State of Troy: November

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Each month, we bring you a Q&A with athletic director Pat Haden to keep you up to date on the latest happenings around Heritage Hall.

Haden-Barkley-Oregon-PG.jpgQ.) Was that the program changing win that you have been waiting for in football?

For Lane Kiffin, this was the second signature win to go with the victory at Notre Dame.  Of course with Oregon, we have not won up there since Lewis and Clark founded the place in 1805.  We put a stake in the ground that we are back.  It is not going to be easy to beat the Trojans anywhere. 

(Photo by Patrick Gee)

Q.) How would you advise Matt Barkley if he comes to you for guidance?

I would tell him, "Do what your heart tells you."  There are pros and cons for both.  If he were to stay, he could be an icon here at USC.  He would be the school's first three-time captain of the varsity football team.  He would be the leading Heisman Trophy candidate.  He could break every single record at USC.  There are plenty of reasons for him to come back in our eyes, but his eyes are what counts.

WVolley-Pac12.jpgQ.) How impressive has #1 women's volleyball's run to the Pac-12 title been?

They have played at such a high level for a long time.  Since the loss to UCLA in early September, we have really been on a tear and lost very few sets and only one match.  Mick Haley has them playing great.  Watching them progress throughout the postseason and hopefully the national championship is going to be awesome.

Q.) How much do you admire the consistency of the #1 men's water polo program?

We have been in the last six national championship games and won three consecutive national championships.  If we can pull off the four-peat, no one has done that in water polo before.  Jovan Vavic has these guys peaking at the right time.  Here we go for another awesome finish...

Q.) What did you learn as an athletic director from the Penn State situation?

You cannot believe it can "never happen here."  It can.  You have to be constantly vigilant.  In a large city like Los Angeles with a press corps that is so diligent, I do not believe you could have a cover-up that would last as long, but these kind of things worry me every night.  Going forward, when we hire someone to work with children, we will be sure to do thorough background checks. 

Nikias-Class-Galen.jpgQ.) What did you think of President Nikias teaching a class for student-athletes?

Max has been incredibly supportive of athletics.  He taught this class on Antigone, his favorite tragedy, and it was very well received by the student-athletes.  He encouraged them to seize the moment and take advantage of these four or five years when they have a chance to do some things that they will never get to do again for the rest of their lives.

Q.) What do you give thanks for on this Thanksgiving?

I give thanks for my family and my health.  I have an incredible wife for 35 years who I met here at USC.  We have four unbelievable kids and now six healthy grandsons.  I am thankful to live in this great country of ours and to the service men and women who protect us every day.  I hope Trojans everywhere have a great day of thanks and peace.

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