From Yahoo! Sports:
Tim Floyd has resigned as the head coach of the USC men’s basketball team.
In a move that was first reported by the Jackson Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Miss., Floyd made the university aware of his intentions in a letter Tuesday. The move comes less than one month after a Yahoo! Sports report detailing an alleged $1,000 payment from Floyd to a known “runner” with ties to former Trojans guard O.J. Mayo. Such a payment would constitute a major violation of NCAA rules. Floyd didn’t address the allegation in his letter to USC athletic director Mike Garrett, which was obtained by the Clarion-Ledger and also released by USC in a statement.
I don't think their can be any doubt about why this happened. Event 1) Tim Floyd is accused of major recruiting violation. Event 2) Tim Floyd hastily resigns from his post. You'd have to be incredibly naive to think that the two don't have anything to do with one another. I can imagine that the powers at be in the NCAA are thinking the same thing. The situation just makes too much sense. Remember, recruiting violations don't vanish with coaches who flee town like fugitives. They are like the fungus of college sports.
This story makes me think a lot about the "feel good" story we heard time after time during Mayo's one year at USC. You remember it. Tim Floyd was the "gee-golly-gosh" coach who didn't even attempt to recruit a player like Mayo. Mayo, at the time, was the top high school product in the country. He would have certainly been the number one pick if the NBA didn't have that pesky age limit. Surely, he was going to a basketball power house.
Then one day, O.J Mayo walks into Tim Floyds office with the aire of a savior and the demeanor of a saint. "I want to play for you, Coach. I want to be a Trojan." "Why?", asks the starstruck workhorse of a coach. "Because I want to leave my mark on a program, I don't want to be just another great player. I want to be the stuff of legends."
And so ends the single greatest recruiting story ever told. Too bad it was as much a fairy tale as anything in your standard Mother Goose fare. The real story reads more like a drug deal.
In separate interviews, Johnson described for the NCAA and multiple federal agencies – including the FBI, IRS and U.S. Attorney’s office – a meeting in Beverly Hills between Floyd and Guillory on Feb. 14, 2007. In those interviews, Johnson alleged that Guillory told him they were going to pick up money from Floyd. After dropping Guillory off and greeting Floyd outside a strip of street cafes, Johnson said he circled the block in Guillory’s vehicle and then picked him up again after approximately 15 minutes. Upon re-entering the vehicle, Johnson alleged that Guillory produced an envelope containing $100 bills, and described the amount inside as “a grand.”
Johnson also told Yahoo! Sports that Floyd and Guillory exchanged multiple cell phone calls while determining where the meeting would occur. Guillory refused to speak to Yahoo! Sports when approached at his residence prior to the May 12 report.
Ahh, the real world of hardcore high school recruiting. Are these basketball players or eight balls of cocaine?
I don't see how someone high up in the USC athletic department doesn't take the hit for this. I mean, first Reggie Bush and now this? Who knows how many other such instances have occurred? If I had to venture a guess, these aren't the only infractions USC has incurred. Really puts a major damper on a storied athletic program. Doesn't it?
- Jordan Lauterbach