Lynn Swann resigns after scandal-filled USC tenure

Ruben Hill
September 11, 2019

National Football League legend Lynn Swann has resigned from his role as the University of Southern California's athletic director effective immediately, school president Carol Folt announced on Monday.

Both Folt and Roberts said they're excited with the direction of the department.

Swann told the Los Angeles Times in March that he meant to stay with the program in the wake of "Operation Varsity Blues". "That really is the gist of it".

New USC President Carol Folt announced the decision in a letter expressing her "sincere appreciation" for the former Trojans receiver. "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".

Dave Roberts, now a special adviser to USC President Carol L. Folt, will serve as interim athletic director.

Roberts now serves as the NCAA's Vice Chari of the Committee on Infractions.

Folt also announced the members of a search committee that will be in charge of finding a permanent replacement. The committee will include two current student-athletes alongside school executives and alumni trustees including communications mogul Jeff Smulyan, real estate investor William McMorrow and billionaire property developer Rick Caruso.

Folt added that the committee will include two student-athletes yet to be named.

The USC athletic department has drawn widespread scrutiny in recent months after three coaches and senior associate athletic director Donna Heinel were implicated in a nationwide college admissions bribery scandal. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1993 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2001. Football coach Clay Helton was almost dismissed after a 5-7 campaign in 2018 despite two straight New Year's Six bowl appearances in the first two seasons as full-time coach of the Trojans.

USC is 2-0 to open the 2019 season despite losing starting quarterback J.T. Daniels to a season-ending knee injury.

The school had to deal with the notorious "Varsity Blues" scandal this spring which heavily-involved Swann's athletics department.

Former football player Lynn Swann watches warmups from the sideline prior to a game against the San Francisco 49ers at Heinz Field on September 20, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Folt did not provide a reason for Swann's sudden resignation.

Swann attended USC's win over Stanford on Saturday night, standing by himself on the field for early warmups and seeming to take everything in - a scene that makes sense now in context.

"Lynn has been a leader on and off the field at USC for almost five decades, and he will forever be a valued member of the Trojan Family".

Swann has been USC's athletic director since July 1, 2016, when he was hired to succeed Pat Haden.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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