Maybe Garrett was right, but you can't give the NCAA bulletin board material that, to this day, may hinder requests for sanction relief.
Haden was brought in to clean up the mess and put the athletic department back on the high road with the rest of the school. That was his mandate and perhaps his legacy.
He has been instrumental in getting the funds for the state-of-the-art McKay Center, where he met the media Sunday. Old, yawning Heritage Hall is also being upgraded.
Of course, none of that matters to the guy on the 40-yard line who can't believe that line plunge on third and 15.
Haden has a new basketball coach, and soon a permanent new football coach. The legacy takes on a different light. He could say goodbye soon, but expect nothing like that until both programs have found a good flow.
With proper respect, Kiffin was shown the door. He deserved that respect, coaching in what Haden called "tough circumstances." The NCAA sanctions left him fewer scholarship players, fewer bullets in his gun than opponents.
Haden's promotion of Ed Orgeron to interim coach was a no-brainer. This team needs rah-rah and energy more than analysis right now.
His role-of-the-dice with one more year for Kiffin failed, even though it wasn't all that big a gamble. Financially, he saved USC a double salary hit — Kiffin and the new guy. Realistically, he didn't have a good choice, anyway. Other big-name coaches, fully aware of NCAA sanctions and scholarship losses, wouldn't have signed on.
Kiffin will be fine. So will all his assistants, who will eventually become casualties in this changeover.
Haden hates the displaced families and the uprooted lives. But his gut told him it was "the best decision for USC."
And it was.