Lynn Swann resigns as USC athletic director

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Lynn Swann has resigned as USC’s athletic director, the school announced Monday. Dave Roberts, a special advisor to USC President Carol Folt, has been named the interim athletics director.

“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,” 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.”

As is the standard operating procedure, USC has already organized a search committee to find a new athletics director to lead the department on a permanent basis moving forward. The committee consists of trustee Suzanne Nora, alum Bill Allen, VP for Student Affairs Winston Crisp, Faculty Athletics Rep Alan Green, Academic Senate President Rebecca Lonegran, Provost Charles Zukoski, and trustees Suzanne Nora Johnson, Jeff SMulyan, William McMorrow, and Rick Caruso. According to Bruce Feldman of The Athletic, via Twitter, USC leaders have already been active in reaching out to potential candidates for the job.

Swann, a Hall of Fame receiver for USC and the Pittsburgh Steelers, had no prior experience running an athletics department prior to stepping into the job in 2016. His tenure, for better or worse, was tied at the hip with the struggles of Trojans head coach Clay Helton, who went 5-7 in 2018 but is off to a 2-0 start to this season.

The remainder on the 2019 campaign will be viewed as a referendum on Helton as USC forms a committee to find the next Trojans AD.