USC Morning Buzz: Lynn Swann Didn’t Know What Was Coming

Do you think Lynn Swann knew he was getting fired Monday?

Well, here is what happened: Swann showed up at USC on Sunday and met with USC coach Clay Helton, which is a normal occurence during football season. There were no indications anything out of the ordinary was going on, per sources.

Swann arrived at USC on Monday morning and met with the women’s golf team because he personally served as the administrator in charge of the golf programs.

Again, nothing out of the ordinary was in the air.

At 10:30 a.m., Swann went to Bovard Administration Building for a meeting with USC president Carol Folt, where he was told his services were no longer required.

A USC administrator told me Swann had no inkling the meeting was going to be his “swan song” as athletic director.

“He spent time with her at the game Saturday night and there was no indication he was going to be fired,” the source said.

For proof, look at the photo below from the USC-Stanford game:

Photo by Ling Luo/Annenberg Media

“He thought the meeting was for typical university business,” the source said.

Folt and Swann broke the news to Helton before noon. Folt’s office then crafted a resignation letter for Swann after their meeting. At 12:41 p.m., the resignation statement was emailed to the “USC community.”

And Folt became a folk hero to many USC fans.

60 thoughts on “USC Morning Buzz: Lynn Swann Didn’t Know What Was Coming

  1. that is the way people are fired the last few decades…if they are in positions of management in particular…Swan is fortunate they let him step down/resign for him to save face, it also makes SC look better…too bad Haden wasn’t fired this way…I still resent the way he fired Kiffin…it put SC in the super low class zone and is where it remains today…what goes around ,comes around…still hoping and waiting for it to return to the proper place it used to be…in all areas.

    Liked by 6 people

      1. yes we know that
        it is the way he was fired by Haden
        with the approval of his boss(s) all low class assholes…just my opinion


  2. It appears to me anyway, that if Scooters published summary is factual,

    There resides in such a small package (Dr. Folts physical stature) focus, determination and courage, courage in the fact that She, sat down, looked Lynn Swann in the eyes and fired him, kudos to this petite Lady.

    She has shown more courage and concern for the University by this act alone than the Billion Dollar Board of Trustees. She has heard the Alumni, she has heard the Fans, she has heard the Media…She is a Trojan…Fight On Dear Lady, Fight On !

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Look, even if Swann had, say, fired Helton after the Rose Bowl in 2017, and SC did not have a losing record last year, Swann had to go because Folt needed to do a clean sweep after information about the scandals were revealed. She has to have a person loyal to her in that position. We’re not sure that Swann was aware of what was going on with the payola scandals or was at least aware of it when he took the job. IMHO, SC should have the right to do anything it wants with college entrance of a few selected high profile students. This is not a government university. If it wants to allow a student to enter as an “athlete” that never is on an athletic team, who is harmed? Who cares as long as the few personnel involved do not unjustly and gratuitously enrich themselves at the expense of the school. We shouldn’t be naive that something like this is not going on at Oregon or Alabama. I hear that the judge reviewing these payola cases is considering a mere slap of the wrist 30 day commuted sentence. Big deal!

    As for all we know, Swann met with Folt and realized she had to bring in a new person and bowed out immediately so as not to obstruct the timing of the process. Swann should be held accountable for not firing Helton after the 2017 Rose Bowl and should have had Helton replace his crony, nepotistic assistant colleges before it resulted in a losing season. Swann apparently did have Helton eventually fire coaches and took the offensive coordination and play calling away from Helton. We know Helton would not have initiated those actions himself. Swann likely did not have permission to fire Helton given the huge payout that would have involved. As for all the high achieving water polo and other coaches he let go, that was probably ordered as a move to cut the budget. Swann has to be judged based on the circumstances that were under his control and those that were not under his control. Let’s not demonize Swann or say he was the worst AD ever. As SC’s fight songs say, “it’s up to you” and “fight on”.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wayne,
      I’m reluctant to write this but feel compelled to do so.

      I’m trying to grasp and understand your post.
      There is so much conjecture expressed, that I’m concerned you’re an Swann apologist.

      Things he didn’t know, things of which he had no control, alluded to imagined downward pressure from the Administration. None of which I might add do you know as fact, only as supposition in your opinion.

      Lynn Swann was in a position that held major responsibilities, that being total control of an Athletic Department, he, as that individual in ANY major corporation, is required to understand and be aware of ALL activity, ongoings and particular nuances of his department AT ALL TIMES. You’re attempting to make excuses for Swann.

      Major company’s and corporations dismiss upper level executives for not reaching objectives, for allowing disruptive behavior, for not meeting the level of performance or allowing subordinates to under perform, it is not only expected but demanded of their High position.

      There was so much that happened under Swann’s watch, any one item would have justified his termination. Make no mistake, there was gross incompetence, negligence on his part that bordered on Gross neglect.

      Then you undertake the admission scandal attempting to pass it of as some minor disruption that should be forgiven, meaning in your context Swann should be forgiven. No matter the facts in the opinion of a particular progressive Judge, the, as you state, a 30 day hand slap.

      The facts a rather plain, the parents, Heinel, Singer and others et al
      committed, conspiracy, collusion, and fraud ALL FELONIES !
      From my observations of the press coverage, those other defendants are not looking at a 30 day hand slap, but hard time in Club Fed.
      Perhaps there is a certain level of naivety pertaining to College Admission policies to the average person, but not by the NCAA when applicants are supposed athletes.

      Your trivial dismissal of this issue, signals me you have no concern or interest in Ethics or Integrity, even more so, Moral accountability in University dealings, no rules, do what feels good, might work in anarchies, but not in University settings.

      Yes we can condemn Swann, because his record condemns him.
      You excuse his behavior because of SUPPOSED external influences, not within his control…to bad for Swann, sorry, he’s expected to handle all situations, he didn’t, he’s gone and deserves all the stench that follows his name.

      Good Riddance.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. My friend, there is no progress unless someone gets their hands dirty but that doesn’t mean they enrich themselves in the process. Capitalism is immoral according to Christian ethics. Yes, Swann ran the show and is responsible. Did you ever work for government and discovered that there was an entire fraud or deception going on that the top guy did not know about? I did.


    2. Wayne,
      You can’t pass Swann’s actions, performance or behavior off in some analogy of a pathetically ignorant GS15 or Department Head.
      In every major corporation there is upper level intrigue and manipulation, perhaps fraud. Department heads and surely Swann’s position was above that, Division CEO.

      At that level they are definitely part of the “Inner Circle” they know everything that has to do with, or which effects their division (Department) so, as to your allegation of external sources, I’m my opinion, doesn’t have legs. Swann In his position is required to know, understand and execute rules, policies and reach objectives within his department…Period !

      Your excuse for Swann being unaware of the Singer/ Heinel fraud, and complicity through ignorance, we’ll use your Gov. example…

      A department head in the CIA having a Chinese mole in his unit and not knowing about it…? Hmm, how does that work ?

      I don’t care what happens to Swann, just like I didn’t care what happened to Paul Hackett…they both failed USC.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. The smoldering ashes should not be swept under the rug or buried – lessons don’t become ingrained that way…but after such a long, dark period for the football program, this is positive news that will hopefully lead to cause for celebration within the next few months (at which point, as said yesterday, we should all contribute to having a statue of Dr. Folt erected outside the entryway to the Peristyle)…

    So with that theme in mind…it was nice to see (given how much they have contributed to the negativity surrounding the program dating back nearly 15 years now) ESPN actually publish a retrospective article that largely gave USC football its due…

    Liked by 5 people

  5. Lynn Swann got exactly what he deserved, because clearly he had no idea what he was doing. USC is stuck with millions of dollars worth of bad contracts because of him , and if you ask me, D.Wayne Hughes should payoff Clay Helton, and Mark Trakh’s contracts.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. The statement he put out thanking her for her support sounded like the sort of weasel-speak/prayers of someone well aware of how close the flames are licking at their backside…

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Not to be contrary, but USC football is in many critical respects quite similar to UNC basketball…she had to manage a, to put it mildly, very delicate situation with UNC basketball/Roy Williams/scandal…and they continued to achieve tremendous success throughout the process…that gives us grounds for hope…

        Liked by 4 people

      2. Budda:

        When I saw the statement extract last night I had a similar impression – I was surprised that he possessed even the minimal mental agility that the statements demonstrated, but I guess over the past few years he’s improved his abilities in that area at least (what is the saying about the lowly servant learning to walk carefully in a house on fire?)…

        Don’t want to wish anything ill on the current roster, and hope they do everything in their power to win every game…but even if they went 15-0, it would be in spite of him, not because of him, and he should still be removed.

        A couple of folks have noted that Harrell maybe deserves better, but someone put it well yesterday I think in that if he’s actually that good and deserving, the rest of the year is really an opportunity for him, to the extent he can surmount Helton’s presence, to prove his worth and audition for retention…and that notion at least keeps the current players “in” where he’s concerned.

        Liked by 4 people

      3. James, great point regarding UNC hoops and SC football. Both are enormous traditions at their respective schools and both are expected to be ranked highly and competing for NCs.

        Liked by 5 people

      4. James — Harrell is in weird-land. Yes—-you’re right —- the rest of the 2019 season is an audition for his BOSS’ JOB in 2020. Let’s savor that thought for a moment. Helton has repeatedly shown a deep and rich understanding of sandbox politics —and an almost mystical capacity for duplicity. Three guesses as to his reaction to Harrell’s suggestions from here on with regard to ramping up the offense even further (like to the point where we’re in position to add another 100 net yards or another 10 points a game).

        Liked by 3 people

      5. MG

        Agreed – Clay will be looking, or should be, over his shoulder for the rest of the season…his best bet is actually to do as you have repeatedly suggested – get out of the way, let the horse run, and hope he gets lucky…if he tries to get into a struggle with Harrell…well, we’ve seen what happens when he puts his hand on the stick, and it aint pretty…

        No exact match, but there have been some similar situations in the NFL…and I guess it’s sort of the way Bowden was finally driven to the rocking chair at FSU by Jimbo…

        Liked by 3 people

      6. James — Helton was handed the gift of a lifetime when he lucked into the Head Coaching position at USC —- it’s changed him (and not for the better) —in a very real way, it’s the latest iteration of the Gollum/Ring tale. Can we even begin to imagine how Helton will act if the media begins referring to Harrell (as they did to Jimbo) as “the coach in waiting)? What lengths would he go to to end that discussion?

        Liked by 3 people

      7. Great Gollum with the ring comparison! So much truth in that…

        Wish Clay would be more like Boromir, realize that whatever his use was has expired, he’s being evil by holding his position, go out in a blaze of glory trying to help the deserving on their way…or something like that…

        Liked by 1 person

      8. James —Ha! [I’m trying very hard to picture a departing Clay saying to Harrell “I would have followed you anywhere my Captain, my King…”]

        Liked by 1 person

      9. Ah, Minas Tirith…

        I can picture a certain former AD sitting in the throne room as usurping Steward, making grotesque smacking sounds while eating cherry tomatoes, while the kingdom deteriorates around him…and him thinking only of his own self-aggrandizement…

        Liked by 1 person


    I have got to say ‘that Carol Folt’
    She certainly is not a dolt

    As if lightening clothed in a bolt
    She struck like leading a revolt

    SC football and its white colt
    Are in good hands with the Miss Folt

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Ha! [It’s early in her tenure, 67. I think it’s smart to get BOTH posts on the record]…

        Liked by 2 people

  7. For Swann, how appropo. his death as an SC AD was served on a cold platter with his a knife piercing his heart on that cold silver platter. Don’t mess the FOLT…

    Liked by 3 people

  8. My friend, there is no progress unless someone gets their hands dirty but that doesn’t mean they enrich themselves in the process. Capitalism is immoral according to Christian ethics. Yes, Swann ran the show and is responsible. Did you ever work for government and discovered that there was an entire fraud or deception going on that the top guy did not know about? I did.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. factor13 —I’d sure like to write a few words of appreciation for your post —but I promised Arturo I’d stay away from politics……


    1. Capitalism is inherently moral according to Christian ethics because it promotes voluntary, mutually beneficial actions between individuals. A free market capitalistic system creates an environment in which people only make financial and business choices they want to make, without coercion (governmental coercion being a fundamental part of all non-capitalistic economic systems).

      Socialism is inherently immoral according to Christian ethics because it institutionalizes envy and self-sacrifice and uses compulsion and the organized violence of the state to expropriate wealth from the producer class for its redistribution to the parasitical class.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Pasadena,
    Your reference immediately brought to mind certain individuals.
    Gaius Cassius plunging the first fatal wound into Julius Caesar.

    The King is Dead…Long live the Queen !

    Liked by 2 people

  10. That dumb fuck needed to go a long time ago. But, this is what happens when you have schmoozers like him hanging around and kissing the asses of Max Nikias, Steve Lopes, Pat Haden, J.K. McKay. and Hughes. They act as though they’re Teflon. Nikias had the same attitude and that dude needs to be kicked off campus and the Board of Trustees. Same goes for Steve Lopes.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. USC gave Swann a pass, he caught it and scored. He went to the NFL and caught passes and scored. CTE set in USC put him in an administration position which he ran like McHale’s Navy. It has been one unbelievable instance after another. So USC gave him another pass allowing him to resign. He saved face and if he needs money he has autographs to sell.
    Now can we please discuss BYU? Which Trojans team is going to show up? Who is BYU? If we win I will have been wrong about our first four games being 2&2

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I really hate wasting time posting and clicking the post button and nothing happens then click it again and it says duplicate post thus checking back nothing was posted.

    Liked by 1 person

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.