The next time an athletics director has the urge to make their way t the sideline to confront an official during a game, they might think twice. The Pac-12 has issued USC Athletics Director Pat Haden $25,000 for his actions during USC’s victory over Stanford on Saturday. USC head coach Steve Sarkisian was also reprimanded for his behavior during the same game.
“The conduct by both Sarkisian and Haden were in clear violation of our Conference’s Standards of Conduct policy,” said Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott in a statement released by the conference Monday.
“The conduct by USC Athletics Director Pat Haden was inappropriate,” Scott said. “Such actions by an administrator in attempt to influence the officiating, and ultimately the outcome of a contest, will not be tolerated.”
Haden’s decision to move down from the press box to the sideline to address a concern brought to his attention by Sarkisian was controversial. Sarkisian had a heated argument with officials during the game and made a request for Haden to come down to the field to serve as an intermediary, as the Pac-12 reports. A member of the College Football Playoff selection committee having a discussion with an official during a game is certainly unprecedented, but Haden has apologized publicly for his actions. Haden also suspended himself from the sidelines for the next two games, but the Pac-12 needed to send a message to the rest of the conference’s ADs.