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Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Garrett out, Haden in at USC

By Ted Miller

Mike Garrett's eventful 17-year tenure as USC's athletic director is over. He will be replaced by Pat Haden, a former USC quarterback, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.

Garrett, 66, was a former Heisman Trophy winner for the Trojans. The highlight of his tenure was his hiring of Pete Carroll in 2001 -- at first a controversial decision -- and the subsequent success of the football program, which included consecutive national championships in 2003 and 2004. The lowlight was the severe sanctions the NCAA pounded the football program with in June.

Haden, 57, led the Trojans to three Rose Bowls as a player before an NFL career. He also was a two-time academic All-American and Rhodes Scholar. He has been a member of the USC board of trustees for 19 years. The Times reported that Haden will give up his job as a Notre Dame football analyst for NBC.

It's been clear for some time that Garrett's tenure was at an end, particularly with new school president, Max Nikias, taking over for a retiring Steven Sample on Aug. 3.

Haden obviously knows football and college athletics and is very bright. This seems like a good move toward getting the USC athletic program back on track.

Of course, for coach Lane Kiffin, it means the AD who hired him is no longer around. Haden won't have any professional stake in how Kiffin is evaluated going forward.

That's not necessarily a big deal at present, but it could be in the future if the program struggles and/or there are any off-field problems.