LOS ANGELES - Tim Floyd suddenly resigned as basketball coach at Southern California on Tuesday following allegations that he gave $1,000 in cash to a man who helped steer former star player O.J. Mayo to the Trojans.
Floyd submitted a one-paragraph letter to USC athletic director Mike Garrett saying he was quitting after four seasons because he no longer had full enthusiasm for his job.
“I accept Tim’s decision and wish him well,” Garrett said in a statement.
The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Miss., first reported Floyd’s resignation. He is from Hattiesburg.
The announcement follows allegations that thousands of dollars in cash and gifts were funneled to Mayo by a representative of a sports agency.
Last month, YahooSports.com reported that Louis Johnson, a former associate of Mayo’s, told federal and NCAA investigators that Floyd paid to have Mayo sign with the Trojans.
“The university is cooperating fully in the continuing investigation with the NCAA and Pac-10 into all allegations of NCAA and Pac-10 rules violations at USC,” Todd Dickey, senior vice president of administration, said in the statement. “The university, the NCAA and Pac-10 have jointly conducted interviews of approximately 50 witnesses. No conclusions have yet been reached. At this point, it would be both inappropriate and premature to comment further.”
Floyd has never addressed the allegations involving Mayo. USC has said it can’t comment on an ongoing NCAA investigation.
In mid-May, Arizona athletic director Jim Livengood said he had asked Floyd about the reports surrounding his relationship with Mayo.
“I asked him the question,” Livengood said. “He said there’s nothing to that. So end of question. We didn’t go any farther. We didn’t need to go any farther.”
If the NCAA can prove Floyd paid to have Mayo delivered to USC, that would be considered a major violation. The Trojans could be forced to forfeit victories, and they could face recruiting restrictions and lose scholarships.
USC’s powerhouse football team also is under NCAA investigation because of allegations that Heisman Trophy-winning running back Reggie Bush accepted gifts and his family free rent from would-be marketers who wanted him as a client.
Floyd’s resignation is another blow to a basketball program that has had starters DeMar DeRozan, Taj Gibson and Daniel Hackett declare for the upcoming NBA draft and has lost three recruits since the season ended.
Garrett said a search to hire a new coach would begin immediately.
“As of 1 p.m. today, I am resigning as head basketball coach at the University of Southern California. 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,” Floyd wrote in his letter to Garrett.
“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.”
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