Football Fines for a Cause

american-football-refereeBy: Beth Vaughan

The 2014-2015 football seasons has been in full swing for 3 weeks now, and whether you took into account past results and preseason hyperbole – only to be disappointed – or these have been the greatest 3 weeks of your entire life, one thing is for certain: the penalties and fines are plentiful!

And, while penalties and fines generally create a sense of disapproval and controversy, one college athletic department took the opportunity to spin their negative situation into a positive one.

USC’s Athletic Director, Pat Haden was called for an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty late in the third quarter during USC’s 13-10 victory over Stanford. Haden, a member of the College Football Playoff selection committee jogged down to the sideline and had a fairly animated conversation with the officials.

Not only did Haden’s actions spark controversy and forced him to be removed from the position on the committee, but he and Trojan Coach, Steve Sarkisian were reprimanded and fined $25,000 by the Pac-12 Conference for “inappropriate sideline conduct”.

The following Sunday night, Haden issued an apology for any “distraction” he may have caused to game officials and admitted he should have waited until after the game and gone through the appropriate channels to convey his message.

Haden announced (via Twitter) that he would be happy to pay the fine personally, and asked that the Pac-12 forward the money to the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles for Autism Research, in honor of his 5-year old grandson.

Don’t you wish every story had a happy ending? Or, more realistically, that all individuals who have been fined by either the NCAA or NFL would donate their fine to a worthy cause?