USC Athletic Director Pat Haden collapsed Wednesday morning outside Heritage Hall and was taken away in an ambulance to receive medical attention off campus, according to a statement from USC Athletics.
Haden was walking back from a meeting on campus when he felt lightheaded and sat down outside Heritage Hall, at which time the athletic department’s medical staff tended to him.
Haden was able to walk to his office in Heritage Hall under his own power and was alert and talking during the entire process. He was then transported to his doctor off campus.
In an updated statement Wednesday evening, the Athletics department said that Haden was at a local hospital, “resting comfortably” and in stable condition.
“He plans to be back soon watching his Trojans in action,” the statement read. “He thanks all for their concern.”
In a tweet, Haden reassured fans and thanked USC director of athletic medicine and head athletic trainer Russ Romano.
“Thanks for all the good wishes,” Haden said. “[Thanks] to Russ Romano and the USC docs! Hope to [be] home soon. Fight On!!”
The Los Angeles Times reports that Haden will undergo a medical procedure “in the next few days.”
According to the statement, the incident was very similar to the one Haden experienced at the Notre Dame football game in October. While observing warm-ups, Haden reported feeling lightheaded and went down onto one knee. After a period of brief hospitalization, Haden was allowed to fly home.
The 63-year-old Haden has served as athletic director since 2010, but announced last week that he would retire from the post at the end of June. He will remain at the school until 2017 to guide the renovation of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
Haden’s tenure at USC has had its highs and lows, with the football program going through multiple coaching changes, most recently the Steve Sarkisian controversy that saw Haden fire the embattled ex-coach after Sarkisian’s noted issues with alcoholism. Haden also infamously terminated Lane Kiffin in 2013 and was fined $25,000 after a game in 2014 when he went down to the sideline and argued with the officials.
Haden, who has a pacemaker, has been dealing with health concerns in recent months. Following the scare at Notre Dame, he resigned from the College Football Playoff selection committee because of the travel load and did not attend seven of USC’s final eight football games.
“I haven’t been 100 percent, but I feel perfectly fine now,’’ Haden said to 710-AM radio last Friday regarding his health. “I could have done this for a lot more years. I just turned 63. My father died at a young age but I’m hoping to live a long, healthy life from here and spend time with my seven grandsons.”
This post was updated at 6:19 P.M.