Masiello deal off, USF coaching search continues
The search for a new USF men's basketball coach will continue indefinitely after negotiations with Manhattan coach Steve Masiello broke down late Tuesday night over false information in Masiello's resume.
The school confirmed Wednesday an agreement in principle had been reached before the discrepancy was discovered by the Texas-based firm being paid $60,000 by the school to lead the coaching search.
Jay Blanton, the University of Kentucky's executive director for public relations and marketing, told the Tampa Bay Times that Masiello never received his communications degree from UK as indicated on his official Manhattan bio and his old bio at Louisville.
Masiello was enrolled in the UK school of communications from 1996-2000, Blanton said.
"The agreement was pending a verification of credentials," the school announced in a four-sentence news release.
"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 national search continues and USF looks forward to introducing a new coach at the appropriate time."
USF's minimum qualification requirements for the head coaching position include a master's degree in an appropriate area of specialization and six years of experience at the high school level or above, or a bachelor's degree and eight years' experience at the prep level or higher.
New Bulls athletic director Mark Harlan did not immediately respond to a phone message Wednesay morning.
"If it's accurate I'm shocked by it," Louisville coach Rick Pitino told ESPN's Jeff Goodman. Masiello walked on for Pitino at Kentucky in 1996 and later spent six years on Pitino's UL staff.
"I left (Kentucky) the previous year and he was on track to graduate."
The renewed search now could shift to Kentucky assistant Orlando Antigua, Louisiana Tech coach Mike white, Florida assistant John Pelphrey or Southern Miss coach Donnie Tyndall.
The latest development adds another smudge to a search that seemed at least mildly tarnished before it officially began.
USF's contract with Eastman & Beaudine, to whom it also paid $100,000 (not counting expenses) to help it land Harlan, was dated March 12 -- two days before Heath was notified he was being dismissed after seven seasons.
It was signed by Cindy Visot, USF president Judy Genshaft's chief of staff, on behalf of Genshaft six days later.
CBSSports.com first reported Tuesday morning Masiello agreed to a five-year contract worth slightly more than $1 million annually. Manhattan's student newspaper reported Tuesday morning via Twitter that Masiello had informed the Jaspers players he had accepted the Bulls job.
At one point Tuesday, Masiello began following at least two current Bulls players on Twitter, but unfollowed both soon after.
A 36-year-old New York native and former New York Knicks ballboy, Masiello transformed the Manhattan program virtually overnight.
Winners of six games the season before his arrival, the Jaspers finished 21-13 in 2012 -- the nation's biggest turnaround that year -- and have gone 60-39 in Masiello's three seasons.
They earned their first Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference title -- and the conference's automatic NCAA berth -- this past season, losing to Louisville 71-64 in the second round despite leading late.
In his half-dozen years at Louisville, Masiello earned national acclaim for his recruiting chops, helping Pitino land four top-20 recruiting classes and four McDonald's All-Americans during his tenure.
In that span, two different national websites -- FoxSports.com and Rivals.com -- named Masiello one of the nation's top 20 assistant coaches.