The Pac-12 will review the incident in which USC athletic director Pat Haden engaged with officials on the sidelines during his program's 13-10 victory at Stanford on Saturday. Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said the league will be “reviewing the situation” in a text message to SI.com.
A Pac-12 spokesman said the league will not comment further until it reviews the situation with officials, which is in accordance with league protocol.
Haden said after the game that he received a text from a compliance official on the Trojans’ sideline --“mid-hot dog,” he joked -- to come down. USC coach Steve Sarkisian said that he requested Haden come down to assist him.
“I didn’t feel like I was in position to continue to discuss that with the officiating crew in risk of getting a second penalty,” Sarkisian said. “I felt I was better off getting Pat in between, talk it through to make sure everybody understood and moved on.”
Sarkisian had just been flagged for a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for being in an inappropriate area on the sideline. Sarkisian later admitted he broke the sideline rule. On the following play, Trojans star linebacker Hayes Pullard was ejected for targeting.
Haden made it a point after the game to clarify that he didn’t argue with officials. However, he clearly engaged with two of them, at one point making a waving motion that resembled a referee signaling a missed field goal. Haden said he didn’t have any concern about the optics of his sideline dash considering he is one of 13 members of the College Football Playoff selection committee.