USC interim AD won't make Helton decision

Interim Southern California athletic director Dave Roberts said he won't be the one to make a decision on the future of football coach Clay Helton.

Roberts moved into the AD spot after Lynn Swann's abrupt resignation on Sept. 9.

"If a change was to be made, it would probably be the province of a new athletic director, not Dave Roberts," Roberts told the Los Angeles Times about Helton.

"Clay is going to stand or fall on his record. So I mean, if he has a very successful season, I think he'll be in good stead. If he doesn't have a great season, the new AD is going to have to make that determination.

"I think it's a fair statement to say that between now and the end of the season, unless something extraordinary happened, Dave Roberts isn't going to be stepping in there, making the decision that really I think would be the province of a new AD."

Helton, 47, became USC's interim head coach in October 2015 when Steve Sarkisian was placed on leave. When Swann fired Sarkisian, he removed the interim tag following the 2015 season, in which the Trojans were 5-4 under Helton.

The Trojans were 10-3 in 2016 and finished No. 3 in the Associated Press poll, followed by an 11-3 record in 2017. Despite the two winning seasons, Helton seemingly has been under fire throughout his tenure, with fans clamoring for the Trojans to regain their spot as one of the nation's elite programs and play for a College Football Playoff championship.

The call for Helton's ouster grew last season, when the 5-7 Trojans failed to win enough games to qualify for a bowl game for the first time since 2000.

The Trojans (3-2, 2-1 Pac-12) will play at No. 9 Notre Dame on Saturday.

USC has won nine football national championships, tied with Michigan for sixth-most in NCAA history.

--Field Level Media

10/10/2019 19:01

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