NCAA BK

O'Neill suspended for Pac-10 tourney

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Jeff Goodman

Jeff Goodman is a senior college basketball writer for FOXSports.com. Check out his Yardbarker blog. MORE>>
 
   
 

USC basketball coach Kevin O'Neill was suspended for the remainder of the Pac-10 tournament after an incident involving him and his wife, Roberta, and an Arizona fan.

Assistant coach Bob Cantu was named to replace O'Neill, and Arizona defeated the Trojans 67-62 on Friday to oust USC from the semifinals.

"I want to apologize to my team, our university and our fans for my involvement last night in an incident with a fan," O'Neill said in a statement.

"I understand my behavior as the leader of our team was unacceptable. I used poor judgment and put myself, my team and USC in a bad light. I regret that I have let them down."

According to a source, O'Neill and his wife were involved in a verbal altercation with an Arizona donor. The O'Neills were kicked out of the JW Mariott hotel in downtown Los Angeles by security, just hours after USC's win over Cal.

The Arizona donor suffered a laceration on his face. Calls to the JW Mariott security department were not immediately returned.

"I have talked to Coach Kevin O'Neill and expressed my disappointment in his involvement in an incident last night in which he and his wife engaged in an argument with a supporter of another school," USC athletic director Pat Haden said.

"Coach O'Neill was remorseful and apologetic and accepted responsibility for his actions. He understood that his actions were unacceptable and that they reflect poorly on him, his team and USC."

According to sources, O'Neill had multiple verbal exchanges with former and current Arizona players on Thursday.

O'Neill took over at Arizona on an interim basis for a year in 2007-08 while Lute Olson stepped away from the team for health reasons. O'Neil believed he should have gotten the permanent job in Tucson.

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