Cincinnati’s Mike Bohn took over as USC athletic director earlier this year. After basically a full year of speculation about Urban Meyer taking over the Trojans, some believed the hiring of Bohn was going to seal the deal, with the Ohio connection between the two.
Clay Helton entered the season on an extremely hot seat, after the 5-7 2018 campaign. The 8-4 2019 regular season, despite serious injury issues at quarterback, was an improvement, but Trojan fans are not enamored with Helton at all.
If USC could land Meyer or another big name connected to the job like James Franklin, it stands to reason that Bohn might have made a move. New athletic directors naturally want to make their own major hires when given the chance, and the USC football job is one of the biggest in all of college sports.
Instead, he’s punted on the decision for at least another year.
After days of conflicting reports over whether Helton would be fired, Bohn has come out and confirmed that he will remain Trojans head coach through 2020.
Heading into 2020, Coach Helton and I will work together to take a hard look at all aspects of the football enterprise and will make the tough decisions necessary to compete at a championship level.
— Mike Bohn (@USC_mikebohn) December 4, 2019
Replies to that Twitter announcement have been pretty fiery. Many Trojan fans directly expressed their displeasure to the new athletic director.
How can you be this Tone deaf????
— CBD (@CBD4USC) December 4, 2019
Not sure why they hired you. Might have just kept Lynn Swann, he kept saying the same thing you are saying. It’s laughable that anyone thinks Clay Helton is capable of a winning national championship.
— nikhil kasbekar (@nikhilkas) December 4, 2019
Good luck losing millions and millions of dollars because of this.
— Strawberry Zachary (@ZWG55) December 4, 2019
So much for listening to the fan base, eh? Just another soon-to-be fired AD.
— Rob Thomas (@RobThomas725) December 4, 2019
Clearly you do not have a feel of what is best for USC. This is not Cincinnati, we play for Championships out here. Clay Helton can not and will not bring that here. You have been here one minute and have pissed off millions.
— Chase Tillman (@chasetillman9) December 4, 2019
I have never seen USC football held to such a low standard. We have the 77th ranked recruiting class, we consistently underperform, and we have the highest turnover margin/penalty in the nation. What do you need to see to make a change?
— Jay Ettinger (@ettinger15) December 4, 2019
I had so much hope when you were hired, a real AD. Now l wonder what is the difference between you, and Swann, and Haden. Thank you for destroying my family's hope's and dreams. Season ticket money to be spent elsewhere. Not a dime more from my family. Empty seats = no money.
— Fight On 55 (@FightOn551) December 4, 2019
It is extremely difficult to find any tweets supportive of the move, at this point.
Helton, who had two interim runs as USC head coach before landing the full-time job, is 40-21 with the Trojans. He won 21 games, including the Rose Bowl, through his first two full seasons, but the program has been aiming for the level of success it had under Pete Carroll since he left for the NFL.
Even the most even-keeled evaluations of Helton’s tenure would struggle to conclude that he is the coach to get the Trojans over that hump and back into national championship contention.