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The Athletic Lists Pitt AD Heather Lyke as Candidate for USC Job

Bruce Feldman and Nicole Auerbach believes Pitt Panthers athletic director is a good fit for USC.

PITTSBURGH -- The USC Trojans have begun their search for a new athletic director after Mike Bohn resigned abruptly amid allegations of creating a toxic culture in the athletic department. As a result, USC President Carol Folt is expected to handle this next hire with extra care and in doing so, could try to lure the Pitt Panthers' athletic director away. 

The Athletic's Bruce Feldman and Nicole Auerbach named Pitt's Heather Lyke as one of a few of the top candidates for USC to contact, citing her toes to the Midwest and strong fundraising track record as attractive traits. 

"A former Michigan softball star, Lyke worked under [Gene] Smith at Ohio State and spent 15 years with the Buckeyes before becoming an AD herself for the first time at Eastern Michigan," Feldman and Auerbach wrote. "She has ties to the Midwest with intimate knowledge of the Big Ten, which would help as the Trojans make their move."

Lyke also holds prominent positions in Division I athletics as a whole, key for a major player like USC who has been at the epicenter of some of college athletics' seismic changes recently. 

"She is an excellent fundraiser who is highly regarded in the industry and serves in prominent leadership positions on a variety of boards and committees, including the Division I Council." Feldman and Auerbach wrote. "She is the current chair of the D-I Football Oversight Committee and the president of the Women Leaders in College Sports board of directors."

The six-year contract Lyke signed with Pitt is set to expire next year. She told local media back in late April that she had not yet engaged in contract extension talks with the university and Pitt spokesperson E.J. Borghetti added that they intend on keeping her in town for "a very long time." 

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