USC contacts ex-coach Floyd about hoops job

Former USC basketball coach Tim Floyd said Monday night he had a meeting with USC athletic director Pat Haden in which they discussed the Trojans head coaching job.

Floyd, who’s currently the head coach at UTEP, said Haden had contacted him and the three-hour meeting “went well.” However, he told Yahoo Sports, ”I’ve neither been offered the job, nor said I’m even looking for a new job.”

Haden, through a spokesman, said he would have no comment until the coaching search is complete.

Floyd was hired by USC in 2006 and resigned after the 2009 season when the school was deeply involved in allegations of improper conduct involving both the football and basketball team.

While the NCAA found no violations committed personally by Floyd, the NCAA penalized USC for alleged actions by star player O.J. Mayo, who played one season for the Trojans.

Floyd said it was important his former players and coaches know that he had talked to Haden.

“I feel they should know that USC reached out, that no violations were found by the NCAA with USC basketball,” Floyd said. “I felt like I got my name back when I got offered a number of jobs when I left USC. Pat and I talked at length.”

The Trojans were 85-50 under Floyd and went to the NCAA tournament in 2007, 2008 and 2009 and made it to the Sweet 16 in 2007. (Note: USC vacated all 21 of its wins for 2007-08 after Mayo was ruled ineligible.)

After the 2009 season, allegations surfaced that Floyd paid a Los
Angeles event promoter $1,000 in cash to steer Mayo to USC. Floyd
resigned in June 2009 and the school barred the team from the postseason
for one year.

Floyd was hired the following year in El Paso,
three decades after he got his first coaching job under legendary Miners
coach Don Haskins. He has a 56-39 record with the Miners in three

A person with knowledge of the situation said at least one other interview has been conducted, with Syracuse assistant Mike Hopkins, who played at Santa Ana Mater Dei.

Kevin O’Neill, who replaced Floyd, was fired by Haden in January and the team has been coached by Bob Cantu, who was an assistant to Floyd.

Floyd’s contract with UTEP runs through 2015 and pays at least $600,000 a
year, according to the El Paso Times. He owes no financial penalty
under the contract if he leaves UTEP.

-Diane Pucin

The Associated Press contributed to this report.