Back to the reader questions and football and the athletic dept. are dominant topics:
Q: Joe Blow said:
Scott, do you honestly believe the Sun Bowl “brawl” in the locker room and the BB mess would have happened with Mike Garrett here? Haden was in the locker room I just don’t see what’s going on with SC athletics.
A: Well, I think if Mike Garrett were in the locker room he would have been the most upset person in the locker room. There were many times he lit up athletes after games in the locker room and it was rarely pretty from what athletes tell me.
Garrett probably would be quicker to fire people than Haden, for better or worse. I think it would be interesting to know what he would have done with Lane Kiffin this year? He hired Kiffin. Does that mean he would give him another year? He fired Paul Hackett after three years.
One more interesting thing about Garrett. I heard Miami was interested in him the last time it had an opening for an A.D.
Q: Cheap Seats said:
At one press conference last season, you asked Kiffin why he decided to call a play for a throw to Soma Vainuku against Notre Dame during the goal line flop series.
At first, i thought that he might be a great receiver during practices, but now there’s word that he’s dropping passes in spring pratice as well. Why do they keep insisting he can catch?
A: I guess they have confidence in him. I don’t have anything against throwing to Vainuku, I just think some of the situations are wrong, such as on fourth down or third down when it is such a crucial drop. I’d rather throw to him on first-and-second down to build his confidence up and then go to him on third down afterward he makes some catches.
Q: Hey Wolf appreciate the work and the blog. Have met you a few times and enjoyed the talk.
What is your opinion of Haden and his work so far? What is the opinion of him in the eyes of people you encounter at the university and outside? He is a total joke in my opinion. What has improved under his watch? Nothing. Football, Baseball and Basketball are in shambles and it falls on him. He is a puppet to the donors (Floyd interview) and can do nothing more than solicit donations which while beneficial, don’t create winning teams. Seems like Pat “the ego” Haden needs to focus on whats important and spend less time dancing like a fool, lining up roles in USC theatre productions and golfing. Too bad he has the Pres in his back pocket. We are stuck with the “ego” for quite some time.
A: I’ve been a fan of Pat Haden since he got hired because of his transperency.
I think Haden is at a crossroads right now. His decisions for the current openings (men’s basketball, women’s basketball, baseball) will determine USC’s success for the next 5-10 years in those sports. And more important is what he decides to do with football.
I think it can be refreshing that he engages in activities outside the norm for an A.D. However, I think that becomes less palatable to the fans when they see little success in the Big Four sports. When those sports are failing (and all of them just experienced or are experiencing lousy seasons), it looks like someone is fiddling while Rome burns.
You asked what those at USC think. I hear positive reports and then some complain that things are run more like a CEO in charge of a business than an athletic dept. that sometimes relies more on relationships.