After reviewing incoming USC President Nikias' letter to the Trojans' community, the new motto of the reshaped USC athletic department can aptly be summed as "be more like Stanford." USC has been trying to emulate Stanford's elite academic reputation for years. If USC also wants to run a squeaky clean program adherent to the highest standards in Division 1, simply look at the tape from last year's football game to see you can have your cake and eat it too.
I am ecstatic with the dismissal of Mike "The Ostrich" Garrett and hiring of Pat Haden as athletic director at my alma mater. In one fell swoop, USC has gone from a rogue to a Rhodes scholar. Fight On!
Mark S. Roth
Today everyone including myself is celebrating the hiring of the squeaky clean Pat Haden. We all agree we needed a new aroma in Heritage Hall but let's not get things twisted. The only thing we like more than a clean program is winning football games. If USC is circling the drain in the middle of the Pac 10/12, most of us would be longing for the good ol' Mike Garrett/Pete Carroll days.
So, USC has hired a new athletic director who met the requirements of being more capable, eloquent, likable, polished and competent than Mike Garrett.
Congratulations to Pat Haden for beating out the other 3 million qualified Angelenos.
There doesn't seem to be much love shown for Mike Garrett and I would like to correct this if I may. I think in the future, the last 17 years will be known as one of the Golden Ages of USC sports. It is doubtful to me if we will ever win as many NCAA championships in such a short period of time as we have done under Mike. The football was fun; the basketball was fun; the track & field a glimmering of its past glory under impossible circumstances (the limitation of scholarships imposed on USC).
I would also like to point out that for 50 years as a loyal Trojan, I prayed for someone with the ability, foresight and courage to attempt to build our own sports arena. This was accomplished by Mike Garrett even though there were numerous predecessors who attempted unsuccessfully to do the same thing.
Let's not kid ourselves — things were wonderful under Mike and although I hope things will be even better under Pat Haden, I think we owe Mr. Garrett a very deep debt of gratitude.
Jerry H. Buss
(The writer is the owner of the Lakers)
Why aren't the images of Pete Carroll being stricken from the Heritage Hall display?
Notre Dame, Ind.
Memo to Mike Garrett. Save yourself some time. There is no need to read between the lines as to what your firing as Athletic Director means.
Rancho Palos Verdes
Can they manage?
So Bill Plaschke doesn't believe Don Mattingly is ready to take over the managerial duties from Torre.
Bill, I've seen Torre make many "wrong" decisions and screw-ups this year and I don't hear you on his case! The last time I checked the NL West, the Dodgers were in fourth place in a five-team division.
Not only do I believe Mattingly could have achieved the same results or better, I think I could as well!
I have been a Dodgers fan since 1965 when as a kid growing up in San Diego, I first heard the voice of Vin Scully on a short-wave radio my father gave me the previous Christmas, and if they trade Matt Kemp [July 18], I will never, ever root for them again.
Well, not until the McCourts sell the team and the new owner cleans house.
Regarding the idea that the Dodgers might trade Matt Kemp, I have two words: Paul Konerko. I can't think of a worse move they could make.
With the utility infielder playing left field, a slumping .240 hitter batting cleanup and a minor leaguer as starting pitcher, did Joe Torre and Ned Colletti really expect to defeat the Giants? Not likely. Did 40,000 faithful fans deserve this kind of treatment? Not likely.
Regarding "Hedge of their seats," [July 23]: Fifteen dollars to park. $5 for a bottle of water. $5 for the worst hot dog on Earth. The highest profiled player is a gimp drug cheat who couldn't play defense to save his life. They're in fourth place.
Was this story really necessary?
In baseball you don't trade potential greatness (Sean O'Sullivan) for existing mediocrity (Alberto Callaspo).
Gloves are off