USC AD Pat Haden leaves playoff committee, cites health

IRVING, Texas (AP) Southern California athletic director Pat Haden is stepping down from the College Football Playoff selection committee after his doctors advised him to cut back on travel.

College Football Playoff Executive Director Bill Hancock announced Friday that Haden was leaving the committee and would not be replaced. The committee will have 12 members for the rest of the season.

The committee is scheduled to meet in North Texas this weekend to produce its first rankings of the season. The playoff rankings will be released Tuesday.

Haden said in a statement he was reluctant to step down.

''With the weekly CFP meetings about to start and the travel commitment involved, I had to make this difficult decision. I feel it is in the best interest of the CFP and also of USC, with our current football coaching change and our upcoming Coliseum renovation.''

Two weeks ago, Haden had to leave USC's game at Notre Dame because he was feeling lightheaded.

This will be the second year in a row the committee has lost took a member during the season. Archie Manning withdrew from the committee late in last season for health reasons before ultimately stepping down for good during the offseason.

Manning was replaced by former Vanderbilt coach Bobby Johnson. Also, former West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck was replaced by Texas Tech AD Kirby Hocutt when he left to take a job with the NCAA.

Haden was in the second year of a two-year term on the committee and scheduled to be replaced after this season.

''I fully support Pat's decision given his doctor's recommendation and his campus priorities,'' Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said. ''I am confident in the 12 remaining committee members to represent the best in all of college football and to select the best teams for the playoff.''

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