USC’s athletic department has parted ways with three senior officials — COO/CFO Steve Lopes, senior associate athletic director Ron Orr and associate athletic director Scott Jacobson.
According to the Los Angeles Times, past scandals within the athletic department — including the Varsity Blues admissions scandal in March last year — contributed to the firings. Another senior athletic official Donna Heinel was fired in March for her involvement in the scandal.
After former athletic director Lynn Swann stepped down this past September and University president Carol Folt brought in Mike Bohn to lead the department, it seemed only a matter of time before a cleaning of house would ensue.
These officials have had long tenures with the university, and their termination reflects Folt and Bohn’s push toward a new direction for the department.
Lopes spent 35 years working for USC and was reportedly one of the top candidates for athletic director after Pat Haden left in 2016.
Orr is a USC alumnus who founded the “Swim with Mike” fundraising event back in 1981. After decades with the department, he was given the senior associate athletic director role in 2010, where he oversaw athletic fundraising.
These firings are yet another wave of postseason staff changes in Bohn’s first year at the university. The department released defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast and special teams coach John Baxter after the football team’s blowout loss to Iowa in the Holiday Bowl.