Yesterday, the Los Angeles Times ran an investigative piece connecting Lynn Swann’s tenure as the athletic director at Southern Cal to mega-donor B. Wayne Hughes. The article implies that the only reason that former Southern Cal President C. Max Nikias chose Swann in response to a request from Hughes.
Today, Lynn Swann resigned.
He is being replaced on an interim basis by Dave Roberts, who the Times calls “a special advisor to USC President Carol Folt who previously served as the school’s vice president of athletics compliance....”
Southern Cal is now on its fourth athletic director since UCLA’s Dan Guerrero was hired in 2002.
On one hand, it’s interesting to note that a series of short-tenured ADs can create a mess as much as a long-tenured AD can.
So, I think that stresses the importance of making sure that, whenever an Athletic Director is hired, it needs to be the right hire. Hiring the wrong person, be it for the short-term or the long-term, can be disasterous for an athletic program.
At some point, hopefully, in the near future, Athletic Director Guerrero will announce his retirement. It may be sooner, rather than later. Or, it’s possible that Gene Block could extend Dan’s contract and UCLA fans and alums could be stuck with him for longer than we care to imagine.
But, the bottom line is that, when it is time to find Guerrero’s replacement, UCLA needs to find the right person, rather than make an expedient hire.