Trainer Woody leaves USF basketball program
After a controversial two years on Stan Heath's basketball staff, Terrelle Woody has left the Bulls to work full-time as a trainer with basketball players in the Tampa area.
"I decided this is what I wanted to do -- this is my passion," said Woody, who spent two years as a video and conditioning assistant with the Bulls. "This is always been something I've done, and I get a lot of calls about it. But me and everybody on the (USF) coaching staff, we're all really close."
Woody's hiring brought scrutiny to Heath's program because of his close relationship as a friend and trainer to forward Gus Gilchrist, who joined the Bulls in the fall of 2008, the same time Woody joined Heath's staff. The hiring did not violate any NCAA rules, though the policies have since been amended to keep schools from hiring family members or close associates of a recruit before or after a recruit signs with a program, to avoid the appearance of a "package deal."
Heath was adamant Friday that his program has not been investigated by the NCAA because of Woody, and he said Woody's departure was the trainer's decision and not his. "I think he did a great job," Heath said. "We'll miss him."
Gilchrist, who came to USF after signing with Virginia Tech, then spending a semester at Maryland, has emerged as a star for the Bulls and will likely become the team's top scorer next season since guard Dominique Jones is skipping his senior season to enter the NBA draft.
Heath said Woody will not train athletes out of the Sun Dome, and by NCAA rules, if he works with Gilchrist, he must charge Gilchrist the same rate he charges other players, so as not to provide an improper benefit. Woody said he's likely to train players out of high school gyms -- he mentioned former NBA first-round pick Renaldo Balkman of the Denver Nuggets as one player he's likely to be working with. He said he may also work with Jones, who could be USF's first-ever first-round draft pick later this month.
Heath said he hasn't decided what he'll do with Woody's position, but said he may reallocate the $30,000 salary to allow him to pay his assistants more, then add a graduate assistant position to help with the video aspect of Woody's job.