Jon Wilner (Mercury News) — Wednesday marked the one-year anniversary of Lynn Swann’s resignation as USC’s athletic director, a role for which he was entirely ill-equipped and miscast.
Two months later, the Trojans pulled a Costanza — “If every instinct you have is wrong, then the opposite would have to be right” — and hired an athletic director from outside the USC family.
Specifically, from outside the USC football family.
Mike Bohn — a veteran AD with Pac-12 experience and a firm grasp of intercollegiate athletics machinery — has fortified the USC athletic infrastructure.
The football staff has been upgraded. The social media presence has improved. The resources have been been redirected. The culture and execution are better.
(Yes, the Trojans retained Clay Helton, a highly-controversial move. But make no mistake: President Carol Folt was heavily involved in that decision.)
Perhaps a better way to frame Bohn’s tenure is by what he hasn’t done: He hasn’t done anything that reminds us of his predecessors.
Finally, at long last, the department has its you-know-what in order, thanks to Bohn.
Whether that translates to immediate football success — whenever the Trojans return to competition — is anyone’s guess.
But the conference’s historical standard-bearer in the most important sport is functioning effectively on a fundamental level for the first time since we-can’t-remember-when.
Better than effectively, in fact, if you consider how well the Trojans managed the return-to-practice process.
Don’t look now, but an athletic department that must help lead the conference forward is positioning itself to do just that.
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