- Associated Press - Saturday, September 6, 2014

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) - Southern California athletic director Pat Haden was caught on television yelling at officials during the Trojans’ 13-10 victory at Stanford on Saturday after he said he received a text message from a compliance staff member to come down to the sideline.

The incident came after USC coach Steve Sarkisian was called for a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty for standing too close to the field and linebacker Hayes Pullard was ejected for targeting the head of Stanford’s Ty Montgomery at the end of a punt return in the third quarter.

Haden, who was in the press box earlier, said somebody from USC’s compliance staff sent him a text message to come down and calm the situation at Sarkisian’s request. He said the incident wasn’t a big deal.

“I’ve grown up with a lot of coaches and athletic directors. That’s not unusual. I’m the AD of my team and I was asked to come down,” he said. “Whatever it was, the business had been resolved. I was wrong and I moved on. I was late to the conversation.”

Sarkisian said the penalty on him was called correctly but in the moment he was upset at officials for interpreting the rule too literally. He said he wasn’t surprised to see Haden on the sideline talking with officials during the game.

“He’s a Trojan. What else do you expect out of Pat Haden?” Sarkisian said.

Haden is slated to serve on the College Football Playoff selection committee the next two years. According to the College Football Playoff’s recusal policy, he is not permitted to take part in any votes involving USC when the committee is ranking teams.

The committee will begin meeting in October and release its first rankings on Oct. 21. The group will not only choose and seed the teams to play in the national semifinals, but it will also pick some of the teams that will play in the other New Year’s bowl games.

Haden is one of five active athletic directors on the committee, along with Dan Radkovich of Clemson, Barry Alvarez of Wisconsin, Oliver Luck of West Virginia and committee chairman Jeff Long of Arkansas.

Through spokeswoman Gina Lehe, College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock declined comment on the incident at Stanford with Haden because he had not had a chance to see it.


AP College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo contributed to this story.

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