Lane Kiffin became a lightning rod for criticism during his third season as USC head coach. (Harry How/Getty Images)
USC athletic director Pat Haden got out ahead of Friday's Pac-12 Conference Media Day questions concerning head coach Lane Kiffin's future by releasing a "State of Football" video Thursday night.
In the video, Haden backs Kiffin despite the Trojans' 7-6 finish, a humiliating loss to Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl and some unsavory storylines in his third season as head coach. Haden specifically says Kiffin is not on the hot seat beginning the 2013 season and praises his preparation, play-calling and recruiting.
In January, Haden described Kiffin as "anti-Teflon" while supporting him in a Los Angeles Times interview, and Kiffin took full blame for the 2012 debacle.
Haden and USC posted the four-and-a-half minute video on YouTube.:
"I anticipate the media will ask me if our football coach is on the hot seat this year," Haden said in the video. "Here is my answer, and will be my answer whenever I'm asked. He is not.
"I'm behind Lane Kiffin 100%. I have great confidence in him. He's a very hard-working, detail-oriented coach. He's a dynamic play-caller, in my estimation, and he's an exceptional recruiter.
"He knows USC and he knows what it takes to be successful here."
Here's the video in its entirety: