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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. Stouty - Jul 20, 2010 at 9:14 PM

    TONY ROBERTS. Enough said.

  2. Nicholville Irish - Jul 20, 2010 at 9:19 PM

    TONY ROBERTS…say no more! The Bus could do the color commentating.

  3. Art Vandelay - Jul 20, 2010 at 9:26 PM

    I can’t recall a time when I thought Haden was being anti-ND during a broadcast. I always thought he was very objective. Even in calling the “Bush-Push” game in 2005, the only favorable (to SC) comment he makes is that the clock is still running (on the second to last play). Then, when Reggie does push little Matt over the line, Hammond is falling all over himself about the score while Haden points out that while they did score, “It wasn’t easy.” I liked his objectivity, something that is almost gone theses days with so much opinion masquerading as fact out there. See the clip at:

  4. Dan - Jul 20, 2010 at 9:43 PM

    NBC will pick the perfect choice to replace Pat Haden. Michigan grad, history of ripping Notre Dame, even using the F word. Congratulations to Dana Jacobson on her new gig. But choose your words carefulle, Father Jenkins does not like bad language.

  5. Dan - Jul 20, 2010 at 9:47 PM

    The perfect choice to replace Pat Haden, Dana Jacobson, its obvious.

  6. Art Vandelay - Jul 20, 2010 at 9:52 PM

    In addition to their new AD Haden, USC is giving Bush’s Heisman back. Does anyone know if they ever gave OJ’s back?

  7. drfig - Jul 20, 2010 at 9:54 PM

    I wish Pat Hayden well and thank him for his quality comments while covering ND football. This triple domer never saw or heard a bias in Pat Hayden’s coverage – really boys there is no basis for that. The fact that Irish football has been below ND standards the past decade has nothing to do with Mr. Hayden.
    Good luck Pat and sorry for the new long losing streak about to happen.

  8. mikeford - Jul 20, 2010 at 10:08 PM

    Wow this sure isn’t that much of a surprise is it? I am pretty sure this rumor started sometime at the end of last season….anyway, I’ve seen a couple good suggestions and especially agree on Jerome Bettis but the one I can’t believe hasn’t been picked up on… Mr. LOU HOLTZ O YAAAAAAAAAA, I’m gettin super excited thinking about it Bettis , Holtz and ???????? It would be great to start it all new on our way to greatness once again! I just remembered this lil prelude and I think I agree with COSTAS!!!! Remember this??? Pay whatever it takes NBC!!!!!

  9. mikeford - Jul 20, 2010 at 10:13 PM

    Geez…. Sorry about that it was supposed to embed the ND vs Florida st. intro in 1993 with Bob Costas. Love it and it gives me chills to this day…. Here come the Irish, Here come the Irish

  10. Domer90 - Jul 20, 2010 at 10:15 PM

    two words… MARK MAY!!!

  11. mikeford - Jul 20, 2010 at 10:19 PM

    Thanks bud, just threw up in my mouth for the second time tonight

  12. austin - Jul 20, 2010 at 10:42 PM

    i think it should be rocket, if anyone was at the usc pep rally this year you know what im talking about

  13. mikeford - Jul 20, 2010 at 10:42 PM

    One more time maybe….

  14. Tim - Jul 20, 2010 at 11:24 PM

    My vote is Lou Holtz!

  15. F**K USC - Jul 21, 2010 at 12:18 AM

    I agree Lou Holtz would be awesome, just needs to be somebody who loves ND and not a usc hater of ND

  16. bob c - Jul 21, 2010 at 12:35 AM

    Pat Hayden was always objective and as a USC fan I found that rather amazing. Let’s face it, his job was not an easy one
    given ND’s FB record and on field “performanc” these last 9 years.
    He did the best he could given a rather poor product.
    Now he returns home, puts in tough guidelines and enforcement
    and life goes on. Did you see where USC hired a former Chief of
    the FBI to help their enforcement efforts… wow.
    Just be thankful that Reggie did not take that ND scholarship
    offer, one of over 50 he received – and landed ND in trouble.
    USC did not cause Reggie to take the wrong path, it was he and his
    greedy parents and I suspect they would have done the same regardless of what school they attended.
    And finally, USC is doing the right thing sending the Heisman back

  17. Todd N - Jul 21, 2010 at 5:32 AM

    Now that we have a USC guy out of the booth. It’s time to replace the man perm too. Bring in Tony Roberts for play-by-play and find a new color guy.

  18. Rob - Jul 21, 2010 at 8:25 AM

    Hayden was by FAR the better announcer in the booth, as Hammond is simply awful. Perhaps the WORST in college football. If there was any justice, Tony Roberts would be hired back, one of the all time greats who was dumped a lot like Joe Moore. Look how that turned out…R

  19. James E O'Leary - Jul 21, 2010 at 8:29 AM

    Thank the Lord ,that Trojan is out of the House that Rocknie Built

  20. Breezy - Jul 21, 2010 at 8:53 AM

    Good Riddance! Pat Haden sucked as a commentator for ND. Very biased. I found myself yelling at him more than the refs. NBC please take a ND Alum. PLEASE!!!

  21. TLNDMA - Jul 21, 2010 at 10:41 AM

    I actually liked Haden and found him to be quite impartial in his analysis of games. Everyone should remember that many of these seasons were trying times for ND.
    Hammond was ok, though I have to agree that his make-up person should be fired.
    I think Haden will do a good job of straightening out the SC athletic dept. Maybe he’ll have all employees take an ethics class.

  22. C. Davenport - Jul 21, 2010 at 12:02 PM

    First, every time I watched a game I could never get over the fact that Notre Dame would allow a USC alum to announce not just one game but 12 seasons! It’s about time they got that Trojan Trash out of there! Now if they dump Hammond (quite possibly one of the scariest looking humans alive) they can finally class up that broadcast to Notre Dame quality. I am pretty sure ND can find some money and convince NBC into hiring an alum. Plus, dont they pride themseleves on thier awesome alumni network, but they can’t get an alum a job announcing their own football games?? Come on…
    There are just too many canidates to mull over to take Haden’s spot, but my top is Dr. Lou and nobody can argue that! He would be perfect! I also think Theisman would be great because he still has a bit of wild in him and his senility is just starting to kick in enough potentially make some pretty hillarious play calls. Bettis is a bit too bland/serious for me and definitly not John Madden for obvious reasons! Joe Mo can’t becasue his son is on the team. It will be too Phil and Chris Simmsy. Plus he wears those stupid sketchers shoes now and nobody can take him seriously (And I thought doing Mervins commercials was bad!). But the worst possible decision NBC can make is Bob Davies. Please NBC, just don’t even think about it!
    To take Hammond’s spot, there should be no other canidate than Bob Costas. Pay him whatever he wants!!!!!
    With the Kelly Era embarking this season a new broadcasting era needs to begin as well. GO IRISH!

  23. Shazam - Jul 21, 2010 at 2:38 PM

    While I think it’s important that whom ever takes over broadcasting the games, showing respect for the visiting teams refects largely on the University and it’s integrity.
    But the bottom line is that NBC is looking for “Ratings”. They are basiclly selling the product that is ND football.
    Adding some excitement to the broadcast booth can only help in this reguard.

  24. Stephen - Jul 21, 2010 at 2:43 PM

    Hannah Storm would be great in the booth with Mike Golic and Joe Thiesman. The other obvious choice is comb over giant George Blaha currently the supersized voice of the MSU Spartans and Detroit Pistons and a giant ND alum. I mean come on now is there really any other voice more recognized than his now that Erine Harwell is gone?

  25. Seamus - Jul 21, 2010 at 5:23 PM

    Saturdays in the Fall were always spent around the radio listening Tony Roberts call the Irish games. There has to be a way to get him back on the air! C’mon NBC, hire “The Voice of Notre Dame Football!” This would be the best news that any Notre Dame fan could ever want to hear at this important juncture in time!

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