Heads rolling at So. Cal
Posted: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 9:02 pm
By GREG BEACHAM
AP Sports Writer
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Embattled Southern California athletic director Mike Garrett will be replaced by Pat Haden next month, and the school will return its copy of Reggie Bush’s Heisman Trophy in its ongoing effort to repair its reputation after last month’s severe NCAA sanctions.
In a letter to school supporters Tuesday, incoming USC president Max Nikias said Garrett will be replaced Aug. 3 by Haden, a respected member of USC’s board of trustees and an NBC football analyst.
The 66-year-old Garrett has been the Trojans’ athletic director for 17 years, but he received criticism for his handling of the scandals surrounding USC’s powerful football team and other programs over the past several years. The NCAA hit USC with major sanctions last month, including a two-year bowl ban and scholarship restrictions.
Nikias, who takes his own new job Aug. 3, also said USC will return Bush’s trophy to the Heisman Trophy Trust next month, possibly indicating the trophy will be revoked in the future. The school will take down any jerseys or murals recognizing the former star tailback or basketball player O.J. Mayo, the other major figure in the four-year NCAA investigation.
“The Trojan Family honors and respects the USC sporting careers of those persons whose actions did not compromise their athletic program or the opportunities of future USC student-athletes,” Nikias said.
Bush’s Heisman has been on display in Heritage Hall alongside its copies of the Heismans won by Garrett, O.J. Simpson, Matt Leinart, Carson Palmer, Charles White and Marcus Allen.
Both Garrett and Haden are former USC football players. Garrett won the Heisman Trophy in 1965, while Haden was the Trojans’ starting quarterback for three years under coach John McKay.
Published in The Messenger 7.21.10