Mike Bohn Forced Out At USC? Report Indicates There Was An External Review Of Athletic Department, Inappropriate Comments

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USC athletic director Mike Bohn announced on Friday that he was stepping down from his position, and it looks like there’s more to the story. According to the LA Times, the school hired outside counsel to look into the athletic department.

The news of Bohn stepping down is a surprise, and with the LA Times report, it seems like USC was getting out ahead of potential findings. There hasn’t been any substantial talk of Bohn walking away from the Trojans, given that he recently hired football coach Lincoln Riley and secured the Trojans deal to leave the Pac-12 for the Big Ten.

So when the news was announced Friday, some questioned if there was more to this sudden departure. It only took 45 minutes to get the answer. In a followup piece to their initial story on Bohn stepping aside, the Times reported the school was launched an investigation on itself.

“The university retained Gina Maisto Smith, a Philadelphia-based attorney from Cozen O’Connor, earlier this year to conduct that review, according to multiple people who attended a meeting earlier this year where the review was announced,” the LA Times reported.

According to the report, four different staffers raised concerns about Bohn’s work running the athletic department. The LA Times also reported that Mike Bohn made inappropriate comments to female staff members, along with two former coaches saying that they left USC primarily because of Bohn.

“Bohn made inappropriate comments about the physical appearance of female colleagues, including remarks about their dress, hair and weight, that staff members said made them feel uncomfortable,” the report states.

OutKick has reached out to USC for comment on these allegations, but the school has yet to respond to emails.

Timing Did Not Add Up For USC And Mike Bohn Departure

This move looks to be a precursor to the school potentially announcing some type of findings from the internal review.

In today’s society, a Friday night news dump usually comes with a little baggage.

In this case, none of it made sense on the surface. Mike Bohn released a statement earlier this afternoon detailing his decision, while also citing ongoing health issues.

“After more than 40 years of college athletics leadership, it is the right time to step away from my position as Director of Athletics at the University of Southern California,” Bohn explained. “In moving on, it is important now that I focus on being present with my treasured family, addressing ongoing health challenges, and reflecting on how I can be impactful in the future.”

Former USC Athletic Director Mike Bohn, who resigned on Friday, had hired Lincoln Riley
Former USC athletic director Mike Bohn. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

In a statement from USC President Carol Folt, it was indicated that it was now time for a new direction. This contradicts the reasoning the LA Times gave for why Bohn resigned.

“As part of that commitment and as we prepare to move to the Big Ten, we conducted a thorough review of the athletics department, including its operations, culture and strategy,” Folt noted in her letter to USC. “Having built a strong foundation over the last few years, now is the time for new direction grounded in our values and in expertise needed to fulfill our aspirational vision for Trojan athletics.”

The internal review that was being conducted by outside counsel started interviewing athletic department staffers in March, according to the LA Times.

Two months later, USC is looking for a new athletic director. I’d imagine we will slowly start to hear more about this investigation over the next few weeks.

Timing is everything, especially in college athletics.

Written by Trey Wallace

Trey Wallace is the host of The Trey Wallace Podcast that focuses on a mixture of sports, culture, entertainment along with his perspective on everything from College Football to the College World Series.

Wallace has been covering college sports for 15 years, starting off while attending the University of South Alabama. He’s broken some of the biggest college stories including the Florida football “Credit Card Scandal” along with the firing of Jim McElwin and Kevin Sumlin. Wallace also broke one of the biggest stories in college football in 2020 around the NCAA investigation into recruiting violations against Tennessee football head coach Jeremy Pruitt.

Wallace also appears on radio across seven different states breaking down that latest news in college sports.

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