Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Pat Haden and the USC Trojan Horse

Congratulations to Pat Haden on landing the USC athletic director job. Media far and wide are lauding this appointment as a great hire.

These are tough days in the USC athletic department and Haden was hired to restore order to the sanction-ridden department. In case you haven't been around the sports world for a long time, the USC basketball team and football team didn't play nice. USC was charged with the 'ole extra benefits tag. Some say the NCAA gave the football program the next to the death penalty status.

I am surprised former athletic director Mike Garrett survived as long as he did. These bad things occurred under his watch and that usually means the incumbent moves quickly toward the unemployment line. It just took USC a while to push Garrett there.

Like Garrett, Haden has deep USC roots. Haden, a former championship quarterback at USC, has been successful in life while maintaining a positive image. USC is banking on Haden's reputation.

Being a long-time sportscaster should help Haden deal with the media and the damage control going along with this job. I see Haden performing that role with honesty and class. Haden is old school USC and that is what the Trojans need.

Can Haden clean up this mess? Yes, he can. He needs to make the Trojan program transparent again and squeaky clean.

Right now, the Trojan horse has deep shades of gray and black on its white coat. The horse was once the symbol of a proud and successful program.

Haden wants to make that horse pure white again.

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