Report: Ex-USC AD Pat Haden 'under scrutiny' in college admissions scandal investigation

Pat Haden served as USC's athletic director from 2010-16. (Getty Images)
Pat Haden served as USC's athletic director from 2010-16. (Getty Images)

Former USC athletic director Pat Haden is reportedly one of those “under scrutiny” by prosecutors in the federal investigation into the college admissions scandal that has included actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin.

Haden was the athletic director at USC from 2010-16. Per the Wall Street Journal, he knew William Singer, the man at the center of the scandal. Singer’s company would create fake athlete profiles for high school students to get them admitted into colleges like USC in exchange for bribes.

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Former USC associate athletic director Donna Heinel was fired after she was indicted on racketeering charges related to the scheme. A source told the WSJ that Haden had introduced Heinel to Singer:

Mr. Haden brought Ms. Heinel into a meeting already under way on campus in his office, where Mr. Singer was present, the person said, and described Mr. Singer as someone Ms. Heinel should work with because he could “bring development to the school”—wealthy families willing to make donations to the USC. At the time, the department was under “tremendous pressure” to raise money, the person said.

Haden’s son-in-law told the paper the former AD had not been contacted by investigators and that his dad met Singer at the same time Heinel did in a meeting with a friend of Haden’s.

Lynn Swann was ‘blindsided’ by scandal

Heinel was fired in March along with USC water polo coach Jovan Vavic for their alleged roles in the scandal. The indictment listed multiple instances where fake football player profiles were created for USC students to help them gain admission to USC.

Loughlin’s daughters were portrayed as crew team members. Laughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli are accused of paying $500,000 to Singer to get their kids into USC.

Current athletic director Lynn Swann said in the days after the indictment was made public that he was blindsided by the scandal. The bribes to USC for various students totaled over $1 million.

According to an affidavit in the case, Giannulli traveled to Augusta National Golf Club with someone simply referred to as USC’s athletic director, making it unclear if it was Haden or Swann as they’re both members of the golf club. Swann has said he’s never met Giannulli.

Over 50 people from parents to coaches at other universities have been charged in connection with the case.

Haden is a former USC football player

Haden, a Rhodes Scholar and former QB for the Trojans, took over as the AD at his alma mater in 2010 and was the athletic director that fired both Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian. Kiffin was fired during the 2013 season and Sarkisian was fired in 2015 after multiple reported alcohol-related incidents. Haden hired current USC coach Clay Helton to take over for Sarkisian.


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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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