This was supposed to be the year that USC football returned to national prominence.
One year after tough sanctions that were imposed by college football’s governing body ended, the Trojans opened the season in the Top 10 in the polls, with high hopes of qualifying for college football’s four-team playoff.
But not much has gone right for USC.
Coach Steve Sarkisian was fired after he behaved erratically on several occasions. He has reportedly checked into rehab for substance abuse. Meanwhile, the Trojans have foundered on the field, struggling to a 3-3 record.
It won’t get any easier this weekend when the Trojans play Utah, currently ranked 3rd in the nation. A losing record, once unimaginable, is now a real possibility.
All of this has been taking a toll on USC athletic director Pat Haden – who was briefly hospitalized last weekend after falling ill at a game against Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana.
KCRW’s Darrell Satzman spoke to Gary Klein, the L.A. Times’ Trojan beat writer, about the team’s woes. Klein says Haden appears to be on the mend, at least physically.