Video Of USC AD: Kiffin’s Done ‘Sensational’ Job

When Pat Haden took over as USC Athletic Director on August 3, 2010, he was looked upon by Trojan faithful as a godsend. But motivation for the matchless enthusiasm for Haden hire came from two distinctly different places.

1) Haden’s unmatched qualifications for the job.
2) Outgoing AD Mike Garrett’s performance on the job the previous 17 years.

Though Haden was the absolute best candidate USC could’ve landed for the job, plenty of USC alumni, staff and students were just as happy to see Garrett depart the scene thanks to his notoriously arrogant attitude and indisputable incompetence.

The dynastic football program gave Garrett cover for many years, but once Pete Carroll’s loosely-overseen empire collapsed, the USC administration did what it had to do: Show Garrett the door. I’ve already written too much about Garrett over the years, so I won’t bog you down by once again chronicling his myriad workplace failures.

I’d rather talk about Haden, who I fully expect will do a spectacular job for his alma mater, but who also might be prone to getting a little loose with the superlatives.

In his first statement to USC alumni, students and staff, Haden wrote in an official letter:

Mike Garrett was a sensational athletic director. His 17-year body of work is about as good as it gets. Read more…

SC AD Ponders Independence: ‘I think you have to’

Tuesday the BYU Cougars announced they were taking their football program independent and moving all other sports to the West Coast Conference.

Pat Haden says USC would consider going independent

Wednesday the Michael Lev of the ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER asked USC athletic director Pat Haden if he would consider the idea of USC becoming an independent in football like BYU.

Despite a new, lucrative television deal looming for the Pac-10 following the conference expanding to 12 teams with Utah and Colorado, Haden did not rule out the possibility at all. Far from it.

Haden: Read more…

USC AD: If Bush Had My Soul He’d Return Heisman

Former star USC quarterback and NFL player Pat Haden guested on the Dan Patrick Show today. Haden, who was recently hired as USC Athletic Director, was asked by Patrick during the interview: “If you were Reggie Bush, would you give back the Heisman?

Pat Haden on the Dan Patrick Show

(Audio of Haden’s comment about Bush returning Heisman below)

Haden, after a long pause and sigh, replied: Read more…

Haden: Reggie Bush Didn’t Apologize For Anything

Thursday USA TODAY’s David Leon Moore reported of a recent conversation between Reggie Bush and USC Athletic Director Pat Haden about the role the former USC running back played in the school football program’s NCAA sanctions:

Reggie Bush in 2006: He did nothing wrong

(Apparently Bush has still not had a change of heart)

Moore wrote:

Reggie Bush apologized to new Southern California athletics director Pat Haden and expressed tremendous regret for his actions that landed the school on NCAA probation.

But in a statement today, Haden said that Bush never apologized: Read more…

Assistant, Lane Kiffin Fake Out Irate Jeff Fisher

On July 2, Jim Wyatt of the NASHVILLE TENNESSEAN reported of then-current Titans assistant coach Kennedy Pola, who coach Jeff Fisher had just hired away from Jacksonville:

Kennedy Pola

Just got off the phone with Titans running backs coach Kennedy Pola and he sure doesn’t sound like a guy on the move.

He’s still in the process of moving into his home in Nashville, in fact, and said he doesn’t plan on going anywhere. As mentioned below, Southern Cal is looking for a new running backs coach and Pola has been mentioned as a possibility.

“I really enjoy Nashville and being with (Coach) Jeff Fisher and the leadership here, the management,’’ Pola said. “It’s really been a new sense of energy.’’

Today Wyatt reported that Lane Kiffin had hired Pola as USC offensive coordinator. The news reportedly upset Fisher, apparently because he was one of the last to know: Read more…

Farce: Kiffin ‘Recruiting’ Chow To Take Own Job?

UPDATE (7:43pm ET): Norm Chow tells Fox Sports Radio Thursday that he never talked to any USC representative about a job with the school. He added that Lane Kiffin left him one voicemail.

During the interview on the Petros & Money Show, Chow said he never seriously entertained leaving UCLA for USC because he never received an offer.

Quite a spirited recruiting effort by Kiffin.

As I wrote earlier today, Lane Kiffin has made it clear that he “anticipates” running the USC offense now that he’s been gifted the head coaching position by USC Trustees and Jerry Buss.

Mike Garrett

(Garrett expects Kiffin to ‘recruit’ Chow to take job Kiffin himself wants)

Figurehead Athletic Director Mike Garrett though does provide some comedy gold on the subject of Norm Chow in his interview with Gary Klein of the LOS ANGELES TIMES today.

Klein: How did Norm Chow enter into this? Was that you suggesting it? Was it Lane suggesting it?
Garrett: It was my idea. I said, you know, it would be nice if we brought that whole staff back and I don’t think Lane was against that. So that’s what we’re trying to do.

Klein: So you’re looking forward to . . .
Garrett: Well, it’s a possibility. It still has to happen and we’ll see.

Klein: Are you a part of that process in terms of a negotiating process?
Garrett: No, it’s really Lane’s deal. He’s going to recruit him and see how it works out.

If you read SbB you already know that Garrett isn’t involved in anything, so the fact that he’s claiming that the Chow recruitment is up to Kiffin, and not the real guys in charge, USC Trustees Ed Roski and Pat Haden, is no surprise.

You also know that if Chow does cross the street from UCLA, it will be despite Kiffin, not because of him.

Kiffin is the last person USC power brokers like Roski and Haden would ask to “recruit” Chow. The process involves doubling (at least) Chow’s salary into the mid-$1Ms range and forcing Kiffin to take his former colleague.

Though Chow’s agent Don Yee has denied that his client is jumping ship, along with UCLA Coach Rick Neuheisel, we’ve yet to hear from Chow himself. No one would be surprised if Yee and Neuheisel end up being wrong and Chow does take a position with USC. But if he does leave UCLA, we know it’ll have nothing to do with Kiffin’s “recruitment.”

Besides Garrett’s farcical comments about Chow, Klein unearths one other gem from SC’s fake AD.

Read more…

Why USC Was Left No Choice But To Take Kiffin

Knowing NCAA sanctions are likely looming for USC and that Lane Kiffin and Ed Orgeron were prominent members of the Trojans staff during the time some of those possible violations occurred, to outsiders it must look insane that USC hired Kiffin as head coach yesterday.

Ed Orgeron Lane Kiffin

(Orgeron was already on board as Kiffin caught last plane out)

But in the context of the coaching search USC completed before hiring Kiffin, the Trojans had no choice but to hire a guy almost universally despised not only in Knoxville, but inside USC’s Heritage Hall.

To clarify the hire, understand that USC Athletic Director Mike Garrett was only tangentially involved in the process. The primary movers in getting the deal done were search committee members Ed Roski, Pat Haden and Lakers Owner Jerry Buss.

Jerry Buss Ed Roski Pat Haden

(USC Coach Search Committee: Buss, Roski, Haden)

Roski and Haden are also members of the USC Board of Trustees, with Roski the Chair. Roski is also the guy fronting L.A.’s bid to bring the NFL back. Buss is a prominent USC booster. I only last night found out that the Lakers Owner was involved in the coaching hire.

Read more…

Haden, Roski Making Final Call On Trojans Coach

Sources familiar with the USC Board of Trustees and the Trojans coaching situation told me today that USC Board of Trustee members Pat Haden and Ed Roski are leading the search for USC’s next football coach.

Ed Roski and Pat Haden will make call on USC football coach

Trustee Chair Roski is a billionaire real estate developer who also is the leading figure in the push to bring the NFL back to L.A. and Haden is a former USC and NFL QB, current football announcer and prominent local businessman.

Yesterday I reported that USC Athletic Director Mike Garrett’s decision-making power at the school had diminished recently and that Garrett was likely to “retire” at the same time USC School President Steven Sample does in August.

The past month, I’ve been told that members of the USC Board of Trustees were considering approaching Atlanta Falcons President Rich McKay about succeeding Garrett. Perhaps not coincidentally, McKay signed a five-year contract extension with the Falcons just two weeks ago. The deal is worth $15M.

There’s been additional rumors that Haden was in the running to take over as USC Athletic Director. A USC administration source told me today those rumors are false.

Read more…