The Director of Athletics at the University of Southern California Lynn Swann suddenly resigned Monday, without revealing why.
The news came from university president Carol L. Folt, who said Swann has been a "leader on and off the field at USC for nearly five decades, and he will forever be a valued member of the Trojan family." His resignation was effective immediately.
Lynn led the athletics department for three years, and will be leaving the position with the graduation rate at an all-time high of 86% for USC Athletics, the statement read.
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Dave Roberts, a special adviser to Folt, will act as interim athletic director.
The committee was set to search for a permanent replacement, and encouraged the Trojan family to send in recommendations via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Swann played for USC as a wide receiver. He was drafted to the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1974, where he won four Super Bowls with the team and was named MVP of Super Bowl X. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2001 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1993.
There was no comment immediately available from Swann.
Multiple figures connected to USC's athletics department have been implicated in the nationwide college-admissions cheating scandal, in which well-heeled parents paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to have their children admitted to elite universities, including USC, often by posing the students as athletic recruits in sports which they often never played.
Former USC women's soccer head coach Ali Khosroshahin has agreed to plead guilty in the case. His assistant, Laura Janke, has already pleaded guilty, with prosecutors saying the pair were paid about $350,000 to designate four students as soccer recruits "despite the fact that none of those children played competitive soccer."
USC Senior Associate Athletic Director Donna Heinel and water polo head coach Jovan Vavic were also charged in the case, and were fired from their jobs.
Swann, who was hired as USC's athletic director in 2016, had a stellar career as a Trojan wide receiver and was selected in the first round of the 1974 NFL draft. He had a Hall of Fame professional career, winning four Super Bowls with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
There was no immediate comment from Swann.
The buzz around campus is the USC president is cleaning house and the resignation is just the beginning.
"I’m not going to lie, it’s a little suspect," said student Zoe Mehall. "It’s quite annoying when you tell people you go to USC, and people are like, 'How much did you pay to get in?'"
City News Service contributed to this report.