame a few months back when the Village Voice chronicled his ability to fabricate storylines that would get him onto a variety of daytime television shows, which he would then sabotage. In recent weeks, Tarr has turned his attention toward sports.

He claims to be the prankster who caused a minor [expletive] in recent days by phoning Tony Dungy and Jack Del Rio to offer them the head coaching position at USC. Tarr pulled off the stunt so well that Dungy went on The Dan Patrick Show on Monday and admitted that USC had contacted him. Which, in turn, led USC to issue a statement acknowledging that an impostor had called Dungy, and that whoever it was had also reached out to the Denver Broncos to gauge interest.

USC also said in the statement it knew who had made the calls. Tarr told me that was because he later played the prank off itself. Posing as an NBC executive, he called USC to ask why the school was trying to poach Dungy.

"They made a bunch of empty, base-level threats saying they were going to sue me," Tarr said. "Everybody does. But no one ever has the balls to go through with it."

Tarr was arrested following a two-month investigation that included calls to coaches across professional sports. Police would not say whether the calls to USC were part of the investigation.

Tarr was being held on a $20,000 bail in the L.A. County Jail.

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Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at dr.saturday@ymail.com or follow her on Twitter!

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