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LA Times: Southern Cal AD Pat Haden Used Foundation For Personal Gain

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The George Henry Mayr Foundation was established in 1949 to provide scholarship money to California educational institutions. Pat Haden has been chairman of the foundation since 1999.

NCAA Basketball: Arizona State at Southern California Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

This morning, an LA Times article is questioning Southern Cal Athletic Director Pat Haden’s role with an educational foundation that was established almost 70 years ago to give “as much scholarship money as possible to California educational institutions.”

The Times explains that the George Henry Mayr Foundation has no office, no full-time staff and no website.

But that hasn’t stopped Haden and his family members from using the foundation as a lucrative source of income.

The article states:

Haden, his daughter and sister-in-law together collected about $2.4 million from the foundation for part-time roles involving as little as one hour of work per week, according to the foundation’s federal tax returns for 1999 to 2014, the most recent year available.

Half of that, about $1.2 million, went to Haden. His annual board fees have been as high as $84,000; the foundation paid him $72,725 in 2014.

Not only that, but the Times’ investigation discovered that USC has benefited more from the foundation’s donations than any other institution between 1999, when Haden became chairman of the foundation, and 2014, the most recent year available.

In fact, USC has received more money from the foundation than the next four institutions combined. In total, during that timeframe, USC received more than $1.76 million while St. Mary’s Academy, Verbum Dei High School, Bishop Amat High School, and Loyola High School received a total of $1.66 million combined.

Meanwhile, Haden, his daughter and his sister-in-law, according to the LA Times article, “collected about $2.4 million from the foundation for part-time roles involving as little as one hour of work per week, according to the foundation’s federal tax returns for 1999 to 2014.”

While this was happening, the foundation’s contributions shrank significantly from $1.1 million in 2008 to just $645,000 in 2014.

The Times consulted two experts to try to determine whether this was unusual.

Mark Hager, an associate professor of philanthropic studies at Arizona State University, said in an email the Mayr payments to the board would be high “even for a foundation that was giving out more than $50 million in grants each year.”

“I’ve never heard of fees that large,” said Adam Hirsch, a law professor at the University of San Diego who specializes in trusts.

While the foundation’s trust documents allow for board members to be paid “reasonable compensation”, the trust declaration from 1949, according to the Times, “mandated that disbursements be used ‘exclusively’ to provide scholarships and pay incidental expenses for “deserving, needy and worthy young men and women.”

It remains to be seen what, if anything, will come from this.

But, it doesn’t look good for Southern Cal’s outgoing AD. That much is for sure.