The hiring of Pat Haden as athletic director was universally hailed as a great move by an NCAA-troubled USC.
Haden represented sensibility, stability and respect.
So now Trojan world is going bonkers, and true to what he represents, Haden sits here grounded.
Kudos to Pat Haden for being Pat Haden.
He remains unmoved by the rants of fans and the most recent media headline: "Kiffin not the coach for USC's future."
Some folks were saying they just knew Haden had run out of patience, too many embarrassing Lane Kiffin moments for him to hang with the guy.
And yet Haden reportedly told Kiffin a week ago he had no worries — apparently forgetting to mention Brett Hundley's name.
Now I don't believe Kiffin's job was ever in jeopardy or Haden would have waited to see how the Trojans fared against UCLA, Notre Dame and a bowl opponent.
But others had the coach gone after Saturday's loss to UCLA, knowing Haden did not hire Kiffin. It's mentioned often, the implication obvious: First chance Haden gets, Kiffin is gone.
Yet it's a miscalculation, Haden choosing to develop his young head coach rather than capitalize on public sentiment and go looking for his own guy.
In placing the emphasis on stability, knowing Haden as Trojans fans should, they shouldn't have been surprised when he announced no change.
"Lane is my head coach, 150%," Haden told Times columnist Bill Plaschke. "Now and hopefully for a long time."
Now I worry about a Rhodes scholar going 150% on anyone when I know, and I didn't graduate from college, that 100% is quite enough.
But when it comes to talking emphatically, I guess that's how Rhodes scholars do it.
"I see the future," Haden said, and yet he still told Kiffin before the UCLA game he was going to remain with USC.
"I see the potential," he said. "I know what he's been fighting through and I like what he's done."
Wouldn't we all like to work for a boss like that?
Say anything you want about Kiffin and it's probably already been said. Although there is a chance this week SEC supporters might be cheering for Kiffin to beat Notre Dame, and they've never done that before.
But take everything that's happened since Kiffin's arrival and what's the worst thing he's done — worthy of being fired?
The obvious answer is losing too many games.