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False resume cost Masiello $6.25 million from USF

Published Apr. 8, 2014

The voided contract Steve Masiello signed with USF would've paid the Manhattan coach $1.5 million more over five years than the one signed by Orlando Antigua, to whom the school turned when Masiello failed a background check.

Masiello's contract, signed by the coach and USF athletic director Mark Harlan on March 25, was provided by the school Monday upon a public-records request from the Tampa Bay Times. The total package (not counting performance bonuses) was $6.25 million over five years.

The contract was nullified shortly thereafter when a standard background check indicated Masiello never graduated from the University of Kentucky as his resume indicated.

On Monday, Manhattan announced it will reinstate Masiello as Jaspers coach once he has completed his communications degree from UK. Until then, he'll be on unpaid leave, with associate head coach Matt Grady running the team.

"After an extensive review of the situation and extenuating circumstances, we determined that Mr. Masiello executed poor judgment but did not intentionally misrepresent himself in applying to (Manhattan)," Manhattan president Brennan O'Donnell said in a prepared statement.

"After participating in graduation ceremonies at the University of Kentucky, he enrolled in summer courses with the intention of completing his degree, but never followed through to make sure that the degree was awarded."

Masiello's contract at USF called for him to receive a $415,000 annual base salary and $765,000 in additional compensation and benefits, with annual built-in escalators growing to $55,000 by the contract's final year.

Antigua, unlike Masiello, arrives at USF with no prior college head coaching experience. He signed a five-year deal worth $4.75 million including an annual $375,000 base salary and $525,000 in extra compensation and benefits. Antigua's contract calls for annual $25,000 escalators.

Performance incentives essentially were the same in both contracts, though Masiello's staff salary pool was smaller.

Antigua's salary pool -- for three assistants and a director of basketball operations -- will be $700,000 next season and gradually top out at $800,000. Masiello's pool began at $650,000 and ultimately would have grown to $750,000.

Masiello's contract was nullified under Item 10, in which he affirmed (by his signature) the "resume and education credentials" described in his official Manhattan College bio were true and accurate.

"I made a mistake that could have cost me my job at an institution I love," Masiello said in the statement released Monday.

"Details matter. Manhattan College has shown me a great deal of compassion and trust during this process, and I will do everything in my power to uphold that trust."