The most bizarre scene from a bizarre Saturday was undoubtedly USC athletics director Pat Haden arguing with the officials in No. 9 USC’s 13-10 win over No. 15 Stanford on Saturday.
Haden told ABC’s Heather Cox that he received a text from Trojans head coach Steve Sarkisian after Sarkisian was called for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. “I got a text just to come down because Sark wanted to talk to me, he felt the penalty was unfair and the referee explained he had warned him, so that’s why he got the penalty,” Haden told Cox in an sideline interview shortly after the incident. “It’s been a really frustrating quarter with the penalties, believe me.”
One day later, Haden has apologized and barred himself from the Trojans’ sideline for two games.
“I apologize to Commissioner Scott, to the game officials, to Stanford and to the fans for any distraction I might have caused during Saturday’s football game,” Haden said in a statement on Sunday night. “In retrospect, I should not have approached the game officials. I should have waited until after the game and gone through the appropriate channels.
“In the best interests of our team and our coaches, I will stay off the sidelines for our next two games.”
The Pac-12 has said it will review the incident on Monday as per normal procedure. The College Football Playoff, of which Haden is a member, has yet to comment on the incident.
USC visits Boston College on Saturday (8 p.m. ET, ESPN), and then takes a week off before hosting Oregon State on Sept. 27.
LOS ANGELES – Former Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo is joining UCLA’s coaching staff as director of leadership.
The school said in an announcement Friday that Niumatalolo will serve as an advisor to the Bruins’ football staff and players.
Niumatalolo led Navy for 15 years and was the winningest coach in school history at 109-83. The Midshipmen, however, finished with losing records the past three seasons, including 4-8 the past two.
Navy played in 10 bowl games under Niumatalolo. He also was the only coach to win his first eight games in the storied Army-Navy rivalry.
TROY, Ala. — Jon Sumrall agreed to a new four-year contract as Troy’s coach after leading the Trojans to a Sun Belt Conference championship and national ranking in his debut season.
The school announced the deal, which runs through 2026, but didn’t release details.
The Trojans went 12-2 and won their final 11 games, second only to national champion Georgia, including the league championship game and the Cure Bowl against UTSA. For the first time, they finished a season ranked, ending up 19th in The Associated Press Top 25.
“When we appointed Coach Sumrall in December 2021, we challenged him to return Troy football to the top of the Sun Belt Conference,” Chancellor Jack Hawkins Jr. said. “It didn’t take long, as the 2022 season was the best in our FBS history.”
Troy held all 14 of its opponents to under their season average in scoring, beating UTSA 18-12. The Trojans beat Coastal Carolina 45-26 in the Sun Belt title game.
“Last year was an amazing accomplishment for everyone associated with Troy football and was the product of relentless effort from our players and staff, athletic administration and university leaders,” Sumrall said.