Calls for Lynn Swann’s job rise after USC admissions scandal

Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy
Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy /

Local and national media have called for Lynn Swann to be removed as USC athletic director after another scandal hit the athletic department.

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Should Lynn Swann be kept on as USC’s athletics director after the latest college admissions scandal involved a high ranking athletics administrator and a national title-winning coach?

That’s been the question on the minds of USC fans and outside observers since the news broke on Tuesday morning.

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To put it simply, support for Swann is at an all-time low.

The most critical and direct voice was from Bill Plashke of the LA Times, who didn’t mince words:

“This is not a whisper. This is a shout. This is a cry for help that should be heard to the heights of USC’s sagging ivory tower…Something is terribly wrong here, and that something is Lynn Swann.”

He finished his piece saying, “Only a university completely devoid of leadership would continue to allow Lynn Swann to lead.”

Stewart Mandel of the Athletic prescribed a major fix for the Trojans: “Blow up the athletic department.”

“Seriously. The front porch to your university is ugly and rotting. The neighbors are all making fun of it. Burn it to the ground and start anew. Give your supporters something they can actually be proud of for a change.”


Others who didn’t outright call for Swann’s ouster still didn’t hold back the criticism.

Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times ripped into USC’s athletics department as a whole:

“What this admissions scandal illustrates is that incompetent leadership fosters an environment where corruption can thrive,” he wrote. “At minimum, the university will have to hire an administrator or team of administrators to do a thorough accounting of everything taking place in the athletic department. The school should also reconsider the priority it places on sports.”

Dan Weber of had more questions than answers:

“It’s like no one is in charge. No one’s responsible. And then this. How many years does it take for amateurs running the USC Athletics Department to take it down? How many bad hires have they made? How much trouble have they gotten USC into as a result?,” Weber wrote. “Time for serious action here — by the feuding Board of Trustees to get a new president with the experience and gravitas to do whatever needs to be done wherever it needs to be done and whenever it needs to be done.”

It’s not just local media either, Paul Zeise of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette weighed in on Swann’s fate with USC.

“I think there’ve been five USC administrators that have been indicted in the FBI. If that doesn’t get your fired and they’re under your watch, I’m not sure what will,” he said. “I can’t imagine that this isn’t the end.”

Needless to say, pressure is mounting for the buck to stop with Swann when it comes to the string of embarrassments which have beset the Trojans in recent years.

To be fair, much of the baggage Swann has been saddled with began with Pat Haden. As much as Swann may have been dealt a bad hand, he has also failed to make anything of it. Being passive in the middle of the storm is a sin unto itself.

The last time a USC official faced this much pressure to resign after a multitude of scandals under their watch, Max Nikias stepped down from his post as university president.

It no longer seems like a question of if Swann will be removed, but when.