You won’t see him on the sidelines at USC, LSU, or any other top-tier college football program anytime soon, Mike Tomlin explained on Tuesday.

Tomlin’s name was first linked to Monday’s USC gala when former Trojan star Carson Palmer said the Steelers coach was among the early candidates for the job.

Palmer referred to Tomlin as a “wild card” in the research and suggested that if he wanted to get out of Pittsburgh, the Trojans would knock. Palmer said he is “as involved in the process as they will let me” and has provided input and feedback in researching the training.

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Then Patrick Palmer lobbied about exactly why Tomlin’s name was brought up.

“That’s what’s so great about this job — it can appeal to an NFL player who is tired of his current situation and worries if Ben Roethlisberger is gone or if he’s over or who they’re going to recruit,” Palmer said.

When Tomlin addressed the media on Tuesday and this question specifically, he made his position clear in no uncertain terms.

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“This is a joke to me. I have one of the best jobs in all professional sports. Why would I have any interest in coaching college football?” Tomlin told reporters. Never say never, but never. No instrument enhanced with a check in blank is big enough.

Tomlin’s categorical denial of interest in USC or any other university job has gained traction and support.

It also led many people to wonder why Tomlin’s name came up for college jobs.

Tomlin then posed the same question to reporters to end the press conference, noting that Sean Payton and Andy Reed, two current NFL coaches, who are white, were not named in these discussions and asked them to think about why.

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In 15 seasons with the Steelers, Tomlin has racked up 148-81-1, with one Super Bowl win and another berth under his belt. He also never finished a season under 0.500 and is under contract with the team until 2024.

He is also the most winning black coach in NFL history and has more career victories (148) than Hall of Famers John Madden, Vince Lombardi, Bill Walsh, Tom Flores and George Allen. He also has more wins than Payton and is the third active coach to win.

The Steelers qualify 3-3 this season and are last in North Asia.

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