Pat Haden fined $25K for sideline conduct during victory over Stanford

Pat Haden apologized for his sideline conduct during USC’s win at Stanford on Saturday.

The USC athletic director even issued a self-imposed two-game sideline ban. 

That wasn’t enough in the eyes of Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott. On Monday, the conference reprimanded both Haden and USC head coach Steve Sarkisian while Haden was also issued a $25,000 fine. 

"The conduct  by USC Athletics Director Pat Haden was inappropriate," Scott said in a statement issued by the conference. "Such actions by an administrator in attempt to influence the officiating, and ultimately the outcome of a contest, will not be tolerated." 

After receiving a delay of game and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty during the third quarter of Saturday’s contest, Sarkisian summoned Haden to come down from the press box, essentially, to act as a buffer between he and the officials. 

Haden rushed down and he and Sarkisian were seen having a "lengthy" encounter with the officials. Both looked extremely disappointed with what they were being told. 

Haden then conducted an interview on the game broadcast making "comments relative to the Pac-12’s officiating of the game," according to the conference. 

"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." 

On Sunday, Sarkisian expressed his "regret" for calling Haden down from the press box and putting his boss in that situation. 

Ultimately, the events cast USC in a bad light, as well as, Haden’s place on the committee of the College Football Playoff. 

There were many who called for the USC AD to step down from his post on the committee following his action’s on Saturday. However, College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock’s views are different. 

"Emotional outbursts at games are not a matter for the playoff selection committee to deal with," Hancock said in a statement. "This does not affect Pat Haden’s capability as a committee member. We recognize that athletics directors cannot be dispassionate about their own teams, and that’s why we have the recusal policy." 

As part of the recusal policy, Haden can not vote for USC.