The Sports Report: Lynn Swann is out, but who’s going to take over?

Lynn Swann
(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. If nominated as USC athletic director I will not run. If elected I will not serve.


Lynn Swann resigned as USC athletic director on Monday and will be replaced on an interim basis by Dave Roberts, who is going to be pretty busy the next couple of months guiding the Dodgers through the playoffs. Wait, wait, I’m receiving word now that this is a different Dave Roberts. This Roberts was a special advisor to USC President Carol Folt.

In an interview with The Times, Folt, who was hired in March, explained that Swann was “very appreciative of the fact” that she had plans to build her own leadership team at the university. Recently, USC announced the hiring of a new provost, as well as other new department heads.


Swann, as evidenced by the abrupt announcement Monday, was not a part of that vision.

“He felt that this was the professional thing to do, to resign and allow me to build my team,” Folt said. “That really is the gist of it.”

Folt said she had no “preconceived notions” of Swann or his place in the department’s future before she accepted the job in March, after nearly six years as chancellor at the University of North Carolina. Recent hires made within the university’s leadership, she explained, were “why that’s come up this way” with Swann.

“I think he has the best interest of the university in mind,” Folt said, “and he thought it was time for me to allow me to continue building my leadership team.”

An 11-person search committee has been formed to find Swann’s replacement.

“We want people with experience and a track record,” Folt said. “That really helps you know that they’ll be able to hit the ground running.”

Let’s take a moment to recap some of the big decisions made by Swann in his three-year tenure: He retained football coach Clay Helton after a 5-7 season. He also ................. wait, that appears to be it.

The next person has some mighty big shoes to fill.

Bill Plaschke: Lynn Swann’s exit allows USC to start cleaning house in the athletic department


Coach Chip Kelly said that his team had two poor practices early in the week after its season-opening loss to Cincinnati, leading to another dreadful showing Saturday during its 23-14 setback against San Diego State.

“Probably a hangover from the Cincinnati game,” Kelly said of the practices, “and we talked to our players about that, that you can’t let a team beat you twice.”

Kelly has said that good practices typically lead to good performances in games, citing his team’s victory over USC last season that was preceded by what he described as “a really, really good week of practice.”

“We have evidence that when we play well in games,” Kelly said this summer, “there’s a direct correlation to how we practiced Monday through Friday of that week.”


All times Pacific. Radio: 710 ESPN, 93.1 JACK FM

Rams 30, at Carolina 27
Sunday vs. New Orleans, 1:15 p.m., Fox
Sept. 22 at Cleveland, 5:15 p.m., NBC
Sept. 29 vs. Tampa Bay, 1 p.m., Fox
Oct. 3 at Seattle, 5:15 p.m., Fox, NFL Network
Oct. 13 vs. San Francisco, 1 p.m., Fox
Oct. 20 at Atlanta, 10 a.m., Fox
Oct. 27 vs. Cincinnati, 10 a.m., CBS (in London, counts as home game for Rams)
Nov. 10 at Pittsburgh, 1:15 p.m., Fox
Nov. 17 vs. Chicago, 5:15 p.m., NBC
Nov. 25 vs. Baltimore, 5:15 p.m., ESPN
Dec. 1 at Arizona, 1 p.m., Fox
Dec. 8 vs. Seattle, 5:15 p.m., NBC
Dec. 15 at Dallas, 1:15 p.m., Fox
Dec. 22 or 23 at San Francisco, TBD
Dec. 29 vs. Arizona, 1:15 p.m., Fox


All times Pacific. Radio: KFI-AM 640, KFWB-AM 980

at Chargers 30, Indianapolis 24
Sunday at Detroit, 10 a.m., CBS
Sept. 22 vs. Houston, 1:15 p.m., CBS
Sept. 29 at Miami, 10 a.m., CBS
Oct. 6 vs. Denver, 1 p.m., CBS
Oct. 13 vs. Pittsburgh, 5:15 p.m., NBC
Oct. 20 at Tennessee, 1 p.m., CBS
Oct. 27 at Chicago, 10 a.m., Fox
Nov. 3 vs. Green Bay, 1:15 p.m., CBS
Nov. 10 at Oakland, 5:15 p.m., Fox, NFL Network
Nov. 18 vs. Kansas City, 5:15 p.m., ESPN (at Mexico City, counts as home game for Chargers)
Dec. 1 at Denver, 1:15 p.m., CBS
Dec. 8 at Jacksonville, 1 p.m., Fox
Dec. 15 vs. Minnesota, 5:15 p.m., NBC
Dec. 22 or 23 vs. Oakland, TBD
Dec. 29 at Kansas City, 10 a.m., CBS


at New Orleans 30, Houston 28
at Oakland 24, Denver 16
Read game stories here


Mike Trout was out of the lineup for Monday’s 6-2 loss to the Cleveland Indians after having a procedure done to relieve nerve irritation in his right foot.

The procedure, called a cryoblation, will give you chills in more way than one. In it, of hollow needles are inserted into his foot and cooled fluids are circulated through them. Trout has a condition called Morton’s neuroma.

“Once it flares up, it doesn’t go away,” Trout said. “It calms down at night and when you do baseball activity, it flares up again. It’s just tough. I obviously want to be out there. This procedure today, they say it helps it.”

According to, Morton’s neuroma involves a thickening of the tissue around one of the nerves leading to your toes. This can cause a sharp, burning pain in the ball of your foot. Your toes also may sting, burn or feel numb.


Former Times sports editor Bill Dwyre shared the following remembrance with The Sports Report:

Arnold Palmer would have been 90 today. He died three years go. He was beloved, idolized and even fictionalized. The latter came at the hands of an equally beloved and idolized sports columnist, The Times’ late, great and Pulitzer Prize-winning Jim Murray.

It was Jan. 6, 1961, the opening round of the Los Angeles Open Golf Tournament at Rancho Park. Palmer, playing the par-five ninth hole (now the 18th), made a 12. Walking nearby while covering the event was Murray. After one of his errant shots, Palmer saw Murray and, always feeling like The Times sportswriter sort of favored Jack Nicklaus over him, said to Murray, “How would your buddy Nicklaus have gotten himself out of this mess?” To which Murray replied, “Nicklaus would never have gotten himself into this mess.”

That gave both a good laugh.

After the round, Palmer was asked the obvious question by the media: “What did you do to get that 12?”

Palmer played it straight, recounting it shot by shot, which included two balls he hit onto the driving range and two more onto Patricia Ave., plus a putt that lipped out.

Murray told friends later that he had decided the Palmer quote needed editing for better reader impact. So, he wrote: “Arnold Palmer was asked how he made a 12 on No. 9 and he replied, ‘I missed a short putt for 11.’ ”


What is your favorite L.A. sports moment? Email me at and I might run it in a future Sports Report. And, yes, if your favorite moment is about the Angels or Ducks or a team just outside of L.A., I’ll count that too.

Today’s moment comes from Steven Sandoval of Whitter:

In 1970, our Little League team was allowed to go in the Dodger dugout, in our uniforms, before the game. I was 11 years old and I remember standing in the dugout, watching Maury Wills warming up right in front of us and being amazed how hard they all threw. Andy Kosco put his hand on my shoulder and asked me who my favorite player was. I told him Wes Parker, since I also played first base. Kosco walks me over to the top step and points. I was frozen, there was Wes Parker being interviewed by Vin Scully for the Dodgers pregame radio show. Scully made eye contact with me and winked, so I look behind me thinking that wink was for someone else. Vin and Wes laugh a little but continue on never breaking stride. Then Kosco brings me over to Parker. He and I made small talk, but I did ask if I could try on his glove. He said “Yes, try it on.” It was so heavy! I got autographs from several Dodgers, including Walter Alston, Steve Garvey, Wes and Wills!

Problem was my friends could not make out the autographs and never believed me, but, hey, Vin Scully winked at me that day and nobody else! A great day I’ll never forget!


All times Pacific

Dodgers at Baltimore, 4 p.m., Sportsnet LA, AM 570

Cleveland at Angels, 7 p.m., FSW, AM 830


1924: Baseball player Ted Kluszewski (d. 1988)

1929: Golfer Arnold Palmer (d. 2016)

1934: Baseball player Roger Maris (d. 1985)

1947: Golfer Larry Nelson

1948: NBA player Bob Lanier

1966: NHL player Joe Nieuwendyk

1974: NBA player Ben Wallace

1983: Baseball player Joey Votto


2006: Golfer Patty Berg, 88


Arnold Palmer‘s greatest moments at the British Open. Watch it here.

That concludes the newsletter for today. If you have any feedback, ideas for improvement or things you’d like to see, please email me at If you want to subscribe, click here.