USC announced athletic director Pat Haden felt lightheaded this morning and was treated by medical personnel outside Heritage Hall. He was taken to his doctor’s office. Haden reportedly felt the way he did at the Notre Dame when he fell to a knee.
Former USC defensive line coach Ed Orgeron told a Baton Rouge radio station he plans to stay
“We always wanted to be here. We feel at home and plan to stay here for a long time. It’s easy when you tell a recruit.”
Especially when USC does not return his phone calls, for whatever reasons.
One name not mentioned yet among the possible candidates for athletic director that has surfaced behind the scenes is former Syracuse athletic director Daryl Gross. For years, Gross was Mike Garrett’s right-hand man and led most of the coaching searches that defined Garrett’s tenure, including the hiring of Pete Carroll.
The first issue is whether USC, which has been extremely averse to anyone with NCAA baggage, would even consider Gross after the violations at Syracuse. Gross was not implicated in directly breaking or ordering any rules to be broken during his tenure. That was also true of former basketball coach Tim Floyd.
Clay Helton did a fan chat today and as you might imagine it wasn’t earth shattering. Helton said kicker Alex Wood was moving on from the program, which was expected. He also said he would use the tight ends at fullback. That is what happens when you no longer recruit fullbacks. He also wants the team to get stronger, which is what he said after the Holiday Bowl.
What kind of background check do you think the search firm of Brill Neumann will do on candidates for athletic director? The search firm of Korn Ferry was criticized over Steve Sarkisian past, although this is pretty bogus because many people within the USC athletic dept. knew about his personal issues and looked the other way.
That wasn’t a search firm’s fault. That was a USC problem. But somewhat gets blamed and it won’t be anyone at USC. So now Brill Neumann is on the clock. They better hire some private investigators if they want to avoid bad publicity.
With Pat Haden resigning in June, every coach will feel a little anxiety about their future or getting along with a new boss. Ironically, men’s basketball coach Andy Enfield would have been on the hottest seat prior to his current 18-5 record. Now I hear some people actually worried Enfield might leave for another job. Don’t ever count me in that camp.
The truth is most coaches are replaceable. The notable exception is Pete Carroll. Andy Enfield is an inherently decent person. He is doing a good job this season. He is not Pete Carroll.
How much has Jim Mora’s star risen because of USC’s failure? As I mentioned last week, UCLA recruiting classes have equaled zero Pac-12 titles. But Mora was 3-0 against USC entering this season, which I suspect explains a large part of his popularity. But the real reason for the dominance was Brett Hundley. He might not have been a pure passer but Hundley’s foot speed gave USC fits. Just ask USC defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast, who could not stop him in 2013.
Josh Rosen might be a better pro prospect but Hundley was a force on the college level and that is also what sets Sam Darnold apart.