University President-elect Max Nikias announced Tuesday, July 20, that former Trojans quarterback Pat Haden will replace current USC athletic director Mike Garrett. Nikias also announced they would be returning the Heisman Trophy won by Reggie Bush in 2005.
Last month, lengthy investigations into illegal benefits received by USC football star Reggie Bush and former USC basketball player O.J. Mayo USC, resulted in numerous NCAA sanctions and a finding of “lack of institutional control”.
“The Trojan Family honors and respects the USC sporting careers of those persons whose actions did not compromise their athletic program or the opportunities of future USC student-athletes,” Nikias said.
The NCAA bylaws stated USC would have to “show cause why it should not be penalized further if it fails to permanently disassociate [Bush] and [Mayo] from the institution’s athletic program.”
Nikias has ordered displays honoring Reggie Bush and O.J. Mayo to be taken down in an attempt to disassociate the two men from their athletic program. USC will also return the Heisman won by Bush in 2005 to the Heisman Trophy Trust next month. Bush has not been asked to return his copy of the trophy.
USC is hoping that these self-punishments will be enough to ward off any further punishments. They currently face a two-year ban loss, scholarship loses and the vacating of wins.
“He will always be held in the highest esteem by all Trojans, not only for his exploits on the playing field but as a leader, mentor, teacher and a driving force behind USC’s student-athletics,” Nikias said about current USC athletic director Mike Garrett.
Haden, currently an analyst for Notre Dame football on NBC and former USC quarterback, will step down from the USC Board of Trustees to accept the appointment and will report directly to the president’s office, Nikias said.