ALS-O J Brigance opposes Maryland’s right-to-die bill Former Super Bowel Baltimore Ravensstate saying: ‘Your life is not worth living.’”
By Lonnie WheatleyDODGE CITY, Kan. (April 2) – Cody Gearhart squeezed by race-long leader Beau Davis on the 17th circuit to capture his first local Xtreme Motor Sports IMCA Modified victory since June of 2013, on opening night at Dodge City Raceway Park.“That really was a tale of two races,” Gearhart said in victory lane after the 20-lapper. “I was getting passed at one point, then things all worked out.”Gearhart spent the early portion of the race chasing Davis, who gunned into the lead from the front row outside.Gearhart briefly fell back a spot when William Nusser battled by to claim second at the midway point. Nusser looped it the next time around in turn four, collecting fourth-runner Cole Traugott in the process.Back up to second, Gearhart kept the pressure on Davis and capitalized when the leader bobbled in turns thee and four on the 16th lap. With the bobble, Gearhart was able to pull alongside and then motored ahead through turns one and two.Gearhart took the checkered flag ahead of Nick Link, who edged Davis at the line for runner-up honors. Ryan Heger and 13th-starter Brendon Gemmill rounded out the top five.Dakota Sproul took IMCA SportMod honors in the closing stages, Tyler Tipton topped the IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars and Iowan Shannon Anderson bested the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks.
Joseph Chen | Daily TrojanDeparting Athletic Director Pat Haden will always tell you that’s he not interested in his legacy, but he will undoubtedly be leaving one at his alma mater. Haden sought to leave USC Athletics in a better place than when he took over nearly six years ago — and while that is up for debate, there has certainly been change.In 2010, Haden took on a job that he never thought he would accept in the first place and, quite frankly, one that was not too desirable at the time due to the harsh sanctions that were handed down by the NCAA. He said that he wouldn’t have stepped into the athletic director post — succeeding Mike Garrett — had it not been for the incoming president at the time, C. L. Max Nikias, a long-time friend and colleague of his, someone “he could always count on.”“I did it because I loved the school and wouldn’t have done it anyplace else,” Haden said.At the time, Nikias, the athletics department and the University as a whole needed a hero as they prepared to embark on some rough waters, and that protagonist was indeed Haden, a former star Trojan athlete and scholar himself.“It was in a time of need, and I didn’t realize how rocky it was going to be,” Haden said.It’s fair to say Haden was faced with an unprecedented amount of undesirable circumstances, difficult decisions and controversy for any collegiate athletic director.One could imagine that scholarship limitations and postseason bans, fused with the never-ending pressure that is derived from hiring and firing coaches, and even more off-the-field drama, would take its toll on just about any athletic administrator. Even in times of turmoil, being the Trojan he naturally is, Haden always tended to do what he has been doing his entire life — fighting on.“At age 63, I know who I am and who I’m about, and while lots of times there is outside noise and people criticizing who criticize you [for] virtually every decision you make,” Haden said. “I think that belief in yourself helps you weather that storm.”The fruit of his labor is a restored and revamped athletics program, one that Nikias described as in a “free fall” just six years ago.“[The program] felt like that hamster in the cage just trying to paddle as quickly as we can to keep up with the rest of the University,” Haden said.But its upward trajectory now is more evident than ever in a number of different facets, thanks to Haden’s leadership.“The thing I’m most proud of is our academic achievement,” Haden said.Student-athlete graduation rates and GPAs are not only up, but are also the highest they’ve been in the program’s history. To go along with academic success, Haden has also streamlined one of the most robust compliance departments in the nation, with the help of Vice President of Athletic Compliance Dave Roberts, who like Haden, was brought in during one of the program’s darkest periods.“[Haden] worked so hard in restoring the dignity of our program very quickly,” Nikias said earlier this month after new Athletic Director Lynn Swann’s introductory press conference. “He has been a good friend and done an outstanding job.”Haden also broke more ground at USC than any athletic director before him, overseeing the development of a number of athletic facilities, including the John McKay Center, Merle Norman Stadium for beach volleyball, as well as the renovations of the Uytengsu Aquatics Center and Heritage Hall.In competition, the numbers speak for themselves. USC has brought home 10 national championships, 30-plus individual national titles and counting during Haden’s tenure. One of the things that Haden is most proud of is the unprecedented advancement of a pair of sports which the athletics program added just a few years ago: women’s lacrosse and beach volleyball.The beach volleyball team claimed its first-ever team national title last spring, while the lacrosse team just celebrated an undefeated regular season campaign, catapulting to a No. 5 national ranking and a league title. Both programs accomplished these feats in just four short seasons since they began at USC.Meanwhile, this past season, the men’s basketball team returned to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2011 and the “800-pound gorilla” that is the football program has actually won more games than all but two teams in the conference over the past five years.“That’s pretty incredible considering what we’ve been through,” Haden said.While the athletics program has improved over time with Haden at the helm, his tenure has not been without its blunders and missteps. He even pronounced the very day he took over that he was going to “make mistakes” and “do some stupid things.”Haden said that one of his greatest regrets was when he went down on the field during a football game against Stanford in 2014 after receiving a text message from former head coach Steve Sarkisian. He received a lot of backlash for doing so, particularly because he was serving on the College Football Playoff selection committee at the time.“I could have handled that situation better,” Haden said.Other criticized mishaps have included the airport firing of Lane Kiffin and the mismanaged handling of the unfortunate Sarkisian predicament.“The job wasn’t without its challenges and its ups and downs,” Haden said.Now that Haden has managed to carefully maneuver just about every curveball thrown at him during his tenure, he prepares to pass the ball off to former Trojan wide receiver Lynn Swann, like they did so often as teammates at USC on those dominant teams in the 1970s.While Swann will take over Haden’s duties as athletic director, effective July 1, Haden will be staying at USC to oversee the Coliseum renovation project, a proposed $270 million endeavor that is expected to be completed by 2019.“Pat is not going anywhere,” Nikias said.The Coliseum will house the newly relocated Los Angeles Rams for the next three seasons, who return home after a 21-year hiatus from the city. Haden played for the Rams during his NFL career and is excited to see his former team back at the historic venue.“If there was going to be a team, I’m glad it was the Rams, a team that has shared the Coliseum with USC before,” Haden said.Aside from completing the Coliseum makeover, Haden has his sights on what’s next after finishing his time as athletic director. He plans on taking the extra time to work on his health, as well as helping raise the seven grandchildren that live right around the corner from him. He also plans on frequently returning to USC to attend sporting events.“I met my wife here, my kids went to school here, my best friends to this day went to school here, I was on the board for 19 years, so I have a lot invested in the place, and will continue to be a huge USC supporter moving forward,” Haden said.Reflecting on what he says is one of the most challenging jobs of his life, Haden exhibited a great deal of appreciation for what students on the University Park Campus have given here over the course of the past six years.“I enjoyed working on a college campus with young people and some of the world’s best athletes, who happened to be some of USC’s best students as well,” Haden said.That feeling is mutual from his student-athletes, who are also going to miss what he brought to the program.“Pat Haden has been much more than just an athletic director at USC. He’s been a father figure, a role model, a mentor and a friend to hundreds of us student-athletes,” said graduating football player Robby Kolanz, who also interned for Haden. “I can’t imagine this school without him, but I know he’ll be around because it’s just part of his blood.”As for advice for his successor, Haden said that Swann should really get to know the place and try to not make any drastic changes for at least six months into the job.With just two months to go in Haden’s stint as athletic director, though, his mentality hasn’t changed one bit.“I don’t want any special plaques or anything,” Haden said. “I’m going to finish my job June 30, and I hope to have left it a better place for the next athletic director.”