Pat Haden on Lane Kiffin's USC program: 'The sky is not falling'

Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE

USC's most publicized programs are faltering, but athletic director Pat Haden isn't worried.

There are many starting to doubt head coach Lane Kiffin at USC following a disappointing 7-6 season in 2012, but his boss isn't one of them. Pat Haden confirmed his support for Kiffin in an in-depth interview with the Los Angeles Times this week. Haden recently fired a coach of another high-profile program, letting Kevin O'Niell go midway though the college basketball season.

The athletic director doesn't appear to have the same fate in the plans any time soon for Kiffin, despite a season that finished well below expectations and was full of media blunders from the coach and players. Haden believes some of the worrying around the Trojan football program is premature:

"The sky is not falling, in spite of what some people read and think and write."

USC is still a recruiting juggernaut, but some of the uncertainty around Kiffin and the program has led to some prospects rethinking their commitments. The Trojans still aren't suffering talent-wise, as they continue to pull in many of the nation's top incoming freshman. However, the scholarship limitations they've had to deal with stemming from NCAA sanctions may hurt Kiffin's ability to build the depth to get USC back to the top of college football.

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