Infractions committee finds no violations by Floyd when he coached at USC.
Tim Floyd, men’s basketball coach at the University of Texas at El Paso, was cleared by the NCAA of any wrongdoing during his tenure at the University of Southern California, whose football program was slammed Thursday with a two-year ban on post-season play, four years of probation and the loss of 30 scholarships, the El Paso Times reported.
Floyd had been part of a firestorm surrounding the USC athletic department that saw NCAA investigations of its football, men’s basketball and women’s tennis programs, but had steadfastly maintained his innocence, the Times said.
The USC athletic department in January admitted to wrongdoing in its men’s basketball program which Floyd headed from 2005 to 2009, in events involving former Trojan star O.J. Mayo, and imposed its own sanctions on the program, including a one-year ban on post-season play, loss of one scholarship from 13 to 12 and vacating all wins from the 2007-08 season, the Times said.
The NCAA on Thursday added nothing to those sanctions, and specifically cleared Floyd in a cover letter to its report on USC, saying “The committee did not name you in any findings of violations or impose a penalty upon you,” the paper reported.
Floyd had criticized USC’s athletic department for not supporting his program and said all along that he and his staff had done nothing wrong, according to the Times.
“As Coach (Floyd) has wanted to say publicly for a long time: ‘It didn’t happen.’ We are pleased at this outcome, but certainly not surprised. The committee did its work and reached the right conclusion,” El Paso attorney Jim Darnell said in a statement released on Floyd’s behalf.
“We are pleased with today’s announcement and the results of the NCAA’s report,” UTEP athletic director Bob Stull said in a prepared statement Thursday. “Tim Floyd has had a nearly 30-year relationship with UTEP and we regard him not only as an outstanding coach, but as an individual of the highest character.”
Floyd was a former assistant coach under Don Haskins from 1978 to 1986 and was hired as UTEP’s head coach in March after spending a season as an assistant in the NBA.
8:30am 6/1/10 — ESPN Source: NCAA To Reease USC Report on Friday:
UTEP confident its new men’s basketball coach Tim Floyd will be cleared.
The NCAA committee on infractions will release its findings on the University of Southern California football and basketball programs on Friday, a source with knowledge of the situation told ESPN.com‘s Dana O’Neil over the weekend.
The committee held a hearing in February in which USC presented its responses to allegations of NCAA violations, and the proceedings in Tempe, Ariz., featured appearances by former men’s basketball coach Tim Floyd, who was hired to take over as head coach at the University of Texas at El Paso, and USC’s new football coach Lane Kiffin, ESPN reported.
UTEP hired Floyd two months ago to replace Tony Barbee, who left to become head coach at Auburn University, according to El Paso television station KVIA.
Floyd was alleged to have provided $1,000 to a man who helped steer basketball standout O.J. Mayo, who is currently with the Memphis Grizzlies in the NBA, to USC, but Floyd has steadfastly denied any wrongdoing, according to an Associated Press profile of Floyd that ran in today’s Albuquerque Journal.
“It will all come out,” said Floyd, who has been reluctant to speak because of the ongoing investigation, according to the AP story.
UTEP athletic director Bob Stull told the AP that the school did its “due diligence” in hiring Floyd before the NCAA probe was completed.
“Tim had never had a previous NCAA violation and from further investigation we, along with five other universities who were trying to hire him, felt like it was unlikely (the) allegations to be valid,” Stull told the AP.
Floyd began his basketball career as an assistant to UTEP coach Don Haskins from 1978 to 1986, then went to Idaho, New Orleans and Iowa State, taking over the Chicago Bulls in 1988 before coaching stints with the New Orleans Hornets and USC, the AP said.
At USC, Floyd was 85-50 over four seasons and took the Trojans to the NCAA Tournament three times, including a trip to the Sweet 16 in 2007, according to the AP.
USC already admitted wrongdoing with its basketball program and sanctioned itself, including banning postseason participation, reducing scholarships and vacating all its wins from 2007-08, ESPN reported.
USC is contesting the allegation against its football program, including those against former star running back Reggie Bush, and if the NCAA rules against them, the football program could be forced to forfeit victories from Bush’s time there (2003-05), during which time the Trojans won a national championship and lost in the BCS title game against Texas, ESPN reported.