Pat Haden
Pat HadenReuters

USC athletic director Pat Haden and football coach Steve Sarkisian have been reprimanded by the Pac-12 conference for "inappropriate sideline conduct" during the Trojans' 13-10 win against Stanford on Saturday.

Pac-12 announced that the conference accepted Haden's self-imposed two-game ban and also fined him $25,000.

The incident occurred in the third quarter of the game, after Sarkisian argued with the officials about a sideline encroachment penalty and asked Haden to join him. 

Haden left the press box and went to the field to confront the officials. It was later revealed that he left the box after receiving a text from Sarkisian.

Haden's actions sparked controversy and there have been calls for him to be removed from the College Football Playoff selection committee.

"The conduct by USC Athletics Director Pat Haden was inappropriate," Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said in a statement. "Such actions by an administrator in attempt to influence the officiating, and ultimately the outcome of a contest, will not be tolerated."

Meanwhile, Playoff Executive Director Bill Hancock confirmed that Haden's position is safe.

"Emotional outbursts at games are not a matter for the playoff selection committee to deal with," Hancock said in a statement.

"This does not affect Pat Haden's capability as a committee member. We recognize that athletics directors cannot be dispassionate about their own teams, and that's why we have the recusal policy."

On Sunday, Haden apologised to the officials, Stanford and fans.

"I apologize to (Pac 12) Commissioner Scott, to the game officials, to Stanford and to the fans for any distraction I might have caused during Saturday's football game," Haden wrote. "In retrospect, I should not have approached the game officials. I should have waited until after the game and gone through the appropriate channels."

Commissioner Scott acknowledged the apology but fined Haden for misconduct.

"The conduct by both Sarkisian and Haden [was] in clear violation of our Conference's Standards of Conduct policy," Scott stated. "We appreciate the public apology and recognition of the errors in judgment, as well as Pat Haden's self-imposed 2-game sideline ban."

Meanwhile, Sarkisian said he regretted the whole situation.

"It is my job to manage the game, not Pat's," Sarkisian said in a statement. "For the good of the game, I will be better on this in the future."

Haden later announced via Twitter that he would pay the fine personally and requested Pac-12 to forward it to the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles for autism research.