O’Neill suspended for Pac-10 tourney

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.