Pat Haden responds to USC game ball deflation controversy

Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

USC athletic director Pat Haden released a statement Thursday, following the dismissal of a manager due under-inflated game balls.

USC athletic director Pat Haden apologized Thursday after the school was reprimanded and fined by the Pac-12 for an issue with the game balls used during Saturday's game against Oregon.

The Trojans relieved a student manager of his duties after it was discovered he was deflating footballs used in USC's game against the Ducks. USC denied any knowledge of the manager's plan, but were still fined and reprimanded by the conference.

In the statement released Thursday, Haden said USC regrets the incident occurred and called it "unacceptable." Here is Haden's complete statement, released via the USC Athletics Twitter.

We acknowledge the Pac-12's reprimand and fine. We regret this incident occurred. It was unacceptable and we apologize for it. I can assure you this will not happen again.

Game officials discovered three under-inflated footballs during the first half and two more at halftime. Some of the under-inflated footballs were used by USC during the first half against Oregon, but all footballs used during the second half met NCAA regulations. The student manager confirmed he deflated some of the footballs after they were approved and tested by officials prior to the game.

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