Haden couldn't support a sinking ship
September, 29, 2013
By Gene Wojciechowski | ESPN.com
The stories will say that Lane Kiffin had lost a fan base, lost his team and lost too many games by too many points. And the stories will be true -- Kiffin's biscuits had been burning on the coaching hot seat for days, weeks, months.
But if we're going to put on our truth helmets, the stories should also say that Kiffin was fired because an athletic director lost his resolve. He was fired because USC alums and boosters, almost prideful in their arrogance, think a roster of 56 scholarship players -- oops, make that 55 with the loss of the team's only true star, wide receiver Marqise Lee -- shouldn't affect the Trojans' program.
Pat Haden, the AD who just two months ago said he was "100 percent" supportive of Kiffin, decided he was zero percent behind his coach after Saturday evening's 62-41 loss at Arizona State. This is the same AD who said he would judge Kiffin not just by wins and losses, but by other factors, including academics, NCAA compliance and the character of his players.
"And Lane Kiffin gets very high marks in all of those areas," Haden said at the time.
What a joke. Of course it was about the wins and losses. It's always about the wins and losses at USC -- and, to be fair, at almost any other major college football program.
To read the rest of Gene Wojciechowski's story, click here.