Haden rebuilds program in own image

It used to be a common theme among those with any connection to USC athletics.

We would watch Pat Haden, who still must be regarded as the school's ultimate student-athlete, deliver his wonderful quips as an MC at a banquet, or listen to his intelligent commentary on a college football telecast or simply watch him charm a group of important people at a prestigious cocktail party, and we'd always come away with the same question: Why can't THAT guy be the university's athletic director?

We knew why, of course. The former Rose Bowl hero and Rhodes Scholar was too good at what he did, winning cases and earning an eye-popping living as one of the town's most respected attorneys and investment bankers, as well as ranking as the best college football color man in the business for NBC.