NCAA News Wire

South Florida pulls back offer to coach

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South Florida is looking for a new head basketball coach again after the school rescinded its offer to Manhattan’s Steve Masiello late Tuesday night.

The university had extended an five-year offer worth a reported $1 million annually to Masiello on Tuesday. But a background check uncovered that Masiello did not graduate from the University of Kentucky and lied about it on his resume, disqualifying him for the job, ESPN reported Wednesday.

A Kentucky spokeswoman, Ashley Caressen, told ESPN that Masiello attended the university from 1996 to 2000 but never graduated. His resume stated that he graduated with a degree in communications in 2000.

The Tampa Tribune first reported Tuesday night that a previously undetected discrepancy with Masiello’s resume was found after he had apparently signed a contract.

The 36-year-old Masiello, who played basketball at Kentucky under coaches Tubby Smith and Rick Pitino, later served as an assistant for Pitino at Louisville from 2005 to 2011 before taking the Manhattan head coaching job in 2011.

Masiello was unavailable for comment on Wednesday.

Louisville coach Rick Pitino told ESPN that he was surprised to learn that Masiello did not graduate.

“If it’s accurate, I’m shocked by it,” Pitino said. “I had no idea. I left the previous year and he was on track to graduate.”

Whether Masiello will be allowed to keep his job at Manhattan was unclear. He led the Jaspers to the NCAA Tournament this year, losing to Louisville in the second round last week. Masiello has compiled a 60-39 record in three seasons at the school.

South Florida fired Stan Heath as coach on March 14 after the Bulls finished with a 12-20 record in 2013-14. He was 97-130 in seven seasons at the school and led South Florida to two postseason berths.