What does USC athletic director Lynn Swann really think these days?
That's what we will explore today based on some recent behind-the-scenes comments.
After USC's sloppy victory over Arizona, Swann told a booster that it wasn't much of a win.
Normally, that would signal an athletic director is becoming fed up with his coach.
But Swann was openly critical of Helton last season when he spoke to boosters and then rewarded Helton with a contract extension.
He is actually as much of a problem as Helton.
Within the athletic dept., staffers are frustrated with Swann's lack of engagement. A common question each week is "Where is Swann?"
So is he just a figure head?
He hasn't done a monthly interview with the USC website since January and seems happy to defer day-to-day duties to others.
Will he actually become accountable and fire Helton? USC doesn't even have a full-time president right now so it's not even certain such a move would be approved if he wanted to hire a new coach.
But here is the bottom line: Because of Swann's lack of engagement, he is as big a problem right now as Helton.
For USC to improve, it probably needs a new athletic director and a new football coach.