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Podcast: Why did Lynn Swann decide to keep Clay Helton as USC football coach?

Podcast: Why did Lynn Swann decide to keep Clay Helton as USC football coach?
USC head coach Clay Helton prepares to take his team on to the field at the Coliseum on Saturday. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

In Episode 9 of the “Arrive Early, Leave Late” podcast, columnist Bill Plaschke discusses the “mess” at USC, with athletic director Lynn Swann going against the wishes of a vocal portion of the fan base and deciding to keep football coach Clay Helton after a 5-7 season.

“I’ve never seen a fan base more disconnected to an administration in my life,” Plaschke tells host Beto Durán. “What the fans want and what Lynn Swann is doing are complete polar opposites.”

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Plaschke also talks about his Thanksgiving column on the Dodgers’ longtime press dining room manager Maria Hartmark, who watched over others for so many years and now, after being struck by a car, is learning that others have her back as well.

Later, NBA writer Dan Woike joins Durán to discuss his recent visit with former Clipper Blake Griffin in Detroit and other basketball-related topics.

The Times launched “Arrive Early, Leave Late” in October to take listeners closer to the action of L.A.’s home teams. Hosted by Durán and featuring The Times’ award-winning reporters and columnists, the podcast combines in-depth interviews, the best moments from the games and a look inside the front offices.

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