USC Morning Buzz: Lynn Swann’s Many Transgressions

Lynn Swann‘s departure from USC left a laundry list of transgressions.

Here are a few:

  • He gave Clay Helton a five-year contract extension.
  • He didn’t fire Helton.
  • He presided over the FBI investigations into the College Admissions scandal and basketball program.
  • He banned the song girls from basketball games.
  • He attended an autograph show in Virginia during the admissions scandal and the same day USC hosted five sports events.
  • He chose to attend the Masters for two weeks, which delayed hiring a women’s basketball coach.
  • He showed little concern for fans who had their seats moved at the Coliseum during the renovation.
  • He wrote a tone deaf, arrogant statement to the fans to explain why he kept Helton.
  • He once threatened to remove a booster’s name from a campus sign following a disagreement.

I could go on and on.

I would add that this blog also played a role: Swann’s many golf outings were publicized and discussed here frequently and it eventually seeped into the national media.

For weeks, his appearance at the autograph show was discussed here, which then caused the national media to take notice and embarrassed Swann.

57 thoughts on “USC Morning Buzz: Lynn Swann’s Many Transgressions

    1. Being as arrogant as he his. I wonder if he was blind sided by a forced resignation.
      Bruce Feldman reported that the USC administration has been reaching out to future candidates to replace Swann for a few months now. Swann probably got the word that he was going to be replaced soon and resigned.


      1. Folt’s letter yesterday leaves no room for the possibility that this was Swann’s idea. She essentially said, “Okay —I’ve wrapped up the Swann fiasco—now I’ll get somebody qualified.”

        Liked by 1 person

      2. He was rightfully $hit canned, but given the opportunity to gracefully exit via “resignation.” Happens every day. They put a nice agreement in front of him that allows him and USC to save face, which defines all the confidential terms of the separation for both parties. This is always a better solution than outright firing someone and dealing with the unknown backlash.

        Liked by 3 people

      3. Yes, Jeffrey. And add to that —no matter what acts Folt thinks Swann might have been involved in, she is better off letting other agencies delve into them. She had enough evidence to say (directly or indirectly), “this isn’t the way I want it done, I think we’d be better off parting ways.”
        “And thus ends a partnership that should never have begun.”
        —Captain Blood as he stands over the dead body of Levasseur

        Liked by 1 person

  1. So what happens if Gomer lucks into the Slovis situation and actually has a good year where the team exceeds expectations? Does the new AD let him have another year (to reduce the buyout liability) or does he bring in his own man? I have to admit I am pleasantly surprised that Folt basically tarmac’d Swann

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Agreed – lots of “40 good minutes amnesia” permeating this site since Saturday night…years of demonstrated incompetence…can only hope that yesterday was just the first of multiple moves in a program designed to correct the failures of the past decade.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Slovis was wonderful Saturday night and I am excited to watch him grow into a great QB. I would caution all that we can’t expect him to throw for 377 yards every game. I am more excited about an OL that looks vastly improved over last year. At least we know where the snap is going to be. Swann was an arrogant, tone deaf prick that deserved to be fired. A new AD will see Helton for exactly what he is – a coach way in way over his head. Helton has to win a minimum of 9 games to keep his job IMO. Am concerned about who search committee will choose. Talk about a gal for AD? Big mistake for football driven university where FB provides 90% of revenue. I am not a sexist (sorry Progressives) but we need a man in this position.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Linkster:

        Agree as to the OL (much improved pass blocking…still need to improve run blocking, but that can come with time, and will be made easier to accomplish the more a consistently successful passing attack is demonstrated) and for folks not to pile to many expectation on Slovis after just one (great) start.

        I’m fine with hiring anyone who is qualified and both interested in and capable of bringing in a proper head football coach…

        Liked by 3 people

      3. James —I tend to agree with every word. I would hope, though, that the Committee has not been given marching orders to go out of their way to hire a woman Athletic Director. I hope they go into this with their minds open. Things always seem to turn out better when you approach things that way.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. 100% – I hate anything that is pre-ordained, orchestrated…et al…it’s all artificial and designed to satisfy an agenda at that point…

        But start as all successful operations do (formally or informally), other than those that happen by luck (which we’ve seen enough of that approach)…

        State your objective (defined in detail to describe exactly the results desired), then start screening to find the best person to achieve…

        Then let them do their job, and perform competent oversight to “trust but verify” (such a useful expression)…

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Gomer MAY have bought himself another year IF Slovis can play like he did on Saturday, but if he goes 6-6, 7-5, I don’t see him being retained. The next 4 games are huge, but if Gomer can’t beat a team that’s actually good, a decent record may not be enough to save him. And with the added pressure of knowing that the only man that would stand behind him is gone, Gomer will pucker even more, and Gomer doesn’t handle pressure very well.

      Liked by 2 people

    3. Parkway that is the order of ‘termination’ that is best for USC….get rid of the fool (Swann) who extended Helton’s contract before anything else lest said fool makes another destructive move. Bruce Feldman’s podcast is really good in noting the reputation USC has nationally. He also stated this was the first smart move needed before anything else.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. This blog had nothing to do with Swann leaving/being fired/resigning, blogger.




    Liked by 3 people

    1. Enough of you and your “inconvenient truths”! haha
      Nicely done

      But hey, let’s give credit where at least a little is due – as opposed to the (for USC football purposes) MSM sites/hacks, he’s been on this like a dog with two…etc, etc…

      The snarkiness can get tiresome at times, but he hits the mark 75% of the time or better as a general matter, and on Haden/Swann/Kiff/Sark/Helton, I’d up that to 90% or better…

      Well done Marv, and well done Wolf…well done Dr. Folt…now for your next trick…one more good dose of abracadabra if you will…

      Liked by 4 people

    2. This blo had nothing to do with Swann being fired? That’s funny, the rah rahs are always trying to silence Scott as if he has tremendous power over USC. Which is it?

      Liked by 6 people

      1. Neither end of the spectrum is the full truth (the blog being influential vs. the blogger having no power at all) but I think both sides can agree that the firing didn’t happen only because of what was written here.

        There were a myriad of other reasons to fire Swann besides his golfing habits.


        Liked by 2 people

      2. Which is it? That’s pretty easy, gt. Wolf MADE people (inside and outside the press) start paying attention to Swann —-and, once that happened, it was only a matter of time before Swann self destructed. I understand how people might tire of Scott’s practically non stop negativity —-but Scott sees his function as “pointing out the trouble around the corner.” That is really the governing axiom of Scott’s blog — i. e., ‘check this out, betcha it’s gonna turn into a problem.’ Betcha Lane’s personality is gonna
        turn out to be a problem, betcha Sark doesn’t have what it takes, betcha Max Browne’s lack of mobility will hurt us, betcha Sam is better…and, although I hate to admit it at this point, betcha the team isn’t playing quite as hard for J. T. as they would for someone more spontaneous and enthusiastic AND mobile.

        Liked by 3 people

      3. MG
        Exactly right
        People hated the criticism of “Caesar”…
        But that was the beginning (and far more difficult) that led to the present (which is many days akin to shooting ducks in a barrel)
        And it has been what has largely been missing on the “inside” (the ability to objectively and critically self analyze)…

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Believe me, James, I’m certainly not making a comparison but I think it’s instructive to recall the words of the great Joan of Arc at her ‘trial’ — “The person who tells the truth will surely be hung.”


      5. Didn’t Caesar’s (as in Gaius Julius) troops supposedly develop a jocular marching song that included a line to the effect of “Do right and you shall be punished, do wrong and you shall be rewarded?”

        I also think of the story attributed to Tiberius near the end of his reign on Capri where a fisherman was being punished with a mullet for something he actually hadn’t said, screamed out “thank God I didn’t say crab!,” so was then punished with the crab as well…

        Your point is dead on regardless – Wolf has provided a substitute for what has been absent inside Heritage Hall for over a decade…

        And interestingly, it’s the very thing that all of the successful coaches do almost without a second thought (constantly assessing their opponents, to include their own failings)…

        Liked by 1 person

      6. James —I think it was Tommy Prothro who said “the best preparation a coach can do before a game is figure out how he’d beat his own team.”
        [btw, ‘What is Scott’s deal?’ He has a congenital need to tell the truth as he sees it]……

        Liked by 1 person

      7. MG
        What you attribute to Prothro is a part of military (at least ground) mission planning…analyze the enemy…theorize courses of action (and as our instructor at Fort Benning said, only half-jokingly, it’s probably good to get in the habit of assuming that the most dangerous enemy course of action is the most likely enemy course of action)…in short, just what you said – think “how would I go about beating us?” The great coaches all do that…the best baseball pitchers/hitters do it on every pitch (Reggie Jackson once told a story about Dick Allen, saying that he did that to the point of striking out on a pitch early in a game to try to set a pitcher up to throw that same pitch later in the game when it mattered)…tennis players do it particularly on serves…and I need not even go into boxing which I know you know way better than I do (from what I’ve read, many of the great fighters do the same thing…and that it’s that very process that accounts for a lot of the feeling out early in matches between great fighters…if I feign this, how do you react? Are you familiar with the story about how Archie Moore almost upset Rocky Marciano? Pretty much the same as I understood it).

        Liked by 1 person

      8. James — Yes. It’s always best to assume that the thing you least want the opposition to do —is ALL they’re gonna do. In a game. In a fight.
        Tell me what Archie’s strategy was, ok? (I think the 2 bravest fighters I ever saw were Archie —coming back after a knockdown to fight it out with Marciano —and Frazier continuing to battle with Ali even though his right eye was closed and he was swallowing blood from a bad cut inside his mouth. Bravery beyond belief —or as Max Kellerman called it “asking more of yourself than you’ve actually got”)…….

        Liked by 1 person

      9. Yes, I have a copy of “Manilla” and it never fails to strike one watching Frazier late in that fight just how tough he was (there was a book published about a decade ago that detailed the thoughts of both fighters – they were both thinking that they were about to die, but that the other guy surely will fall first, what’s keeping them up?)…

        Archie (this is a long ago memory – believe it was from Inside Sports magazine, if you remember that) had studied Marciano in a number of fights and detected a pattern to how he attacked…he thought that he could set Rock up by presenting exactly the target he was looking for (and had to accept getting hit several times to pull it off!)…for shorthand, that he would put himself just at the outer limit of Rocky’s punching radius, let himself slip grazing blows, and once having baited the trap, counter with everything he had…and it worked…he set him up exactly as planned and that was when he delivered the perfect punch to put Marciano down…the only problem being that he was a light heavyweight hitting a (light but still) heavyweight…and Marciano crawled off the canvas to knock Archie out shortly thereafter…

        Liked by 1 person

      10. So, MG, does pointing out inane details on statues around campus make the blogger credible?

        I think you’re mistaken here. If the blogger pointed out some details that might be lurking around the corner, that’s because he’s focused on minor things that are attached to the bigger picture that he can’t see. Anyone can claim credit for noticing a detail on a boulder that’s already moving downhill.

        The blogger is always around what’s going on but has never broken the big story or given an overall informative view of the program or HH.

        He can point out Swann’s golfing habits but the better journalistic story should have been “Who is running HH while Swann is away golfing?”



    3. Thanks, James. Archie was one of a kind. Fought over 250 times or something like that —-no brain damage. As sharp as ever at the end. And as lovable.
      #…Ali’s GivingYouALotOfNothingToPunchAt…”
      P. S.
      I still have some great Inside Sports magazines in the library, including one devoted to Ali’s career entitled, “Thanks, Ali —It’s been a Thrill.”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I have a copy of the Rumble too…and it’s clear Archie is trying to get George to listen and settle down/conserve and start fighting in surges (like Ali did)…

        It was a great magazine for a time (had one with Tony Dorsett on cover with a good feature on Marcus Allen in 1981)…


      2. James —In retrospect, things would have taken off much sooner at Tampa Bay if McKay had picked up Tony Dorsett instead of Ricky Bell (may he rest in peace). Dorsett was just the offensive player McKay needed to go along with his budding defense.
        Yeah, I loved Inside Sports, too. Was sorry to see it go.


      3. But remember, Ricky did have a huge year in 1979 once the team was decent around him, though I agree with you that based on his running style Dorsett would have been far more useful on the 1977 and 78 teams that were not so great (how good would Ricky have been on the 1977 Cowboys?

        Great magazine (one of the first editions I got my hands on had a great fold out black and white poster of Marciano tagging Jersey Joe Walcott)…

        Remember the Pete Axthelm gambling columns?

        Liked by 1 person

  3. All those golf and autograph signing events probably involved Swann trying to raise funds for the new stadium and keeping contact with alumni. That is what Swann was brought in for – fund raising – not administering the athletic program. But the Helton contract he had to at least bless if not negotiate. Unbelievably, when SC won the Rose Bowl it turned a blind eye to Helton’s nepotism and cronyism in picking assistant coaches, to his inability to manage games (poor play calling, time out management, no adjustments at half time), soft practices, lack of developing O-linemen, picking pet players to start at the expense of losing games, and his refusal to fire coaches despite poor performances and team morale.

    Based on an NFL scout tip, Helton may have negotiated with Stanford’s David Shaw to both hold back the defensive rush and play more containment to let the two untested QB’s to mostly have a 7 on 7 passing contest. This plausibly resulted in what has been called a “false positive”, where SC rises to play the Stanford game and then plays lackadaisical the rest of the season. This also, arguably, made Helton look good even if he had lost the game. So I wouldn’t be too upbeat until we see how the team performs under the adversity of a road game against an improving opponent in a trap game. BYU is projected to be a close scoring game. Coaching will be crucial. Tedford greatly outcoached Helton in the first game.

    Despite Helton’s father being a head football coach and his being a QB in college at Auburn and Houston, being an assistant coach at Duke, Houston, Memphis and Arkansas State, Helton at 47 years old is just learning how to be a head coach while being paid $5 M as essentially a trainee. Helton played backup QB on his father’s Houston team and was an assistant coach for Houston, again while his father coached there. The only assistant coach in Helton’s coaching tree is his brother Tyson Helton at Western Kentucky (1-1).

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Let’s look a little further into Helton’s resume.
      While at Auburn, he was #3 backup QB, at Houston #2 QB which indicates he was not a good QB or a leader.

      Now, let’s try to review his coaching tree and who his mentors were.
      Clay started his coaching under his Father Kim Helton at Houston.
      Kim Helton’s record at Houston: 24-53 w/l % .307 had no winning seasons.

      Then his next stop was with Tommy West at Memphis as OC.
      Tommy West at Memphis. : 49-61 w/l% .445
      Helton’s first year as OC they had a 9 win season, and it went downhill from there, his last year at Memphis they went 2-10. He and Tommy West we’re fired after the season.

      In late January of 2010 he was hired by Arkansas State as their OC. Rumor has it Monte Kiffin and Kim Helton, both having coached together, Monte asked Kim if Clay would be interested in coaching QB at SC, we know the rest.
      Helton resigned his position at Arkansas State and became Kiffins QB coach and all round ‘Gopher’ in March 2010.

      In looking at his resume with some analysis, it’s obvious he was at best, a “Second Stringer” and only validates numerous allegations that Pat Haden made a ‘Lazy Hire” naming Helton as Head Coach. His mentoring tree being that of losers as well. Let me be emphatic in stating, NO…NO experienced and accomplished AD would have hired Helton, PERIOD !!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank goodness Lynn Swann was fired before he had the chance to hire a new football coach, because that in itself could have set the program back another 5 years. USC is the only school in the PAC 12, that can improve the reputation of the conference, with the right hires for the athletic director, and head football coach .

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Yeah, he already ruined, women’s golf, tennis, volleyball & basketball, men’s tennis, baseball & volleyball and maybe both water polo teams on top of the 5 year deal he handed Gomer, the guy was a fucking disaster.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. No matter how this season goes…no matter who Helton hooks his wagon to as his savior, Slovis, Harrell or otherwise…no matter who he prays to, the new AD will relieve him and bring in his own Football Coach.

    Swann didn’t resign, he was given the opportunity to resign or be fired, as alluded to in other comments by Dr. Folt, as picked up by Bill Plaschke in his opinion piece. The end of cronyism in the Athletic Department is being implemented. Steve Lopes is not safe either. Perhaps ‘Capo’ Tessalone needs to go as well.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Factor 13 —- Let’s not look a gift horse in the mouth. I hate to see the enthusiasm that Harrell has instilled in the offense dampened by the chaos and politics that are playing out around him. I hate to see Slovis’ attention divided between “what’s gonna change next?” and getting ready for BYU. At the very least, Folt should put out a statement today congratulating the TEAM on it’s fine effort against Stanford and wishing them the best of luck for the successful season they’ve worked so hard to achieve. The kids who actually play the game have been put in a kind of Limbo by actions that Folt obviously orchestrated to improve their program in the future—now she has the opportunity to show she gives a shit about what happens to them THIS season…..

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Michael,
        I understand your concern, though, I believe the players are intelligent and mature enough to understand departmental changes (These are not Pop Warner Kids that need to be coddled) They collectively play for and answer to coaches…not the AD. The naming of an interim AD so quickly might put their concerns to rest…hopefully.

        What might concern them could be the foreboding future of their Head Coach and position coaches.

        I don’t know if Dr. Folt has to make some grand accolades to the team, that would be embellished by the media, however, I would think she has sent a internal global message to the team telling them to ‘Fight On’ and win…all thing are under control.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Factor 13 — The funny thing about Tessalone is that he’s the no nonsense SOB that every executive wants standing between him and the mob. If they get rid of him, they’ll need to replace him with someone just like him (if they can find that person). I remember John McCain telling people that the mess in Iraq could be solved if we could only find a new leader as “tough as Saddam.”


      1. Michael,
        We just differ on Tessalone’ value.

        SID needs a person skilled in PR, Media Relations and Promotion.

        What they don’t need is a Micro Managing, suffocating, autocratic Putz !

        Hovering over player and coach interviews like a Prison Guard, Dictating to local Rah..Rah Fan Sites reps and writers what they “should publish” if you don’t say nice things about USC you can’t come to our party.

        Of course personalities such as Mandel, Cowherd, Plaschke, Hill, Feldman and others, national media types simply fluff him off…

        But, as your first sentence conveys…the ‘Capo’ moniker.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You’re both making good points.

        On that last 13…

        Those national entities have (I mentioned this once before) been in the vanguard of forces attacking USC football since the recognition in the early-mid 2000s that the SEC couldn’t beat Pete’s teams…

        But thinking through your comment…some of the negativity (I recall Mandel in particular, but others like Forde and Feldman, as well as many others) towards Pete and USC football must certainly have stemmed from their having to deal with someone like that (to go along with their journalistic pomposity and sense of access entitlement)…

        And given the direction of the program, recruiting, and national coverage (eg where ESPN could have a tournament of college football factories and not have USC being in the semi-finals – when of course by any objective standard, even after the past decade, they should still be crowned as king of the football factories)…barring the hire of an X-factor like Urban…

        It will be key to correct the above in an overall campaign to restore the program…

        Excellent job to both of you…


  6. Lopes reminds one of the ‘faithful aide’ that all organizations/regimes have. In the shadows waiting to ‘leap’ to his self-induced ‘deserved reward’. This type is the worst cancer on any organization – they act as the regulatory agencies of the federal govt act – no matters who wins the election – results come and results go – they’re still in charge.

    That post by ‘Proud Trojan’ hit it square per Lopes:
    ‘This guy gave a USC football scholarship to his kid who was a worthless football player at Palos Verdes High School. In his only appearance on the Coliseum floor during a game, the kid was out of position and they yanked him from further play. Now, (Matt Lopes) he works in the Athletic Department with his Dad (surprise, surprise, surprise).’

    Why isn’t Lopes facing the same as Heinel?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. One good thing about Lopes future, he is not like a Professor…no tenure!
      So he can get his walking papers just like all the rest.

      Trojan Family, that familiar cry…seems it equals nepotism for many and a safe haven for the unqualified and servile.

      Fight On…I suppose ?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. factor13 – bingo! That column [Peroud Trojan’ referenced is by Mark Whicker of the OC Register – it’s a ‘favor asked’ by his buddy Lopes for all the free tickets Lopes gave Whicker and any other ‘intros’ to ‘heavy hitters’ he arranged for Whicker.

        Man, why is it Lopes isn’t called out for what he did for his sonny boy and even worse getting the clown a job in the USC dept. – this is what all ‘protective’ daddies do for their unemployable offspring – force the ass with salary on others.


  7. I forgot, why exactly did the previous AD ban SC Cheerleaders from basketball games & when will they return?


    Liked by 1 person

  8. One clear thought on the timing. Say what you will about the timing of Swann’s resignation, but I am willing to bet (assuming USC hangs with BYU) that the home game crowd will be a bit larger than it has been. And that the President could attribute this uptick in attendance to the Swann song of the terrible management of Athletics at USC.

    Or I could be wrong

    Liked by 1 person

  9. moral to this story: if you get on the wrong side of the wolfman, you don’t stay around very long.



  10. The arrogant Lynn Swann said he would be the AD for another 10 years. So you know he was blindsided.

    Clay Helton said he planned to coach at USC for 15 years. Well see about that.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.