Analysis On Lynn Swann’s Firing

Why did Lynn Swann become the third straight USC athletic director to be forced out after Mike Garrett and Pat Haden?

And why did it happen after a 45-20 victory over Stanford?

People within the university tell me this is just USC president Carol Folt’s systemic housecleaning of upper management.

Folt has hired a new provost; a new vice president of student affairs and created the position of vice president of human resources. It took her a couple months after she started to get around to athletics.

Since July 1, her office has been inundated with calls and emails complaining about Swann. But the tipping point was really the College Admissions Scandal and the pending NCAA investigation into the basketball program.

The next athletic director will be an outsider.

That is the lesson from having people with no experience that were former USC football players.

Swann was never interested in learning how to be an athletic director. He was more interested in golf. He ran lousy coaching searches. He alienated donors. He inexplicably gave Clay Helton a five-year contract extension and refused to fire him last season.

“This looks like USC firing two people because the new A.D. will want his own football coach,” said a rival athletic director via text.

He was about as bad an athletic director as possible. It is also telling Folt made Dave Roberts, who was actually unpopular within and outside the athletic dept., as the interim instead of long-time administrator Steve Lopes.

Give Folt her due. This is the type of action USC requires. And I can think of a few more people who need to go.

65 thoughts on “Analysis On Lynn Swann’s Firing

      1. Well, let’s see —isn’t the person heading the search for A.D. the same person who headed the search for Folt?


      2. Arturo —Take a look at the photo Scott posted above of Lynn and Helton kissing. This isn’t The Godfather —it’s The Twilight Zone episode with Rod Taylor where the people in the photo cease to exist….. one at a time.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Arturo —There were 2 plots —(1) someone wants to return to happier past and (2) someone only thinks they exist…..

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Right.She fired the provost and several others. She appears to be doing a house cleaning and we are inb need of that. Now for the athletics. I am tired of the hand wringing about what to do and evaluating one game at a time it is obvious that we need a new coach. Even if we win a few games here and there , it is the overall process that has to be evaluated . We know when a coach cannot do the job. It is obvious when there is so much inconsistency, even in the face of player problem and injuries. Every team has that experience. It is the ability to adjust and have a system that works. This adhoc stuff is not the makings of good coaching.Players and those of us who have played the game know instinctively when a coach is good. Even those who are good thinkers and do not have the background know. We do not have to continue this game dissecting to know what we need to know. It boils down to havoing the courage to make a decision. I agree with the person who wrote anI paraphrase, how do you give a bad coch a five year extension , who by every sensible measure is a failure. Beyond that how do we continue to nit pick ad not come to the inevitable conclusion that we need to make the decision now. Put the defensive coordinator in as temp head coach and start the search now, not tomorrow. We need to get on with it.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. gt –Do you follow Helton on “MyDiary”? Today’s entry reads, “Wow —can’t believe it! Went to squeeze the toothpaste tube and it was completely empty. Tried to take my multi-vitamins and bottle was empty too. Then tried to shave and electric shaver was out. Man! If I were superstitious!”

      Liked by 2 people

      1. MG, I just wanted to let you know that the quote from Helton that we were arguing about was not the quote he made according to another outlet. We may have been arguing over something Helton didn’t even say. According to 247 Sports, the quote was as follows: “This was just as much his success as Kedon’s.” Does that change anything for you? It probably should.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Yes, James —It makes a lot of difference ….it also makes a hell of a lot more sense.
        I’ve gone from wanting Helton gone to wondering whether I like the way this is going. It seems to me that the timing of this announcement (which of course has nothing to do with a sudden epiphany by Swann) demonstrates that present leadership doesn’t give a flying shit what happens to this season’s football team. I’m not sure why people are so happy that something this disruptive happened a few days after it looked like —barring something unforeseen —USC could win a bunch of games.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Scott —how are you with Suzanne Nora Johnson leading the search? She’s led so many Athletic Director Searches in the past that she’s a shoe in to get this right? Oh, wait she’s never done it before? She only brought in Folt? Well, that sounds good.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If they go outside the university, that’s a start in the right direction, just as long as the new AD heads to Fox Sports to have a talk with Urban as soon as they get the job

      Liked by 2 people

      1. karma —I think the makeup of the Search Committee and the appointment of mister goody-good as acting Athletic Director assures that this is exactly what they are NOT gonna do…..


      2. I’ve said all along that they would never go after Meyer. He’s too good of a coach. He would become too powerful. But I don’t know now. I’m beginning to think that they may really be a new sheriff in town. I would probably go along with the Wolfman on this one. It’s a step in the right direction. Let’s see what happens.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. jim — I can guarantee you right now that a president who places a goody good in place as Interim Athletic Director is not going to sign off on Meyer.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. When Folt saw the stadium half full for the last two games and she get a $330 million bill for the renovation from Pat Haden’s Construction company, something had to be done. Folt has to get the big donors back. This is one way to appease them

    Liked by 4 people

  3. President Folt let us know how she really felt about LSwann, when she stated: “The position will be filled with an experienced and accomplished individual . . .”

    Liked by 6 people

    1. As Papadakis said an article about the mega-donor twisting Nikias’ arm to have Swann put in as ‘AD’ is what tipped the scales against Swann. Hughes (the donor) wanted nothing to do with the article. In fairness, it was a pretty well balanced. But Hughes was not happy to see his name ‘outted’ and then connected with the Swann installation. Foit went through a similar mess at NC in Raleigh. She already ignored Lopes by putting in that non-USC Dave Roberts, as interim ad.

      Papadakis made note of the AD currently at Villanova Mark Jackson who is the one Pete Carroll (Papadakis claim) will lobby for the ‘AD’ slot. When asked by McClain ‘Why? Is he (PC) coming back as coach?” ‘No Carroll wants to have ‘his guy’ inside to do him (PC) favors for friends and possible needs…”

      Liked by 3 people

    1. Michael —I’d feel so much better if Gatsby weren’t (unwittingly) toasting his own demise….

      Liked by 3 people

  4. I was no fan of Lynn Swann, but the last thing I want to see is a true outsider just for the sake of change. The only time that USC hired an outsider who was a veteran athletic administrator as Athletic Director was the Mike McGee debacle. He DESTROYED USC Athletics. He was a terrible administrator, alienated the Trojan family, hired mediocre coaches who did not understand recruiting in Southern California, nearly bankrupted the program and generally failed to care about USC and the fielding of winning teams. The incompetence of the McGee era is how UCLA and Stanford were able to pass USC in all-time NCAA titles.

    A fresh start is sorely needed, and the right outsider might be successful. I just fear that a career bureaucrat AD just for the sake of it could be a fatal mistake. The next AD needs to demonstrate the ability to change aspects of the culture while not being obtuse to USC’s unique strengths.

    Just ask any Bruin what they think about hiring an AD who is “a veteran athletic administrator.” I’ll take D+ Lynn Swann any day over F- Dan Guerrero (and he even is a UCLA grad, so not an outsider).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. As to McGee fouling things up – well ‘Jolly John’ left the program in a ditch when he ran off to the Rams after the school was getting hit with NCAA sanctions. Tollner was a bad hire – Smith not too bad but morphed into a self-destruction on his part.

      Why not do what Papadakis jokingly said the fools might do at USC i.e. ‘keep it in the house’….offer it to Keyshawn Johnson…..imagine that egomaniac getting his hands on any real levers of power?

      Need to hire out of ‘USC’ plantation…..the past 3 have been awful….love to see Darryl Gross get a shot….

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Even without knowing her name or anything about her or whether she knows anything about USC athletics —may I say that would be SO GREAT!


      1. Yea! A female A .D. ! Just like UNLV! That would be SO amazing…. it wouldn’t even matter who!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Odd time to fire an AD while under an employment contract. Might be from a lot of heat for recent transgressions or the defication about to hit the oscillation.

    The beatings will continue until morale improves.


    Liked by 3 people

      1. MG
        I would suppose you understand what was meant, but just in case…
        Big Bear is asserting that changes will continue to be made until the Coli is full
        And I think he is right (at least I hope and pray that it will, for today I am still just a bill…”)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. MG,
        It would not be in my nature to slam SC, however just the timing on this resignation is very odd. Unless something very unseemly is coming down the pike, don’t you think that Swann ‘resigning’ right now is odd? SC starts to get some mo & boom the AD bites the dust.
        Swann’s ‘best by date shelf life’ expired long ago but to force him to resign right now means to me that bigger drama is in the immediate future. Hope I’m wrong.
        Maybe you can help me- in the last 300yrs of United States University history- what other university has had so many scandals in such a short time span? The snake rots from the head. Who’s the hamburger that’s been on watch during this time span? Why can the AD now?
        You’re the attorney. I’m just a nobody. You tell me.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Cal75 — Obviously I don’t know crap about what’s going on behind the scenes. No one here does. But forcing the Athletic Director to “resign” AND replacing him with a goody good Compliance Officer seems like a certain newly installed president is trying to get ahead of the story, yes?
        And make a strong statement in the process, right? Now if Swann did something that was demonstrably awful, Folt would have had to out and out fire him (and deal with all the resulting legal headaches that would bring). But she didn’t. So doesn’t it seem more likely that Folt came to the conclusion Swann was simply negligent (maybe even grossly negligent) in his oversight of the Athletic Department?
        The part I don’t like about this is that it leaves the football team in Limbo while they —and Harrell (who cares about Helton) —wait for the other shoe to drop. I’m really wondering whether Folt knows or cares about that angle. At the very least she OWES it to a great bunch of kids stuck in the middle of this mess to issue a statement that she’s so proud of their effort against Stanford and looks forward to a great season. In other words, show that you care a LITTLE about what a lot of people have worked very hard to accomplish. And if all that seems secondary to her or, worse yet, hardly matters to her at all, screw her. She’ll be getting off to the worst kind of start and it’ll come back to bite her in the ass. Football at USC isn’t a joke —it’s a huge part of our tradition. It unites so many students & graduates once a week for 4 months out of every year.


  6. Well an unknown anonymous NFL scout who attends breakfast with Scott told the waitress to tell Scott that the signature on the resignation letter cost the school $275.
    But not to worry because the dishwasher came out from the kitchen and said he had seen the letter on eBay already up to $2500 and expected to go much higher as autograph buyers believe the value will go through the roof.

    Liked by 1 person

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