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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. Scott - Jul 20, 2010 at 4:09 PM

    Good riddance. Not that we need a homer in the booth, but Haden displayed a clear bias against the Irish throughout his tenure announcing ND games. Even without the obvious bias, he was a pretty poor overall announcer anyway (and that is being generous). Let’s see how the brilliant minds at NBC manage to screw up the booth this time. Hey, I hear Sean Salisbury is readily available…

  2. Reid III - Jul 20, 2010 at 4:13 PM

    Finally!!!! Can we get a color commentator for Notre Dame Football games on NBC that was not a QB for their biggest rival?!?!?!?
    I don’t remember to much opposition by Haden on the “Bush Push” play back in 2005. :)
    Joe Theismann would be nice. Any interest, Joe???
    Go Irish!!!

  3. scott - Jul 20, 2010 at 4:31 PM

    I always liked Haden, in spite of his USC roots. I thought he was pretty objective, and if anything he showed a soft spot for ND.
    It’s Bea Arthur’s body-double that needs to go. I mean, Hammond seems like a nice guy and all, but he’s a complete dork who knows nothing about football. And his TV makeup is downright frightful.

  4. jack lawlor - Jul 20, 2010 at 4:44 PM

    I could go on and on and on…but,for the sake of brevity, would USC EVER have a ND grad doing color in that den of iniquity i.e. the coliseum?

  5. piratey - Jul 20, 2010 at 4:45 PM

    @Scott
    Hey NBC can’t be all bad! They gave ND a contract and they hired Keith right?
    Theismann worked with Tom Hammond this winter for the AFC playoffs, while Joe Gibbs dragged down their broadcast…I’d love to see Theismann beating the Notre Dame drum in the fall!

  6. C. Liedl - Jul 20, 2010 at 4:50 PM

    Great! Always felt so uncomfortable to have a USC guy doing the ND games. I don’t care if it’s a Domer (though that would be nice), simply cannot be anyone from USC or UM.

  7. piratey - Jul 20, 2010 at 4:50 PM

    Of course they wouldn’t…they’d never get their own TV deal because west coast sports “fans” are lethargic or non-existent. =]

  8. Mike - Jul 20, 2010 at 5:04 PM

    Steve Beuerlein apparently really wants to do it, but NBC refuses to hire an ND graduate to call ND games.

  9. OJ=USC most famous alum - Jul 20, 2010 at 5:42 PM

    I definitely think the announcing for ND games needs a shakeup. Try something different really it sounds like death warmed over in the booth at times and it makes the games not too exciting. I definitely think Theismann would be a great choice but apparently NBC does not want a ND graduate to do the games according to some posts here.

  10. piratey - Jul 20, 2010 at 6:06 PM

    I’ve thought about it, mulled over it…and came to the conclusion that I don’t want Joe Theismann. How about this:
    Jerome Bettis.
    Balls in your court NBC, take the Bus.

  11. Irish Fan - Jul 20, 2010 at 6:07 PM

    Please hire an ND alumn. How about Aaron Taylor? (Unless Joe Montana wants the job…)

  12. piratey - Jul 20, 2010 at 6:17 PM

    We all know NBC had John Madden, who took the bus to games every Monday night, maybe it’s time for “The Bus” to take us all to South Bend on a sunny Saturday afternoon in the fall and breath some life into the booth.
    This needs to be a complete shake up. Hammond needs to be “put out to pasture”(like the horse racing reference? Because that’s all Hammond does well.)
    Give me a combination of Bettis and Don Criqui and let’s call it a day.

  13. Steve Little - Jul 20, 2010 at 6:20 PM

    Haden was good. Hammond stinks!! Time to get a complete new team.

  14. jack larkin - Jul 20, 2010 at 6:59 PM

    I think the idea of Bettis and Don criqui would be a great team. Back in the 70′s I listened too Don Criqui call the ND games and it was very exciting as he could get you really pumped up

  15. Barry - Jul 20, 2010 at 7:39 PM

    I thought Pay Hayden was a very fair and knowledgeable color man for NBC. He was a calm, cool, and an astute analysis of the game. I really enjoyed him as part of the broadcast team.

  16. Mannix - Jul 20, 2010 at 7:49 PM

    Fire Hammond and bring in Tony Roberts and Jerome Bettis. Roberts is legendary in the booth, and Bettis will bring accurate color back to Notre Dame Football.

  17. piratey - Jul 20, 2010 at 7:56 PM

    Good plan.
    Here is a little nugget to chew on, Hammond and Haden have called the worst 12 years in Notre Dame history. New coach, new broadcast team, new start.

  18. Loni - Jul 20, 2010 at 8:01 PM

    Hammond is awful! Haden was ok.

  19. Theo - Jul 20, 2010 at 8:02 PM

    I’m sure it will be someone else who hates the Irish…Mark May, Desmond Howard, Jimmy Johnson or another ND basher. I hope to continue to watch ND every Saturday and not only get pissed at the game, but hate the announcer also…Make my weekend complete.

  20. Mike - Jul 20, 2010 at 8:11 PM

    Barry, pull your head out.

  21. Lynne - Jul 20, 2010 at 8:22 PM

    Congratulations to Pat. He’s back to where he should have been all along. Now maybe we can get a someone who isn’t on the board of trustees at another university. How about an objective pro Irish person. The fans deserve it. We are not watching every Saturday to promote the competition. My vote is for Jerome!

  22. Lynne - Jul 20, 2010 at 8:23 PM

    Congratulations to Pat. He’s back to where he should have been all along. Now maybe we can get a someone who isn’t on the board of trustees at another university. How about an objective pro Irish person. The fans deserve it. We are not watching every Saturday to promote the competition. My vote is for Jerome!

  23. Lynne - Jul 20, 2010 at 8:27 PM

    Congratulations to Pat. He’s back to where he should have been all along. Now maybe we can get someone who isn’t on the board of trustees at another university. How about an objective pro Irish person. The fans deserve it. We are not watching every Saturday to promote the competition. My vote is for Jerome!

  24. ugetwutuask4 - Jul 20, 2010 at 8:28 PM

    If I had to vote, my choices would be Jerome Bettis and Bob Costas or Don Criqui.
    Ps. Let our players go they were just doing what regular college kids do on every campus across the U.S. At least they weren’t out robbing and stealing or committing any seriouse crimes against any one particular person or student.

  25. Arthur LeBon - Jul 20, 2010 at 8:48 PM

    Totally agree, Hammond was by far the worse of a not so hot broadcast team.

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