USC Needs a Replacement Athletic Director!

Ed O as Tommy Trojan

Winships say: Fight on!

Watching sports management in Southern California is like participating in the food fight in Animal House.   How in the world could Mike Brown be named the Coach of the LA Lakers after Phil Jackson?  Jim Buss?  The passing of the great Jerry Buss, created the vacuum and Jeannie Buss was so tied to Phil Jackson that she needed to recuse herself when it came time to name another coach.  Mike D’Antoni was named because he could bring the ancient one – Steve Nash to the Lakers.  It all reminded us of when the LA Rams brought in Joe “Willie” Namath when his knees were gone and he was 10 years passed retirement.  The Lakers remain a total mess, disjointed, off the rails and still require another Coach.  We still want Stan Van Gundy, the little guy with a huge heart and a willingness to do the unexpected.  D’Antoni has dug his own grave and it will only be a matter of time before he, Nash, Blake and half the current roster gets traded the Orlando Magic.

Then comes the Arte Moreno LA/Anaheim/Orange County/Southern California Angels!  Who are these guys and how did they break into our rec room?  Arte wants millions and millions and millions of dollars to build a new stadium.  Arte wants it to have a local name like Wal-Mart Stadium.  He wants the logo to feature a outline of the LA skyline.  Arte is a dupe that needs to move the Angels out of Orange County and move them to San Diego.  Arte needs to rename the team the San Diego Friars.  Arte probably wants to bring in some new super stars like Joe Dimaggio and Sandy Koufax……..

Meanwhile, we do have a few brighter lights when it comes to Sports Organizations in Los Angeles:  The LA Dodgers and the LA Kings and the LA Clippers.  These guys all seem to better understand and grasp the Marketing, Character, Charisma and Team Concept.  We might mention this is not “Space Science”, most sports teams are built on talented players, intelligent and inspiring coaches and great Administrative minds that love what the team and coach bring to the reputation of the Organization.  Win or lose……inspiration is the tool that sells the team jersey and tickets to the cheap seats.  Try and get an LA Clippers ticket right now, you will find the prices have skyrocketed.

OK, let’s get down to business and what has happened to the University of Southern California in the last few years.  When icon Coach got roasted along with superstar Reggie Bush by the slime “infraction committee” they call the NCAA…..Mike Garrett the Athletic Director at USC had to leave and was replaced by Pat Haden.  For those that don’t know…..Pat Haden was this short quarterback that played just OK for the LA Rams and had the reputation of always losing the big one.  Pat Haden had also been the sports commentator for the “Fighting Irish of Notre Dame” for many years.  For those that don’t know…..Notre Dame is a Catholic University.  The University of Southern California is a Methodist University.  We mention this only in passing to put some perspective on the incongruity of the situation.  Haden had Garrett choose Lane Kiffin as the new Coach to replace Pete Carroll.  Kiffin has this track record of losing both in the Pro’s with the Raiders and at Tennessee in the college ranks.

Pat Haden decides in his brilliance as a “Rhodes Scholar” to keep Kiffin in spite of his obvious disconnect with the team, the fans, the sports writers and everyone but his Dad Monty….who came in to run the Defense. (Monty now back in the Pro ranks this year!)  Kiffin, didn’t listen to anyone – his stubborn behavior was unattractive, stupid and worst of all – he could never listen to any suggestion – that wasn’t his!  Finally, when the stands of the LA Colesium emptied and season ticket holders turn their tickets into local scalpers and ticket agencies….Haden finally got the message.  Time to dump Kiffin.  It was almost like the weight of the world was taken off the backs of a Trojan team that had tremendous talent, in spite of limited scholarships and still hanging NCAA restrictions.  The Big Lie was that “No one would want to Coach the Trojans with all these NCAA restrictions and penalties!”  “Sex, Lies and Videotapes” had more relevance.  Had Pat Haden contacted Urban Meyer at now #3 Ohio State and offered him a kush contract……Meyer would have snapped at it in an instant.

NO, the big lie about the USC Football program was simply this:  A Bad Coach, Bad Administrative Leadership and Dawdling will kill any program.  Joe Paterno and Sandusky proved that all to well.  No parallels here, but considering the disconnects to the fan base, the region and to the National Sports Scene in general you have to wonder why it took so long to remove Kiffin – in the first place.  Jack Del Rio, in fact was under consideration way back when Kiffin was brought on board by both Mike Garrett and Pat Haden.  At that time, Del Rio was treated like the “Ugly Stepchild” in the job application process.  In the end, Del Rio was dismissed without a second thought and Kiffin was brought in.  2nd guessing this process may seem unfair on surface, but considering that Pat Haden was the quasi adopted son of USC Coaching Legend John McKay and the abject soul brother of J.K. McKay, the Coaches son……you might have to expect a higher bar.

Then comes Coach Ed Orgeron.  Whoa, how did this guy even get into the conversation?  Coach O, has long ties to USC.  He Coached at USC during the late 90’s and then went to the University of Mississippi as that head Coach for a few years of unsuccess.  When Coach O came back to USC, he said: “I’ve learned a lot!”  After the defeat of #4 ranked Stanford on Saturday by an unranked USC Team that is 5 and 1 under his tutelage – we might say that is a tremendous understatement.  Coach O has refilled the stands at the LA Colesium – 93 thousand strong.  The energy on the field is equating to tremendous energy in the stands and at home on television.  When people are standing up at home while watching every play of both offense and defense – you might say, the games that USC are playing are very entertaining, to say the least.

Pat Haden should have walked down on the field of play this last Saturday, put his arm around Coach O and say:  “Coach O – will you accept a three year contract to Coach our Trojan Football Team?”  This should have been done in a National Setting.  This should have been done – because it is the right thing to do.  Coach O has created his own urban legend and greatness.  Coach O is lovable!  Hey, when we had the choice between Lane Kiffin and Jack Del Rio, obviously we would have rather chosen Del Rio.  NOW?  Not so much.  We need Coach O and powerful energy, intelligence and ability.  You just don’t beat the #4 rated team in the nation with two games remaining with just dumb luck or a bad weather forecast.  Coach O has earned each and every win.  He still needs to win two more…….against the so-called weak Colorado Buffaloes and of course the dreaded cross town rival UCLA Bruins with the evil Jim Mora….at the helm.

Pat Haden had the temerity to interview Jack Del Rio on November 1st, 2013.  Another closed door behind the scenes deal.  Ironically, Del Rio, cannot leave the Denver Broncos right now, because he is filling in for; ailing heart-valve replacement Coach John Fox – in the Bronco run for the Super Bowl.  Sometimes, fate has a way of bringing the right angels to the party at the right time.  USC needs Coach Ed Orgeron right now and if Athletic Director Pat Haden doesn’t see that – then Haden should go.  Hey, maybe Nick Saban will come to USC as Football Coach and Athletic Director – just as Coach John McKay did back in the 1960’s!  Doubtful, Pat Haden….Doubtful!

Maybe, USC needs a replacement Athletic Director!  Let’s hope not – but Haden needs to do the right thing!








About Ron & Anna Winship

Independent News Producers/Writers and Directors for Parker-Longbow Productions. Independent Programming which includes a broad variety of Political, Entertainment and Professional Personalities. Cutting Edge - a talk the flagship of over 30 URL websites developed or under development. The Winships have been blogging for the Orange Juice since back when nickels had buffalos on them, and men wore onions attached to their belts, because it was the fashion back then.