About a year ago, USC basketball coach Tim Floyd was offered the coaching job at Louisiana State, his alma mater. Floyd respectfully declined, saying, “This is my last job at SC.”
In April, Floyd turned down an offer from Arizona to fill a vacancy created by the departure of longtime head coach Lute Olson.
“This is still my last job,” he said.
Floyd may be correct in his statement. He resigned Tuesday in the midst of an NCAA investigation. The investigation stems from allegations that Floyd gave money to a “handler” under the agreement O.J. Mayo would sign with USC. Initial reports place Floyd at the actual drop point in Beverly Hills.
According to Vice President of Administration Todd Dickey, “the university, the NCAA and Pac-10 have jointly conducted interviews of approximately 50 witnesses,” and yet, “no conclusions have yet been reached.”
Floyd claims his departure is due to a lack of enthusiasm for the job.
“Unfortunately, I no longer feel I can offer the level of enthusiasm to my duties that is deserved by the university, my coaching staff, my players, their families, and the supporters of Southern Cal,” Floyd wrote in his resignation letter.
“I always promised myself and my family that if I ever felt I could no longer give my full enthusiasm to a job, that I should leave it to others who could.”
However, it is difficult to believe that Floyd’s emotion has waned at all. Floyd bolstered an 85-50 record in four seasons and led the Trojans to the NCAA tournament in three consecutive seasons (a first in the program’s history). This past season, USC won the Pac-10 tournament and lost to Michigan State in the second round of the NCAA tournament. So, perhaps Floyd is burned out by the success? Unlikely.
Either way, USC’s athletic director Mike Garret will have his hands full this summer. The USC football team is also under similar investigation and concerns Heisman Trophy-winning running back Reggie Bush. According to several key witnesses, Bush and his family accepted gifts and free rent from marketers who wanted Bush as a client. However, the investigation surrounding Floyd and Mayo has made a bigger dent.
With Floyd gone, another wheel has come off of the USC basketball truck. The program has already said goodbye to starters DeMar DeRozan, Taj Gibson and Daniel Hackett this offseason. All players have declared for the upcoming NBA draft. The program has also lost three recruits since season’s end. Although Garret is actively seeking a replacement, it is likely that Pac-10 rivals are already swooping in on USC’s 2010 and 2011 class of recruits.
Unfortunately, it appears that USC will return to a state of mediocrity and perhaps disappointment soon enough.