Lynn Swann has resigned as USC’s athletics director, the school has announced.
“I am writing to share my sincere appreciation for Lynn Swann, who has decided to resign from his position as the Director of Athletics effective today. Lynn has been a leader on and off the field at USC for nearly five decades, and he will forever be a valued member of the Trojan family,” USC president Carol Folt wrote in an email to USC stakeholders.
“Lynn has led our Athletics Department to five national championships in five different women’s and men’s sports during his tenure. Our student-athletes’ cumulative GPA for the past two years and our graduation rate of 86% last year were all-time highs for USC Athletics. We appreciate Lynn’s leadership of the department over these past three years and will continue to be grateful for his historic contributions to USC.”
Swann, who had no prior experience as an athletics director prior to his arrival, ran USC’s athletics department since 2016.
Under his watch, USC was ensnared in two major corruption scandals — the pay-for-play scandal where a number of celebrities and otherwise wealthy individuals were caught bribing their children into elite colleges, most commonly through the athletics department, and the FBI’s college basketball investigation, where former Trojans associate head basketball coach Tony Bland was arrested and pleaded guilty. (Swann was not personally implicated in either scandal.)
Swann was also tied at the hip to Clay Helton, who entered this season on a very public hot seat after a 5-7 campaign in 2018. The Trojans are 2-0 and earned an impressive 45-20 win over Stanford on Saturday, but the rest of the season will be viewed as a referendum on Helton with new leadership coming into place. Texas, Nebraska and Arkansas all pushed out their respective ADs before conducting coaching searches in recent years.
Special advisor to the president David Roberts will serve as interim AD while a committee is formed to identify the next Trojans athletics director. Roberts has been with the department since 2010; he was first hired as vice president of athletics compliance.
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