USC AD Lynn Swann charging $220 for autographs amid school crises
The USC athletic program is in a state of disarray, and many fans are calling for athletic director Lynn Swann to either be fired or step down because of it. If the way he spent his time over the weekend is any indication, Swann is not bothered by that talk.
As Patrick Hruby of the Los Angeles Times noted, Swann was one of more than a dozen sports personalities and celebrities who attended a memorabilia show in Washington, D.C., over the weekend. He signed autographs for fans and collectors who paid $220 and up for his signature.
Meanwhile, USC trustees and senior leaders were meeting in Santa Barbara to discuss some of the many issues surrounding the school, which include the Trojans’ involvement in a recent FBI investigation into college basketball as well as the admissions scandal that has rocked the school. A university spokesperson told Hruby that Swann was invited to the event but was not required to attend, as there was nothing on the agenda that directly related to him.
That doesn’t make the optics any better. USC is facing some of the most significant issues in school history, and the athletic director is out profiting from an autograph signing. Former USC linebacker Ricki Ellison, who won a co-national championship with the Trojans in 1978, was in disbelief.
“Lynn’s a good guy, but isn’t his salary in the millions?” Ellison asked. “Why does he need to do this? It’s just embarrassing.
“With all of the issues going on right now, why would anybody support this brand or donate money to this school or send their child to this school? If you’re Lynn Swann, how does [going to an autograph show] gain additional credibility for USC?”
USC’s football team has taken some major hits in recent months, and Swann should at least be giving off the impression that he is doing everything in his power to fix it. It’s hard for him to make that case when he’s smiling and collecting money from fans while signing photos of himself.