By Gary Klein, Los Angeles Times
USC Athletic Director Pat Haden and Coach Steve Sarkisian were reprimanded and Haden was fined $25,000 by the Pac-12 Conference for “inappropriate sideline conduct” during the Trojans’ 13-10 victory over Stanford on Saturday, Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott announced Monday.
Sarkisian summoned Haden to the sideline late in the third quarter after the coach was called for an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty. Haden, a member of the College Football Playoff selection committee, interacted with officials.
Haden’s actions sparked controversy and calls for him to be removed from the committee.
“The conduct by USC Athletics Director Pat Haden was inappropriate,” Scott said in a statement. “Such actions by an administrator in attempt to influence the officiating, and ultimately the outcome of a contest, will not be tolerated.”
Haden issued an apology to Scott, game officials, Stanford and fans Sunday night “for any distraction I might have caused.” He also said he would stay off the sidelines for two games.
“The conduct by both Sarkisian and Haden were in clear violation of our conference’s standards of conduct policy,” Scott said. “We appreciate the public apology and recognition of the errors in judgment, as well as Pat Haden’s self-imposed two-game sideline ban. We took this into consideration as we determined the discipline. Nonetheless, the actions fell short of our expectation of our head coaches and athletics directors as role models for our student-athletes and important leaders of our institutions.”
Photo via Wikicommons
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