Outgoing USC athletic director Pat Haden’s reputation had already taken a hit in recent years for what had happened to the school’s programs on his watch. But according to a Los Angeles Times report, what he was doing away from the field might ruined it altogether.
In a damning piece, L.A. Times reporters Paul Pringle and Nathan Fenno report that Haden, his daughter, and his sister-in-law pocketed a combined $2.4 million from the George Henry Mayr Foundation, which hands out scholarships to California educational institutions, for part-time roles with the charity while its contributions fell to all-time lows.
Haden joined the board of the foundation 17 years ago. Since then, he’s made about $1.2 million from the charity just by himself, which includes annual board fees of $84,000. Haden’s sister-in-law Catherine Grier Olson became a board member in 2000 and pocketed “more than $750,000” while his daughter Natalie O’Connor has received “about $470,000” since 2005 for what is described as part-time work.
Meanwhile, though the foundation donates to various high schools and universities, donations to USC have outpaced all other places immensly under Haden’s watch. Between 1999 and 2014, USC received $1.76M from the charity while the next-highest beneficiary on the list was $480K (St. Mary’s Academy).
In 2014 alone, the trio received $244,000 while scholarships awared by the foundation dropped to $645,000. It had paid out $1.1 million in scholarships as recently as 2008.
Haden did not comment on the report but USC spokesman Tim Tessalone said that Haden has stepped down as foundation chairman but will remain a volunteer board member no longer receiving fees. The stated reason for the change was “health reasons.”
Haden will also step down as USC AD on June 30.