USC hires Lynn Swann to serve as AD

AP

Former USC football player Pat Haden will no longer serve as the school’s Athletic Director. Another former USC football player will.

Via Zach Helfand of the Los Angeles Times, Lynn Swann becomes the school’s new AD on July 1.

Swann became the selection notwithstanding a prior commitment by USC president C.L. Max Nikias to conduct a nationwide search and to consider candidates with no prior ties to USC.

A Hall of Famer who won four Super Bowls with the Steelers, Swann’s post-football career includes little experience that would be directly relevant to serving as the Athletic Director of a major college sports program. He worked in broadcasting for an extended period of time, and in 2006 he ran for governor of Pennsylvania, losing the genera election to Ed Rendell.

Most recently, the Tennessee native served as partial owner of the Pittsburgh Power, an Arena Football League franchise that folded after four seasons.

He’s also 64, which will invite fair questions regarding how long he will choose to remain in the job, and whether he’s a short-term stop-gap as the university considers a longer-term solution.

Regardless of how long Swann holds the job or whether his experiences will be relevant to the position, Swann’s hiring is relevant for a separate reason. As Helfand notes, Swann becomes one of fewer than a dozen African-American athletic directors in major college football, a shameful statistic that the NCAA should be working diligently to change.

22 responses to “USC hires Lynn Swann to serve as AD

  1. Swann becomes one of fewer than a dozen African-American athletic directors in major college football, a shameful statistic that the NCAA should be working diligently to change.
    ———————-

    Give it to the best candidate. How about that instead of using race as a proxy for merit?

  2. Tennessee native?? He graduated from Serra High School in San Mateo. I played football against him in the 60’s

  3. Seriously what credentials does Swann have to be hired for such a important job?…

    Wow, he did have one of the greatest catches ever in the Super Bowl… isn’t that enough?

  4. hahalolrofl says:
    Apr 13, 2016 6:16 PM
    Swann becomes one of fewer than a dozen African-American athletic directors in major college football, a shameful statistic that the NCAA should be working diligently to change.
    ———————-

    Give it to the best candidate. How about that instead of using race as a proxy for merit?
    ——————-

    Nobody is saying, “give jobs to minorities just because.” The issue is that minorities are often times limited from opportunities (glass ceiling) that would give them the credentials to be the “best candidate.”

    This is why the Rooney Rule is great in principle, but poor in practice. The Rooney Rule should exist for all coaching and front office positions, not just the top ones. This way, you can start getting minorities into lower positions and then work their way up. The reason the Rooney Rule doesn’t work is because the glass ceiling for minority coaches is lower than the Head Coach position. There aren’t a lot of minority top assistants around when you really look at the numbers.

  5. Yes, odd that more schools don’t hire such unqualified candidates to run their own programs.

  6. The rest of the Pac 12 couldn’t be happier ,this should end about as well as Haden.
    Instead of counting all the bad hires Haden made its probably easier to count the good ones

  7. @letsgolos: the Rooney Rule is a complete sham and its embarrassing that the NFL flaunts it like it does anything other than force NFL teams to interview candidates that they have no intention of hiring just to check a box and hire the guy they wanted anyways.

    By your logic, NFL teams should have to give a tryout to a white guy before they sign a minority at WR, RB, CB, etc. There must be a glass ceiling for white guys at those positions.

    It’s 2016, there’s a high probability than any suffering from racial inequality today is suffering from self inflicted wounds. Perceive yourself as a victim and you’ll believe you’re a victim. In any money driven business, owners will put in place the people that give them the best chance to win 99.99+ percent of the time.

  8. How could Swann lose a Republican primary to Ed Rendell? Rendell is and always has been an outspoken Democrat.

  9. IB007 says:
    Apr 13, 2016 6:22 PM
    Seriously what credentials does Swann have to be hired for such a important job?
    _____________________________
    He went to USC
    He has name recognition
    He was a great Wide Receiver
    He is a Hall of Famer
    He has no experience as an administrator

  10. He is there to be a fundraising figure head. The president of the university will be the ultimate decision maker when it comes to actually running the department.

  11. IB007 says:
    Apr 13, 2016 6:22 PM
    Seriously what credentials does Swann have to be hired for such a important job?
    ______________________
    He has about the same amount of credentials for this as he does to be in the hall of fame. Swann and Stallworth do not belong.

  12. My first reaction was “Umm, OK.”
    But I think the real truth is what all the Oakland Raiders who played against him thought: “He’s soft.”

    Jim Mora at UCLA has to love this hire.

  13. My first reaction was “Umm, OK.”
    But I think the real truth is what all the Oakland Raiders who played against him thought: “He’s soft.”

    Jim Mora at UCLA has to love this hire.

  14. While the number of African Americans in the position of A.D. is certainly shameful, hiring someone of ANY COLOR, with zero experience, is a shame in and of itself.

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