Trojans’ AD Garrett opens up

In his 17 years as athletic director, Mike Garrett hasn’t been the school’s most personable employee to the Trojan faithful.

And in a year when fans desperately seek to hear from the man who placed self-imposed sanctions on the men’s basketball team, has had coaching changes in his two highest revenue-producing sports and heads a program that has potential NCAA violations looming over it, Garrett has often taken the high road, hiding behind newspaper headlines and media scrutiny.

Yet, in a period where Garrett’s leadership has come under fire for a lack of institutional control and a laissez-faire attitude in regard to high-profile sports, USC’s athletic director has decided to change course and unveil his personal feelings regarding any and all news associated with Trojans’ athletics for the first time.

With the help of the USC Rips It blog, Garrett has the opportunity to change the elusive persona he has created during his tenure at USC. And from the feedback from his first post, it appears he may be well on his way to doing just that.

In his first tell-all of the “From the Desk of the A.D.” series, Garrett touched on such issues as the NCAA hearings, expansion in the Pac 10, the academic successes of USC’s student athletes and football’s upcoming Spring Practice.

In regard to the NCAA proceedings, the former- Heisman trophy winner said, “We’re glad we were able to present our case to the NCAA officials. We think that we presented our case very well and we eagerly await the outcome.”

But in likely his most genuine portion of the blog post, Garrett relayed to fans that the program, both from an athletic and academic standpoint, will never rest on its laurels despite past accomplishments.

“As successful as our student-athletes were in the fall, we’re always striving for more triumphs — both in the classroom and on the field. As Trojans, we must never rest or be satisfied with status quo, no matter how good it may be.”

In less than 24 hours after Garrett’s words hit the web, the reviews came pouring in from fans delighted to hear from the voice of the athletic program. From “Fight on AD Garrett” to “great addition to the blog” to “good to see Garrett more visible,” it’s hard to argue with the positive impact this 180 degree transformation will have on a program that has undergone such turmoil the past 12 months.