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Masiello's lack of degree costs him USF hoops job

Manhattan Places Masiello On Leave

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Steve Masiello's promising coaching career is in limbo after his deal with South Florida fell apart because he doesn't have a college diploma.

Manhattan College said Wednesday that it had placed him on leave while Masiello is "reviewing his degree status."

South Florida confirmed earlier Wednesday that the school had an agreement in principle to lure Masiello away from Manhattan, but that the contract was contingent on "a verification of credentials."

USF requires its basketball coach to have at least a bachelor's degree. The 39-year-old Masiello did not graduate after attending Kentucky, where he played for Rick Pitino and Tubby Smith from 1996-2000.

"Through the verification process it was determined the candidate's credentials could not be substantiated and therefore he did not meet the requirements for the position," the school said in a brief statement. "The national search continues and USF looks forward to introducing a new coach at the appropriate time."

Masiello has a 61-39 record in three seasons at Manhattan. The Jaspers went 28-5 this season, which ended with a close loss to Louisville in the NCAA tournament.

Kentucky spokesman Jay Blanton verified Masiello was a student there from 1996-2000 in the college of communication, but did not graduate. Masiello's bio on Manhattan's web site says the coach graduated from Kentucky in 2000 with a degree in communications.

Manhattan said in a statement that it "learned there is a question of the validity" of Masiello's degree after South Florida commissioned a background check.

"Masiello is currently in the process of reviewing his degree status with the University of Kentucky," the statement said. "Manhattan College has placed Masiello on leave while he completes this process with the university."

Masiello, a former assistant under Pitino at Louisville, was going to replace former USF coach Stan Heath, who was fired this month.

A one-time ball boy for Pitino when his mentor was coach of the New York Knicks, Masiello was a walk-on at Kentucky and part of a team that made two trips to the Final Four and won one national championship. He was an assistant at Manhattan and Tulane before spending six seasons on Pitino's staff at Louisville.

USF fired Heath on March 14 after the Bulls finished 12-20, including 3-15 in their first season in the American Athletic Conference. The Bulls appeared to be on the rise two years ago, when they tied a school record with 22 wins and made their first appearance in the NCAA tournament in two decades.

But Heath won just 24 games over his final two seasons.

Join the discussion

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deann964 March 26 2014 at 11:33 PM

I am surprised thatmanhattan didnt kno of this.....shame shame on manhattan and him...didnt he realize someday it would ome out....hummmm

Flag Reply +1 rate up
klinmo March 27 2014 at 8:19 AM

Most colleges and universities don't seem too upset about the number of student athletes who leave without a degree, just as long as they've earned boatloads of money off of them.

Flag Reply +8 rate up
brennemanbelkin March 26 2014 at 10:45 PM

He did four years and didn't graduate?
(Not like communications is a tough degree to get)
Now he's had fourteen years to straighten it out and hasn't.
The man's a boob.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
dandjin March 26 2014 at 10:47 PM

Masiello is currently in the process of reviewing his degree status with the University of Kentucky.
He should know if he graduated!

Flag Reply +3 rate up
Bruce March 26 2014 at 10:48 PM

"Reviewing his degree status"????? He knows damn WELL he didn't graduate. He just thought no one would ev er bother to check. Of course, playing for Tubby Smith at Kentucky WOULD give him the impression that "the rules are only for the 'little people' ", as in "not scholarship athletes. Good for USF for sticking to their guns!

Flag Reply +6 rate up
ashatus March 27 2014 at 7:52 AM

I'm not going to comment on this item, but I have a similar story that bears reading. At a florida commujnity college there was a music teacher, an immigrant from Austria, with no degree of any kind. He had been a musical prodigy. He was the mentor of the other degreed music professors. A true story.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
Rich Matteo March 27 2014 at 7:27 AM

Another coach hit with the old resume problem. Hopefully, he can straighten it out. Your resume should be "the whole truth and nothing but the truth". Teaching a course entitled "Careers" to 8th graders we stress being honest. If your employer-to-be can't trust you, why would he hire you?
Should he need a bachelors degree to coach, probably not but the rule at Kentucky is what it is, no diploma, no job.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
Madeleine March 27 2014 at 3:44 AM

He is lying. What does that say about his integrity? It is not about whether he got caught or not.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
fred mosrie March 27 2014 at 2:05 AM


Flag Reply +8 rate up
vancurren March 27 2014 at 2:02 AM

Liar, liar pants on fire.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
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