Just read this on Scott Wolf's blog:
Radio hosts Marcellus Wiley and Max Kellerman of 710-AM were suspended for one day last week after USC athletic director Pat Haden complained to station management about disparaging remarks made about the university, according to sources.
Sources said the pair made critical comments about USC's academics during their show broadcast from the lobby of Heritage Hall last Tuesday. Mychal Thompson and Mark Willard filled in for the duo on Wednesday. A source said the pair might also be replaced for tomorrow's show from Heritage Hall.
That is awesome. What I am about to write is not going to be very popular on BN but I have to share it because it's exactly the way I see it.
I have to give Haden a lot of credit here for the way he is going out of his way to protect his turf. That is exactly what I think an AD should be doing. Now, I get that UCLA is a better school than Southern Cal. I believe that. I understand how there are so many issues with rankings of USNWR. That said, the Trojans have a great story to tell (from their perspective) in the way their academics have made an upward move, which has coincided with their football "success" (as tainted as we all know it is). For more on this angle, you should read this from Odysseus. Still, I like how Haden goes out of his way to protect the brand and the narrative around Southern Cal.
This is a direct contrast from what we have seen in Westwood as hacks posing as "beat reporters" ala Adam Maya and Chris Foster, have gotten to launch one attack after another on the UCLA brand, the athletic program, without facing any kind of repercussions. I hope we will see the same kind of tenacity from UCLA as we see here from Haden. Good for him.
I will also add another thing. This will really rub lot of folks here the wrong but I will share it any way. Lane Kiffin is a dork. He has come to Southern Cal with a shady track record in Tennessee. He has no tact and lot of times he is just tone deaf (the latest example being what took place after the epic game against Stanford). Here is the deal though. Kiffin is growing on me as an offensive football coach. There I said it. Let me explain where I am coming from after the jump.
Yes, the Trojans have had mad talent up front and has had an NFL caliber talent at QB (yeah, I know he may just end up being another bust - ask the Jets fans these days how they feel about Sanchez). I get all the jokes. But I have been really enjoying watching the Trojan offense. That game against Stanford was impressive and it was a clear sign to me that after four years of Neuheisel, the Trojans (and the Trees) are at another level offensively compared to the Bruins. Those offenses were beautiful to watch. It has been pretty cool to see just as a college football fan how Kiffin has been able to integrate and highlight the young talent into his offense.
Not sure how their season will end but they have been blossoming as an offense. Now they have lot of issues on D and they are going to be riddled with depth issues in next 2-3 years, but they have done an admirable job in dealing with the adversity and it's a shame that UCLA has done absolutely nothing to make a move on them yet.
Anyway, I am not going to back down from pointing out all the serious ethical issues around the Southern Cal athletic program. At the same time I think we should be intellectually honest enough to give credit where credit is due. I admire the way Haden has led his troops at the school over there and I think as an offensive coach, Kiffin deserves a lot of credit for the way he has brought along the Trojan program despite the adversity (which they are responsible for and arguably didn't get punished enough by the NCAA) since he has cover to Southern Cal.
I just regret that the Bruins have not gotten back to where they should be in last four years. It's just another context that underscores the need for a wholesale change in Westwood.