Mike Garrett Out, Pat Haden in as USC athletic director; compliance strengthened

The University of Southern California took a step toward cleaning up its athletic program, which has been so diminished ethically under the see-no-evil eyes of Mike Garrett.

C. L. Max Nikias will become president of USC on August 3. He announced today that Pat Haden, former Trojan quarterback and academic all-American, would become athletic director on the same day. It looks like a signal from the new president that he wants nothing to do—not even a day overlap—with the world of Mike Garrett.

Haden said the right things at his first meeting with the press: His main goals were to “compete ferociously and win in every sport,” but do it “ethically and within the rules.” Haden said he wanted to have a “culture of compliance here and have the best compliance department in the country.”

Nikias announced several other actions to bolster USC’s compliance with the rules. He named David M. Roberts to a new post of vice president for athletic compliance, saying he believed this would be the first position of its kind in the nation. USC has also hired The Freeh Group International, headed by former federal judge and FBI director Louis J. Freeh, to “assess the current athletic department programs and processes,” and recommend changes.

It’s significant that Nikias acted even before taking office to end the ugly fiction that there was nothing wrong with USC’s athletic program. That’s an important indication that he’s serious, and that Haden will be too.

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One Response to “Mike Garrett Out, Pat Haden in as USC athletic director; compliance strengthened”

  1. Who’s unethical: USC Trojans coach Lane Kiffin or the Washington Post? « Ethics Bob Says:

    […] program. Far from it: to make up for its failure to learn about the Bush pere payola, USC has hired a new athletic director, the squeaky-clean Pat Haden, and appointed a university vice president for compliance. An example […]

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