Since it seems as if a lot of people out there are simply incapable of understanding this, I'd like to make it quite clear that Lane Kiffin is and never was a "Mike Garrett guy." Back when USC was conducting its search to replace Pete Carroll as head coach in early January, new athletic director Pat Haden and Ed Roski, not Garrett, were the ones in control of the search. For some reason that has continued to elude most people, as has the fact that Daryl Gross, not Garrett, was responsible for hiring Carroll back in 2001. Thus, for the sake of clarification, SportsByBrooks actually made this little known fact rather clear six months ago:
Sources familiar with the USC Board of Trustees and the Trojans coaching situation told me today that USC Board of Trustee members Pat Haden and Ed Roski are leading the search for USC's next football coach.
Trustee Chair Roski is a billionaire real estate developer who also is the leading figure in the push to bring the NFL back to L.A. and Haden is a former USC and NFL QB, current football announcer and prominent local businessman.
So it should come as no surprise that Haden is already backing Kiffin, while it becomes increasingly popular to bash the Trojans' new headman instead. Per the Orange County Register:
"He is my coach, and I love my coach," Haden said Tuesday. "I think he's going to be successful here."
Haden said Kiffin is well aware of the new regime's emphasis on compliance.
"I don't think we're going to have a problem with compliance with Lane," Haden said. "He knows where we're coming from."
Kiffin is Haden's guy, and he's our guy too. So, for those already wanting to place Kiffin on the hot seat because of a new athletic director simply for their convenience, I say get a grip and get lost.