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Haden doesn’t like night kickoff for USC/ND game

Apr 1, 2011, 1:10 PM EDT

USC vs Notre Dame

While this is hardly the type of bulletin board material that will get a football team fired up, USC athletic director Pat Haden took a minor shot at the team he covered from the broadcast booth.

Haden was surprisingly unenthusiastic about the primetime kickoff for the Irish-Trojan showdown this October, a decision just announced by Notre Dame as they finalized their 2011 home schedule.

While discussing a variety of topics, Haden had a surprising reaction to the decision to push back the kickoff to 7:30 p.m., Notre Dame’s first night home game in 21 years.

Here’s more according to USC beat writer Scott Wolf:

USC’s game at Notre Dame will kick off at 7:30 p.m. (EDT), the first home night game for the Irish in 21 years. The idea was not warmly embraced by USC athletic director Pat Haden, who worked as a broadcaster at the Irish’s last home night game against Michigan in 1990.

“We won’t get back until three or four in the morning,” Haden said. “That could be a long week for our players.”

USC did not have a say in the start of the game but Haden understood the move was made by Notre Dame for financial reasons.

“I wish we could play every game at 12:30 p.m.,” he said. “But I’d also like to triple our rights fees.”

I’m not one to match wits with a Rhodes Scholar, but there are varying levels of comedy in Haden’s complaint. In a nod to Daniel Tosh, here’s the best I can do in (roughly) twenty seconds.

1. Haden didn’t seem to worry about the Irish players who took a red-eye back from LAX after last year’s 8:00 EST kickoff.
2. The kickoff will be 30 minutes earlier than every game played between Notre Dame and Southern Cal in the Coliseum for the last decade.
3. The Trojans will get three hours back while flying, making the travel about 10 times easier than going the other direction.
4. I’m sure Notre Dame (and their fans that try parking in the neighborhoods surrounding the Coliseum) wouldn’t mind an occasional afternoon start in Los Angeles.
5. USC probably wouldn’t have to play a night game if they came to South Bend over Thanksgiving weekend.

While it sounds like sour grapes, what it could be is a sign that there might actually be a rivalry brewing again in the battle for the Jeweled Shillelagh.


  1. 9irish - Apr 1, 2011 at 1:21 PM

    What a dummy. But, he’s looking out for his team, so I’ll give him that. Bottom line: Tough!

  2. whisk3yjack - Apr 1, 2011 at 1:32 PM

    Gloriously hypocritical comments.

    The University of Spoiled Children apparently has a spoiled AD as well.

  3. bradwins - Apr 1, 2011 at 2:32 PM

    Keith, love the Tosh reference. Your points there are spot on, too.

  4. danno27 - Apr 1, 2011 at 6:41 PM


    KA I’m totally out of the loop – how’s the recruiting going lately?

  5. krups06 - Apr 2, 2011 at 7:09 PM

    I guess we know what’s Haden’s favorite snack from the USC training table is…SOUR GRAPES! What a joke and further more what a hypocrite. Not only have they enjoyed day time games, they haven’t had to play a cold weather game in South Bend for a ridiculous amount of time now. And who threatened to end the series unless they got it this way? They did! We travel all over the country, play evening games 3 time zones away and never hear a peep from anyone affiliated with the team. Everyone affiliated with that university needs to get over themselves. Schedule them all in the evening from now on and better yet start mixing in a few late season games. They need this rivalry more than we do, that’s a fact.

  6. paiten34 - May 15, 2011 at 2:50 PM

    This is good to hear/see. Attitude and verbal punches makes a rivalry more exciting.

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