For some reason, Southern Cal decided it was important for Lynn Swann to make an official statement in response to that LA Times article about his trip east to sign autographs.
In regards to today’s story about me in the Los Angeles Times, the article would have you believe that I traveled to sign autographs with no concern for what is going on at USC. Nothing could be further from the truth. While on this brief weekend trip back East, I was constantly connected with people at our university. Also, as a matter of principle, I live up to my commitments and contractual obligations. I signed a contract months ago to appear at the event, well before news broke of what is going on at USC now. Not showing up would have been a breach of contract.
Calling this a principled business decision! The First Rule of Holes must not have made it to the West Coast.
The former USC player quoted in the article may not have understood these details.
For former USC linebacker Riki Ellison, images of Swann’s appearance that subsequently were posted on social media raised a question: During a time of crisis for the school’s athletic department, why would the person in charge be all the way across the country just to pocket a few extra bucks?
“I couldn’t believe it,” said Ellison, a member of USC’s 1978 national co-championship team who runs the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance, a Virginia-based nonprofit. “Lynn’s a good guy, but isn’t his salary in the millions? Why does he need to do this? It’s just embarrassing.”
… Organizers for the Virginia show declined to disclose Swann’s appearance fee. Ben Litvin, a talent and marketing agent who show organizers said managed Swann’s booking for the show — and also has worked with Heisman Trophy winners, including O.J. Simpson — declined an interview request.
Celebrity booking websites list Swann’s appearance rate for motivational speeches and corporate meet-and-greets as ranging between $20,000 and $50,000.
“My understanding for these shows is that the athletes get paid by the promoter in a lump sum, and then the promoter decides what to charge for the autographs,” said Bert Lehman, editor of the Sports Collectors Digest.
Nah, I’d say he’s got a pretty good grasp of the situation, Lynn. But at least you’ve got your principles.