USC's Pat Haden Was Just Doing His Job

Published on 07-Sep-2014 by Alan Adamsson
Football - NCAA / NCAA Football Daily Update

So, gentlemen, if your job depended on it, would you put USC or Stanford in the playoffs?

Afterward, the party line was move along, nothing to see here.

But that's where electronic media provides an inconvenient truth.

Heisman trophy winner and Trojan legend Pat Haden -- perhaps even more beloved among USC fans for pulling Lane Kiffin off the team bus last year and canning his ass -- claimed he was summoned to the sidelines in yesterday's game at Stanford to do whatever it is that administrators are supposed to do when they're texted from the press box and summoned to the sidelines.

It sorta looks like this:

Not even hardcore Italians use gestures like that in cordial conversations.

The aftermath appeared more like what baseball pitchers say when they buzz a batter. Everyone knows chin music -- or worse -- when they see it, and everyone winks when the chucker says the ball just got away from him.

Except baseball pitchers aren't members of the College Football Playoff selection committee.

Sure, we all understand that Trojan coach Steve Sarkisian -- Haden's chosen one -- needs a wet-nurse to protect him from officials. It's such a new experience for him! So why wouldn't a random dude text Haden to come down and wipe noses?

And speaking of that, here's a relevant passage from the NCAA bible. Section 3, Article 11-B, to be exact:

Only voice communication between the press box and team area is permitted. Where press-box space is not adequate, only voice communication may originate from any area in the stands between the 25-yard lines extended to the top of the stadium. No other communication for coaching purposes is permitted anywhere else.

No doubt Haden knew the cool part: there's no penalty for violating this rule.

Who writes that stuff? The Underpants Gnomes?

The Daily Player claimed last year the Selection Committee was put together all wrong. Possible. Athletic directors became part of this mix because they had roles in doling out Big Dance invitations. It seemed to work there, but that's because none of them ever charged down a sideline to jaw it with officials during a game involving two strong candidates for a precious playoff spot.

But football is obviously different. Especially FBS football. Every other NCAA division has 16-team playoffs, so stop it with that players would be taken away from their studies too much line. We all know damn good and well that the lower divisions graduate more players than the FBS does. But the FBS -- make that the Power Five -- is special, because it makes all the money. And in the world of academic amateurs, that makes someone special.

So why doesn't the FBS get real with who should and shouldn't be on that committee? Ditch the ADs and the Old Boy Network that comes with them. Instead, hire Matlock and MacGyver along with a bookie.

While we're at it, screw the non-con impact because those games will never be equitable across the spectrum, anyway; only select conference champions. And let the Little Guys in, too; they can battle it out in the early rounds. This format makes kajillions across the Pond in the FA Cup, you know.

Then, replace replay officials with philosophy professors. If fans have to wait so damn long for results that all-too-often don't make any more sense than what the field officials said, we'd be better off with existential ramblings as to why it all matters in the first place. And ban pass interference unless it leaves marks. And ...

Wait a minute. This is starting to sound like Pat Haden on the sidelines.

Move along. Nothing to see here.

That's what computers would do. You never see them arguing with officials.

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