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The State of Troy: Fall Sports Report

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Each month, we interview USC athletic director Pat Haden to get an update on all the happenings around Heritage Hall.

Pat Haden intro 1.jpgQ.) Why should fans turn out tonight for the "Break the Record" game at the Coliseum?

"We have the coolest Olympic sports of any university in the country.  Our women's soccer team is awesome.  We have great student-athletes like Alyssa Davila and Elizabeth Eddy and great people like Coach K.  We are combining a great rivalry, with USC and UCLA both being ranked in the top 25, together with the chance to break the attendance record of 8,200.  It will be a great atmosphere playing at the Coliseum with the band and President Nikias there.  It is going to be awesome!"

Q.) What impresses you about the sport of water polo?

"I am amazed at the wonderful student-athletes that we have.  Each time I go to a water polo game, I am astounded at what kind of shape these guys have to be in and how physical the game is.  There is so much finesse and power that it is a great spectator sport."

Q.) What would it be like to play for Jovan Vavic?

"I think every coach around here is pretty tough.  All our head coaches are pretty demanding, but Jovan is among the most demanding!"

Alex_Jupiter.jpgQ.) What stands out about this year's women's volleyball team?

"The height of these young women is incredible.  My wife and I have gone to a few games and other than our little libero, Natalie Hagglund, the women seem to start at 6'2".  They are so athletic and can leap so well.  I am surprised that we have lost a few times because I cannot imagine people have players more athletic than Alex Jupiter.  It is a fast-paced sport, but you get a lot of rallies, which is really fun for the fans."

Q.) What do you want to see from the Homecoming crowd against Oregon at the Coliseum?

"I want it to be an absolute pit for the Oregon Ducks.  When you go up to Autzen Stadium in Eugene, I think it is the toughest place to play in the Pac-10.  Now, the shoe is on the other foot.  Usually, we are the #1 team and people are trying to knock us off and the Oregon schools have done that recently.  It would be nice to turn the tables on the Ducks at the Coliseum.  It would be great for the kids and great for Lane Kiffin.  This is like a bowl game.  I hear we are going to 'Cardinal Out the Coliseum,' which is a great idea that the fans came up with."

Q.) How happy were you to see the great pictures of the football team's trip to the Children's Hospital?

Cameron-Hosp.JPG"I was delighted that members of our football team recently went to LAC+USC Women's & Children's Hospital to visit with the young patients there.  As inspiring as I am sure it was for the sick children to spend time with our players, I have heard how much our players derived from that experience.  Community service is such an important element of a college experience and I want all of our student-athletes to be involved.  Many of them already do, either individually or as a team, and I plan to urge the others to do their part in giving back to the community."

Q.) Are you ready for hoops season?

"I am really excited!  I went over and watched a couple of men's basketball practices.  We have a great coach in Kevin O'Neill.  He is really a teacher, who spends a lot of time on the fundamentals.  Then, I went over to see Michael Cooper's women's team practice.  We are an improving team and I will be surprised  if we do not make the tournament.  The two basketball programs will both be better than a year ago and more fun to watch."

DSC_0012.JPGQ.) Have you seen the much-hyped 5'7" freshman point guard Mo Jones?

"I am in favor of those kind of guys because I battled the lack of height for my whole career.  He is going to be a fun, penetrating point guard, who can stuff and play defense.  We are really going to play a much different style than we did a year ago."

Q.) How exciting is it to have President Obama coming to speak on campus?

"There are so many interesting things on this campus.  I am hoping that some of our football players will go listen to President Obama speak because it is a bye week.  I am going to try to get over there myself.  Even if you disagree with his politics, you will not have too many opportunities to listen to the President of the United States on your campus.  From music to plays, there is so much happening and I hope our student-athletes are taking advantage."

Q.) Finally, what did it mean to watch your friend C.L. Max Nikias get inaugurated as USC president?

"I have known Max for 20 years and this is the culmination of his dream.  Max has prepared for his job for 25-30 years.  His passion is infectious.  Like Lane Kiffin, he is following a superstar.  Steve Sample really elevated USC, but I do not think Max, like Lane, is afraid of the challenge.  He wants to keep the ascent going and I have every confidence that he will."

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2 Comments

Wish you would have asked about President Nikias' announcement that USC will field a Women's and Men's DI lax team by 2013, NOW THAT'S HISTORIC...maybe the next time.

Thanks to Haden for mentioning the Red Out! Please make sure to wear Cardinal if you are going to the homecoming game. We want to turn the Coliseum into a SEA OF CARDINAL! Please spread the word to ALL your friends and visit the USC Homecoming Redout Facebook page at http://bit.ly/uscredout Fight On!

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