University of Southern California athletic director Pat Haden and two family members have received big annual payments for positions with a small foundation that gives scholarships to needy students, including some who attended USC, according to a Los Angeles Times investigation.
Mr. Haden, a former star quarterback for USC and the Los Angeles Rams, earned about $1.2 million from 1999 to 2014 from the $25 million George Henry Mayr Foundation. He chaired the fund’s board, collecting annual fees as high as $84,000. His sister-in-law also served on the board and was paid $750,000 from the start of her service in 2000 through 2014, and Mr. Haden’s daughter has gotten $470,000 from the Los Angeles-based foundation since 2005 for holding several part-time positions.
Many foundations do not compensate board members, and those that do typically pay much less, according to nonprofit experts cited by the Times. The board chair of the $12.5-billion Ford Foundation, for instance, was paid $30,000 less than Mr. Haden in 2014. The payments came during a period in which the Mayr fund’s assets grew slowly and its scholarship awards fell to a three-decade low. USC was by far the largest recipient of Mayr scholarship money from 1999 to 2014.
Mr. Haden, 63, left the board earlier this month, citing health reasons. He is also stepping down as USC’s athletic director on June 30 after a nearly six-year tenure but will he remain with the university to oversee a renovation of Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. A spokesman for Mr. Haden said he has recused himself from foundation decisions involving the university and that Mayr's trustee, Wells Fargo bank, has approved the board’s compensation and activities.