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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Friday / January 19.
  • Floyd Out at USC; Momo to Leave

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    The scandal-plagued tenure of Tim Floyd at USC is over.

    Floyd resigned on Tuesday, according to a report in The Clarion-Ledger of Mississippi.

    “As of 1 p.m. today, I am resigning as head basketball coach at the University of Southern California,” Floyd, a Mississippi native, said in a statement obtained by The Clarion-Ledger. “I deeply appreciate the opportunity afforded me by the university, as well as the chance to know and work with some of the finest young men in college athletics. 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. I always promised my self 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. I intend to contact my coaching staff and my players in coming days and weeks to tell them how much each of them means to me. I wish the best to USC and to my successor.”

    After coaching both the Chicago Bulls and New Orleans Hornets, Floyd led Southern Cal to the NCAA Tournament three years running, including an appearance in the Sweet 16 this past season. After the season, he turned down job offers from both Memphis and Arizona.

    On May 12, Yahoosports.com reported that Louis Johnson , a onetime confidant of former USC guard O.J. Mayo, said Floyd had made a cash payment to Rodney Guillory, a “runner” for sports agent Bill Duffy, who steered Mayo to the Bill Duffy Sports Agency after Mayo left USC.

    If proven true, such a payment would be a major violation of NCAA rules.

    Both the football and basketball programs at Southern Cal have been under investigation by the NCAA for three years. The football program is under investigation for issues related to Reggie Bush, the 2005 Heisman Trophy Winner from USC now with the New Orleans Saints.

    Several USC commits, including Noel Johnson and Solomon Hill, had already asked for their release.

    The latest player to seek his release is New York City point guard Lamont “Momo” Jones, who has already decommitted from Louisville (twice) and Virginia Tech.

    “He plans on getting his release and taking a couple of visits,” Oak Hill (Va.) Academy coach Steve Smith wrote in a text. Smith declined to say which schools Jones would visit.

    One school who could desperately use Jones is Rutgers, which is still awaiting word from point guard James Beatty of Miami Dade College.

    The Floyd Scandal is the latest black eye for the college basketball world, which is still reeling from scandals at UConn under head coach Jim Calhoun and Memphis under former head coach John Calipari.

    Written by

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.

    • Adam I read your blog ever day, but I think you are wrong lumping Jim Calhoun with John Calipari and Tim Floyd. I agree that Jim Calhoun was in the wrong, but he was not fixing SAT scores or paid kids to come to a school! Yes I am a huge UConn fan….

      • tough to defend UConn…

      • Ya, I mean, Calipari is guilty by association. Even though the NCAA cleared him in the SAT case and the Marcus Camby case, we shouldn’t pay attention to them. We should instead bash him and say he did it! I mean, since the NCAA is wrong, we should also assume that Tim Floyd is innocent right?

    • No one has even been accused of fixing test scores as you put it. Who has been alleged to have fix scores and where is your proof? The only allegations revolve around the player and he has denied it. Deal with your own Connecticutt NCAA violations and stop making excuses.

      • Dozier–SAT scores went from 1,260 to a 720!
        But as an educator this smells fishy! Like fish that has been left out for three weeks. I have had students on the old SAT’s drop or gain 100 or 150 points from one test to the next. But plummeting almost 500 points. WOW… your
        Head is in the sand, Calipari is not that blind not to know something is up. The kid dropped 500 points in his SAT scores.

        ALSO At UMESS Calipari was dirty, do some reading… He always left a team right before the roof falls. I am sorry you are a Memphis fan because they will be like UMess in two years…

        http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/…tory?id=4233718

        For Jim Calhoun, he was wrong; this is his first NCAA issue…..

        • Ya, the whole trying to commit to Georgia first with the SAT thing is kinda weird since its ONLY Calipari. I mean, Calipari did it to let him go to GEORGIA! What other type of logic is their?

          • there* (sorry, kinda ocd about spelling mistakes I find)

    • Sorry Husky… All u Calipari haters can say is… He’s slimy or slippery b/c he’s never been cited for an NCAA violation.

      Calhoun’s charges are on the way. Book it.

      Problem is…this should have happened sooner. ESPN coverage is also lacking.

      I doubt we get to hear Cowherd drone on about Tim Floyd. It’s not mysterious it’s cut and dry.

      We won’t get a clever article from Geoff Calkins re: the scoundrels surrounding the bball and football teams at USC…

      Some guys are just targets and Cal is one of them.

    • An old addage is needed for Calipari, “looks like a rat, smells like a rate, sounds like a rate its….probably a rat”. This target/victim mentality that PEOPLEwant to give Cal is bull crap, especially a guy who loves playing the “me against the world” card. There is a reason why Coach K, Coach Williams, Coach Izzo, Coach Self, and others don’t get as much press as Cal, they run clean programs (or as clean as can be in college basketball). Tim Floyd’s departure of U.S.C. only foreshadows what’s to come for Memphis Basketball while under the helm of Calipari.

      Lets put two and two together

      1 vacated final four at UMASS+1 future vacated final four at Memphis=Corrupt Cal

      • Ya, all sayings all the time can ALWAYS apply to ALL situations. I mean, guilty until proven innocent right? THE AMERICAN STANDARD. You sir, make me as a U.S. citizen proud. You up for jury duty any time soon? I’m going to be the defendent and I need an objectional voice out there………. like you?

        • OOOOH, by the way. I was doing some reading and ran accross this whole Kansas winning the National title while on probation. I also found something about the NCAA taking its time with a case involving some guy named Myron Piggie. Also, I found something on Bill Self attending one of John Wall’s games ILLEGALLY. Oh, found something about Roy Williams also giving some money to a Kansas player when he was graduating. Weird, guess they all run clean ships. Calipari never being directly implicated on anything? That couldn’t be true…… Because he HAS TO BE guilty by association. Enjoy! =p

    • Also being a former educator, I know Dozier obviously made a mistake with whatever he was trying to pull with his first SAT. He then went to prep school, took his second SAT in june of ’04 and committed to Memphis in Sept. of ’04. He got into Memphis using his second score, and much like the Rose case, the NCAA cleared him because he at least met their minimum to play sports which is 700.

      Everyone is quick to point fingers saying oh another shady SAT score, how about the fact that Dozier originally committed to Memphis, then backed out and signed an LOI with UGA – and then took his SAT. Maybe it’s coincidence that the team Dozier committed to was under investigation for academic fraud, then he commits it trying to get accepted – or maybe someone got in his ear because we all know that UGA is definitely one of the stronger academic institutions out there, and based on Doziers academic history there’s no logical reason he should’ve considered that university (their basketball team wasn’t even consistently THAT good). In the end he got his degree, which is more that can be said for the ridiculous number of kids that drop out of college between years one & two, so that says something positive about him.

      As for Cal…yes he comes off as shady due to his salesman like nature, the people he associates with, and the scandals that have his fingerprints on them…but if there’s no hard evidence well it is what it is and there’s nothing B&M’ing about it will do.

      • Dozier, and at least 3 other players from that 2008 Memphis Mens Basketball team went to the same “prep school.” The NCAA, while doing their standard academic audits for every 3 year period, determined that this particular prep school was not meeting NCAA academic standards, and no longer accepts transfer credits from this particular prep school. The three years that were investigated also happened to coincide with the time spent at this particular prep school by players such as Dozier, Dorsey, and others on the 2008 Memphis team.

        This academic issue is far from over with Memphis, because Derrick Rose was just the starting point of Calipari’s mistakes. In general, coaches can claim they were unaware of particular actions of a singular player who may have created a secondary violation. The coach can claim that he can’t watch every single player at all times, and this defense has worked for quite a few coaches before. It will probably keep working to be honest, as the NCAA can’t kill every program in the nation. What’s going to get Calipari is that there are/were multiple players involved in academic issues. In fact, 3 of the 6 leading scorers from the 2008 Memphis basketball team is currently under investigation by the NCAA for academic fraud; Rose for the ‘ol switch-a-roo, Dozier, and Mack for questionable jumps in SAT scores. Dozier’s score was thrown out, and I believe Mack’s was too, but I’m not entirely positive about that at the moment.

        And that is just getting started with what Cal left behind at Memphis. Don’t forget Reggie Rose and his compensation. Memphis might be able to claim this was an “accounting error” or something of the like, but Calipari was on the planes with Reggie Rose and the other players in questions. I guess for now, we can all play naive and assume that Calipari was completely unaware of a single topic of interest while he was watching his stolen AASAA offense and AAU team run over C-USA only after the power schools previously in his conference defected to the Big East. As for me? I’ll just play naive as well and assume he was far too occupied with being the BEST COACH EVER, sporting that spiffy 24-25 record against the RPI top 50 in the last 5 seasons.

    • husky99,
      If Dozier’s SAT scores went from 1260 to 720, then they didn’t plummet almost 500 points. More than 500 pts would be the right answer. I can only hope you are an educator in an area not related to math.

      • Good call Yumaman. That is correct; I am not a math teacher, but social studies teacher. I did write the post at 05:48 am with one eye open

        Cal is a RAT, I feel sorry for UK fans because in four years they will have to eat crow for defending this guy….look at post Cal-Umess, look at what is going to happen to Memphis in a few weeks. It will happen to UK!

        • Please be at my trial! You would make a GREAT jury member.

    • Well, if Dozier got in using his second SAT then what is the big deal?

      The Rukus….. Didnt Coach K just get introuble for finding really good jobs for players parents?

    • As I said before… FIND SOME PROOF THAT CAL ORCHESTRATED ALL THIS STUFF…

      All the tests, Camby taking money…etc.

      The thing is…he didn’t orchestrate it. He didn’t know about the Rose SAT mess until after the season.

      Moreover, the NCAA hasn’t found any proof that he set up any of this stuff either.

      Or they would have come out with allegations against Cal in both situations.

      Mike Krzyzewski is a great coach…but he’s been associated with dirty players before…

      Corey Maggette anyone? The kid took money as an amateur — thereby losing his amateur status — and then helped Duke get to the championship game in 2001.

      The NCAA proved that he took money…but what have they done about it?

      Nothing. Duke’s Final Four still stands.

      All I’m saying is…for all of the criticism and bad press that Cal gets, you would think that he would have been cited for something, anything…but he hasn’t. Instead he’s “slimy” or “slippery” or “a snake oil salesman”.

      This much is true…Cal has been a poor judge of character very often.

      He’s one of those guys that always gives kids a second chance even if they have shown plenty of poor behavior in the past — especially if they are talented (which is one reason, why I think it speaks volumes that Cal decided not to offer Lance Stephenson a scholly…).

    • Poor Momo

    • Db Russ:

      Just to clarify a comment made by Adam earlier in the piece, Solomon Hill did not ask for his “release in the wake of the Floyd scandal.” Originally an Arizona commitment who eventually de-committed and latched onto USC following the confusion and disarray of the Lute Olson retirement, Solomon’s heart was always with the Wildcats, a sentiment punctuated by his final LOI signing with Arizona after the stabilizing and rejuvenating hire of Sean Miller.

      While SF Hill may have heard of some shenanigans on the part of the USC/Floyd program, he officially joined the Arizona family weeks before I, at least, heard anything of this Mayo-related mess on any of the blogs that I track.

      For the record, I consider ZAGSBLOG as good as – and in most cases better than – any blog out there, despite some intellectually challenged comments to the contrary.

      • Thank you. In addition to the Sol Hill change coming before the Floyd allegations surfaced, he also didn’t have to “ask out” because he never signed a NLI with USC. He gave them a verbal, but always said he was waiting to see who the new coach at Arizona was before signing anything. He did not have to request a release when he de-committed from Arizona, nor did he have to do it at USC. A player can only sign one NLI. Hill’s one and only NLI was faxed to Arizona at the beginning of the spring signing period.

        As for Calipari, I find it ridiculous that people still try to defend this guy. I will give you that he has maintained (im-)plausible deniability. The fact remains that he knows who the infamous WWW is. He welcomed Wesley into his circle at Memphis, and allowed him to funnel players (including Rose) into the program. He knew things were not on the up-and-up, or he’s an idiot. Take your pick. Even worse, when he saw that the excrement was going to hit the fan, he bailed–just like he did at UMASS. And the absolute worst thing he did? He didn’t bother to warn Josh Pastner, his former assistant, before Pastner accepted the job at Memphis. Calipari knew what was up, because he discussed it with the admin at UK. However, he urged Pastner to take the Memphis job without disclosing that he would be facing an investigation as one of his first duties on the job. Pastner has stated that he did not know anyting about the accusations before taking the job. If doing that to a supposed trusted associate isn’t sleazy, I don’t know what is.

    • So now where does Momo go?