Kevin O'Neill's new boss offers support

August, 4, 2010
8/04/10
1:02
PM ET
OK, so anecdotal evidence suggests that Mike Garrett was no basketball expert.

And for of all his success as USC athletic director, like the construction of the Galen Center, there were big mistakes, like the handling of the O.J. Mayo recruitment and the decision to hire Rick Majerus.

But Kevin O'Neill, who Garrett hired in one of his final major decisions for USC, has worked out nicely so far and already gotten a show of support from Garrett's successor.

Pat Haden officially replaced Garrett on Tuesday as athletic director, and he wrote a letter to the Trojan family on Day 1 of the new era that mentioned the "continued improvement of our basketball program."

Continued improvement means that there currently is improvement, right? The Trojans in O'Neill's first season went 16-14, and anyone who watched them saw a good amount of spirited play from the team despite it getting word midseason that self-imposed sanctions would cost them any dreams of postseason play.

That spoke volumes about O'Neill's ability to weather the storm and will serve him well going forward as the program faces NCAA probation and recruiting restrictions.

And getting off on the right foot with Haden sure doesn't hurt.

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