USC football: Pat Haden 'surprised' by NCAA-Ohio State reports
USC Athletic Director Pat Haden said Tuesday that he was "surprised" by last week's news that the NCAA had informed Ohio State that investigators had found no evidence that the university had failed to monitor its football program.
Haden, who succeeded Mike Garrett last year and oversees a program that is on probation, in the second year of a bowl ban and dealing with scholarship restrictions, cautioned that he did not know all of the details of the NCAA's probe of Ohio State.
"They know a lot more than I do, so it's dangerous for me to say, 'Are you kidding me?''" Haden said at Pacific 12 Conference Media Day, adding that Ohio State will have its hearing before the NCAA on Aug. 12. "It will be interesting to see what comes out of that."
Asked if he thought other schools had learned from USC about what not to do when dealing with the NCAA, Haden said, “You can always learn from others -- how some schools have done it well and how some schools have not done it well, so I'm sure everybody has looked at the way we handled the situation and made their own determination that they’re going to do it similarly or take a different tack."
Coach Lane Kiffin suspended Tyler for the Sept. 3 opener against Minnesota and possibly longer for the latest in a string of incidents involving the senior, who in April allegedly spat on a female USC student while intoxicated and, in a separate incident, is alleged to have inappropriately touched another female USC student at a bar near campus. Tyler appeared before the school's Office of Student Judicial Affairs and is awaiting word about possible discipline. He is enrolled in a counseling program to deal with alcohol-related issues.
"It would have been easy to just throw him off the team, but we’re hoping there's this redemptive story, that he does things right, that he comes back and he graduates," Haden said. “Whether he ever plays football at USC again, to me the biggest thing is get his personal life in order and to graduate. ... If he plays football again, it’s an added bonus.”
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-- Gary Klein
Photo: Pat Haden. Credit: Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times