…Are we that worn out by scandal that we can’t even bring ourselves to tweet about it?
On the same day we learned that the presumptive Republican nominee for president’s campaign is as broke as his steak company, we find on the West Coast that USC athletic director Pat Haden similarly has been siphoning off money from one of his institution’s charitable wings to his family for more than a decade.
This is big news, right? An AD who is ALREADY making more than $3 million/year (his salary was $2.9 million in 2014; $1.4 million in base compensation and $1.2 million in bonus pay — a raise of more than $400k from the year prior — we can assume it went up similarly in 2015) for a job that literally anyone who doesn’t know how to use a computer can do — has skimmed an additional $2.4 million for himself, his daughter and his sister-in-law for doing part-time work over the last decade and a half for the university’s George Henry Mayr Foundation, a charitable arm that funds scholarships.
Using the foundation as his and his family’s personal piggy bank (they were all compensated for part-time roles involving as little as an hour of work/week ← better known as overtime for the one percent the LA Times reported), Haden has stagnated if not depleted a good portion of the foundation’s $25 million.
Should he go to jail? Be thrown the stockade? Made to subscribe to Meghan Trainor’s YouTube channel? Shipped to an industrial cattle ranch in Brazil to wend his way through one of Temple Grandin’s mazes, get chained up by the ankles and bled out?
All reasonable ideas, but USC went ahead and instead of making a statement firing or even censuring Haden, is allowing their AD to
step down retire June 30.
School president C.L. Max Nikias in an email to Trojan backers thanked “this Trojan legend for his leadership during a historic moment of transition for Trojan Athletics.”
What’s more, Nikias said that Haden will be allowed to pad his latex-lined pockets with Trojan money over the next year (and presumably more) as he’s taken a position to “guide our renovation of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum….he will maintain an office in the Bovard Administration Building, working closely with me and reporting directly to me as he heads a fundraising initiative focused on renewing the nation’s most venerable stadium and the home of Trojan football.”
What the fuck bro?
I also like the part where Nikias writes that Haden, “has accomplished USC’s objectives here through his distinct blend of integrity, energy, wisdom, and character.”
Distinct blend indeed. Is that the same distinct blend the school’s most famous alum showed when he turned his ex-wife into a Pez dispenser by slitting her throat and then vivisecting her boyfriend in her backyard?
Albeit, when the most notable thing your school has done in the last decade is manage to hand Rob Kardashian a diploma and send him out to use the world up like his own personal Golden Corral, the bar must be pretty low for what defines character…or integrity, energy and wisdom.
But it all makes sense, especially in the context of the presumptive Republican nominee for president whose nearly destitute campaign gave more than $1 million in May alone to businesses he owns including $350k on his private jets, $423,317 for an event at his Mar-A-Lago Club in Florida and $35,845 to his golf club in West Palm Beach. Oh, and since we’re already getting room service, how ‘bout throwing more than $4k of his son’s wine on the tab?
The presumptive Republican nominee’s 47-year-old professional stay-at-home Fox News watchers are going to have to sneak into mom’s bedroom and get the rest of that sock drawer money real fast if they’re going to keep their candidate going.
…Back to Haden. While it’s convenient to lump him in with the Sanduskys or the rapists of the ever-morally bankrupt world of big-time college athletics, he did not, in fact, lure young men into showers or stand by tacitly while rape in the name of Jesus runs through campus like one of the 10 plagues of Egypt.
But the fact remains there was literally no reaction to the misdeeds, no repercussions — not from himself, his employer — not even from the go-to source for outrage merited or no, Twitter…
I mean, here’s one about the story when it broke Laura J. Nelson of the Times, that, you know, got retweeted like 25 times:
— Laura J. Nelson (@laura_nelson) June 18, 2016
…Which is approximately the same amount of traction that this girl Katie got when she suggested you should eat ice cream for breakfast during the summer:
If you're not eating ice cream for breakfast during the summer then wyd??
— Katie (@katiebakerr_) June 21, 2016
Maybe we are all outraged out. Maybe no bad news surprises us anymore. Maybe we are so used to abuse and corruption and scandal from the top that a man running through a fucking charity that should be offering a chance for underprivileged and overqualified youth to get a college diploma instead of paying for his daughter’s Tesla and manicures like a flashing yellow is just a winkable offense.
…Maybe we are the ones with the problem.