What's buzzing on Yahoo Sports:

Kiffin receives backing from USC AD

The SportsXchange

USC coach Lane Kiffin has the support of athletic director Pat Haden entering the 2013 football season.

On the eve of the Pac-12 media day in Los Angeles, Haden posted a video online Thursday expressing the hope that Kiffin will be at USC for years to come.

"I anticipate the media will ask me if our football coach is on the hot seat this year," Haden said. "Here is my answer and will be my answer whenever I'm asked: He is not. I'm behind Lane Kiffin 100 percent. I have great confidence in him. He's a very hard-working, detail-oriented coach. He's a dynamic playcaller, in my estimation, and he's an exceptional recruiter. He knows USC and he knows what it takes to be successful here."

The Trojans finished with a lackluster 7-5 record last year after they were ranked No. 1 in the preseason. USC lost five of its last six games and fell out of the top 25 by the end of the season.

"We all know the second half of last year was disappointing but I firmly believe we will bounce back strong this season," Haden said. "We have a lot of good players. We have made positive additions to our coaching staff as well. I understand that many people judge a coach by the win-loss record, but as the athletic director, I must look not only at that but at a lot of other things that are important to us at USC.

"There are many factors, including academics, NCAA compliance, community engagement, the character of his players and off-field issues. Lane Kiffin gets very high marks in all of those areas. All of these things, including winning, are important to us."

Kiffin left Tennessee after one year to take over a USC program in 2010 that was barred from postseason play for two years and lost 30 scholarships over three seasons. He led USC to a 10-2 record and a top-five ranking in his first year.

"Despite drastic scholarship limitations and players transferring out of our program, we still won 25 games under Lane the past three years," Haden said. "Now this next season, we will have just 70 players on scholarship versus the 83 to 85 that all but two of our 13 opponents will have. This is not an excuse, but it's a fact that our staff will have to deal with as they prepare for 13 regular-season games. I am confident this team will make a good run at the Pac-12 South Division title."
Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Football
View Comments (31)