USC AD Pat Haden won't discuss search publicly

By Chip Patterson | College Football/Basketball Writer

USC athletic director Pat Haden has been on the media tour since dismissing head football coach Lane Kiffin in the early hours of Sunday morning. HIs message, which is to be expected, is not to expect any developments in the near future.

"You can't forget your current team," Haden said Monday on ESPN Radio. "I don't want to be talking publicly about searches for the next three months while we have eight games to play and a senior class that deserves my support and respect and effort and energy."

Haden appointed Ed Orgeron, Kiffin's assistant head coach and recruiting coordinator, as the team's interim coach for the remainder of the season. The Trojans are 3-2 overall but already 0-2 in Pac-12 play. The team is off this weekend and returns to action next Thursday, Oct. 10, in a home matchup against Arizona.

According to Haden, the conversation between he and Kiffin after the team's arrival in Los Angeles lasted about 45 minutes. He told ESPN Radio's Colin Cowherd that the talks were "honest."

"He battled me," Haden said. "… He really battled and made it very difficult. We had a very honest discussion for 45 minutes. At the end of the day, I felt the decision had to be made."

Kiffin leaves USC with a 28-15 record as the Trojans head coach. Oddsmakers have listed Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio, Boise State head coach Chris Petersen, Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin and San Francisco offensive coordinator Greg Roman as frontrunners for the job.

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