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Lynn Swann retains Clay Helton as USC football head coach, social media reacts

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 24: Lynn Swann, athletic director of USC, reacts late in the second half during the college football game against Notre Dame Fighting Irish at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 24, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 24: Lynn Swann, athletic director of USC, reacts late in the second half during the college football game against Notre Dame Fighting Irish at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 24, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
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Lynn Swann’s decision to retain Clay Helton as the head coach of USC football was met with ire on social media on Sunday morning.

MORE. Helton's Shortcomings on Display vs. ND

USC football ended the 2018 with a loss to Notre Dame on Saturday night, casting serious doubt over the future of head coach Clay Helton, who posted 5-7 record in his third year in charge.

But it didn’t take long for athletic director Lynn Swann to quiet the speculation about Helton’s job status. On Sunday morning Swann released a statement backing Helton and ensuring players, recruits and fans that he will be back for 2019.

That may have quieted speculation, but it did little to quiet the noise around Helton’s performance as a head coach.

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Though he won 10 games in each of his first two seasons at USC, skepticism has followed Helton since the day he was first appointed. A disappointing and frustrating 2018 campaign confirmed for many the belief that Helton was not the man who would bring a national title back to the Trojans.

Swann, obviously, disagrees with that sentiment, opting to give Helton another year to prove himself.

The athletic director and head coach both claim that year will include serious changes to the program, but social media was not exactly on board with that gameplan.

Twitter was immediately alight with opinions over Swann’s decision, ranging from outrage to despair.

USC’s current players didn’t have much to say on Twitter, though Austin Jackson and Michael Pittman retweeted the statements in support of Helton.

A couple of former players weighed in looking for fixes:

The media response largely came away incredulous at the decision:

As for the fans, USC Twitter was a firestorm of fans questioning the Trojans commitment to winning. Most concerning, many fans expressed their intention to stop donations, cancel season tickets or simply stop following the team over the decision to keep Helton on board.

One fan looked ahead to USC’s 2020 matchup with Alabama, which looms large over the head coaching situation, whether Helton gets a rematch with Nick Saban, or a new coach gets tough first matchup:

It wasn’t all negative on Twitter though. A voice did come out in support of Helton on Sunday:

The 2019 offseason begins now, with Helton and company turning attention to recruiting ahead of the early signing period in mid-December. The coming months promise to be a time of intrigue as the coaching staff and players look to right the ship. As for the fans, time to buckle up.

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