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Haden leaves NBC booth to become USC athletic director

Jul 20, 2010, 3:07 PM EDT

At a press conference later today, the University of Southern California will announce that athletic director Mike Garrett is retiring and NBC television analyst Pat Haden will step out of the booth at Notre Dame stadium and take over the job of athletic director at Southern Cal.

This from the official release from new USC president-elect Max Nikias:

After Mike Garrett’s 17 years of valued service as director of athletics, and as a new administration prepares to take office on August 3, 2010, the opportunity has arisen to bring new leadership to the athletic department. I thank Mr. Garrett, USC’s first Heisman Trophy winner and a tireless advocate of USC athletics, for his work on behalf of our Trojan Family.

I am very pleased that Patrick C. Haden has accepted my offer to become USC’s next athletic director, effective August 3. In order to assume his new responsibilities, Mr. Haden has resigned from his post as a member of the USC Board of Trustees, which he joined in 1991, and will report directly to me.

Garrett leaving the athletic department was almost a foreseen conclusion after the NCAA put USC on four years probation after committing major rules violations, mostly within the football and basketball programs.

Haden was an Academic All-American for the Trojans where he played quarterback and went on to become a Rhodes Scholar. After a playing career in the NFL, he got into broadcasting and has spent the past 12 years in the broadcast booth covering Notre Dame football. Haden is also a partner at private equity firm Riordan, Lewis & Haden Los Angeles.

Dick Ebersol, Chairman of NBC Universal Sports & Olympics had this to say about Haden’s move back to Sout:

“For a dozen years, Pat Haden has been a very talented and key member of our Notre Dame television team. He will be sorely missed. It is absolutely unsurprising and typical that Pat would want to be there for his beloved alma mater in a time of need. His integrity, his talent and his engaging manner are just what the Trojans need.”

There is no word yet on who will replace Haden in the broadcast booth for Notre Dame games. 

  1. Seamus - Jul 21, 2010 at 5:26 PM

    You are dead-on! TONY ROBERTS is the absolute best voice for Notre Dame football!!!

  2. Major Mike - Jul 21, 2010 at 5:48 PM

    I guess I have been watching a different telecast then some of the respondents here, but I thought Pat Haden was fair, level-headed
    and incisive with his analysis and color commentary. Frankly, I didn’t think he was capable of it since he was a Trojan. But gentlemen and ladies Pat was a Rhodes scholar which means he’s pretty bright. He also was an All American at USC and later a winning QB for the Los Angles Rams. He was trained as an attorney, and even was a player agent for a time. One of his noteable clients was Ram’s safety Nolan Cromwell. So he knows football better than all of us combined. Today Pat also has a venutre capital business as well as his recent stint for NBC as the ND color commentator. This guy is pretty sharp and successful and I guess he parlayed that into a good gig at NBC. C’mon he was pretty analytical and unbiased. Even when USC played ND. If he called out the demerits they were well deserved. And he did it for both sides. The man is a consumate professional. There were times where he was effusive in his praise for Brady Quinn and Jeff Samardjia, or Jimmy Clausen and Golden Tate and Michael Floyd. And please don’t get on him about ND’s inherent flaws on the field. If the X’s and O’s weren’t there, he had to witness it too. He was there for Davie, Willingham and Weiss. And there were only three or four winning seasons in that tenure. So put away your pitchforks and torches. There’s no Frankenstein here. I wish him well at that black hole known as USC sports. I just hope the next color commentator is someone that can live up to the same level of professionalism as Pat did.
    Major Mike

  3. ND 84 - Jul 21, 2010 at 7:15 PM

    Art, you must not watch much ND football. Pat was vehemently anti-ND. He made tough ND seasons worse. Not that I blame him; what else could a SC quarterback do?

  4. Jeff - Jul 21, 2010 at 9:24 PM

    I love reading all these comments from a huge group of loser’s. ND football at one time was unbeatable. Hayden was more then fair. Why don’t you guys just start winning against some quality teams then worry about who’s in the booth… ND football has been a joke for years…

  5. jed - Jul 21, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    how about mike golic?

  6. Kristo - Jul 22, 2010 at 4:34 PM

    I thought exactly the same thing about OJ’s heisman. I do not believe they gave it back.
    I actually liked Haden. Smart, thoughtful guy who didn’t bash the Irish for the sake of bashing them. When his commentary was negative, it was usually deserved (like when they lost to Syracuse in ’08 or Uconn last year).
    Hammond needs to go now too. That guy’s terrible and doesn’t even sound like he wants to be there anymore. It only makes the experience of watching a tough game worse for a fan.

  7. Jay Block - Jul 22, 2010 at 9:19 PM

    One down, one to go. Hammond-eggs is in way over his head. Ever notice how he always parroted whatever Haden said? There is a reason that the Big Giant Head doesn’t do any other football games.
    Any of the following folks would improve the broadcast by an order of magnitude:
    – Tony Roberts
    – Don Criqui
    – Mike Golic
    – Bob Golic (the “G & G” show)
    – Joe Theismann
    – Steve Beuerlein
    – Aaron Taylor
    – Jerome Bettis
    – Lou Holtz
    – Reggie Brooks (alumni relations AND broadcasting… sweet)
    – The Rocket (for on-the-field duty… he could run all over the field and do more interviews in half the time)

  8. Joe Devlin - Jul 28, 2010 at 4:18 PM

    NBC is content to have death warmed over doing play by play. Some great ties were played last year that could have been fantastic even in a loss but those guys were so dull and dour. No enthusiasm, none. The black dude on the national ND radio, who is an alumni is the same mold. Like announcing during a church service or something.

  9. kris carlson - Jul 30, 2010 at 10:10 AM

    The perfect team
    Lou Holtz – the coaching angle
    Joe Theismann – play by play and former player
    Jereome Bettis – play by play and former player
    The Rocket – on the field – did anyone see him last year at the pep rally. he would be perfect

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