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The State of Troy: 2010-11 Recap

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Each month, we interview USC athletic director Pat Haden to keep you up to date on all the happenings around Heritage Hall.

Nguyen-Kiss2.jpgQ.) How impressive is the USC men's tennis three-peat?

Peter Smith has had an incredible three-year run.  Led by Steve Johnson, who won the NCAA singles championship, this may be the greatest run in collegiate tennis history.  He has recruited solid kids and they have gotten better every year under his tutelage.  With a lot of good players coming back, they have a chance to do it again.

Q.) What did you see from Frank Cruz this season that led you to hire him as the head baseball coach?

Thumbnail image for Frank Cruz 2.jpgFrank Cruz is the kind of person we want working in the athletic department.  He is a man of high character and integrity.  As the season went along, the team played better.  We finished seventh in the conference as opposed to 10th a year ago.  If you look at the statistics, there was empirical proof that we were improving.  The parents and kids love him.  It is going to take us a while to get there since he inherited an awkward roster, but we think we have the right guy for the job.  He is intent on proving us right.

Q.) What have you taken away from your first year as athletic director?

I am awe struck by the impressive student-athletes that we have with the emphasis on both sides of the student-athlete hyphen.  Incredible students and incredible athletes.  While football is in a state of flux, basketball and baseball are improving.  The other sports are doing exceptionally well with 39 first-team All-Americans.

Haden_Desk_3.jpgQ.) What kind of feedback have you received from the Trojan Family this year?

The fans and alums are embarrassed that an academic and athletic institution of our heritage is on NCAA probation.  While everybody wants to win in all the sports that we play, they want to do it the right way.  That is the reason that I was brought in.  The fans rally around football the most.  The expectations are so great around that program that they would like to see the loss totals from the last two years be righted.  

Q.) How different will your second year be now that the NCAA appeal process is finally over?

There is certainty now.  It makes it easier to plan obviously.  We know what is in front of us as far as the three years of probation.  We are not going to hang our heads.  We are disappointed with the result of the appeal, but it is over.  We are moving forward with the right football coaching staff to weather this storm.  They have a plan to get us through the next few years.  We are going to embrace it now and we are going to revel in the success that we are going to have going forward.

3 Comments

Give us a break, haden's constant refusal to stand up and correct known falsehoods and other misconceptions by the media and others just reinforces the NCAA's position. The penalities were way over the top and he needs to keep hammering that. His appeasement of the NCAA is a disappointment and an embarrassment, obviously the wrong man was chosen to lead us back.

@vampyre and that will achieve what exactly?? The fact is the NCAA is not a court of law and it doesn't matter how much you thump your chest, ultimately its up to them to decide if their rules were broken and what punishments will be handed out. Instead of whining like a two-year-old about what everybody knows already, Haden is trying to move the program forward the only way he possibly can. Whats done is done, get over it and move on with your life.

Ounce of sugar vs. a pound of salt. Haden is an attorney and knows just how unpredictable the legal system is. He knows the outcome will be uncertain as far as the decision no matter how good our case is (and it is excellent on the surface). He also knows that the legal expenses can be enormous. The only certain winner will be the attorneys.

If we are not going to sue them, then we better find a smoother way to handle them as they are currently in control and will be for the foreseeable future. We are all angry, but Haden is trying to be wise and guide us down the path of least resistance. I believe in the end his path, although painful to swallow, will prove the most productive in every respect.

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