The news came out early this evening that USC head coach Tim Floyd has formally resigned from his post as top Trojan. In a one-paragraph letter written to his AD, and interestingly, released to the Jackson (MS) Clarion-Ledger, Floyd stated:
As of 1 p.m. today, I am resigning as head basketball coach at the University of Southern California. I deeply appreciate the opportunity afforded me by the university, as well as the chance to know and work with some of the finest young men in college athletics. Unfortunately, I know longer feel I can offer the level of enthusiasm to my duties that is deserved by the university, my coaching staff, my players, their families, and the supporters of Southern Cal. I always promised my self and my family that if I ever felt I could no longer give my full enthusiasm to a job, that I should leave it to others who could. I intend to contact my coaching staff and my players in coming days and weeks to tell them how much each of them means to me. I wish the best to USC and to my successor.
And richest young men. When reports surfaced last month that Floyd paid cashmoney directly to OJ Mayo’s handlers in order to get him to Troy, his fate was pretty much sealed. And for lack of a better word, how retarded must he feel now after he turned down a lucrative offer to coach at Arizona this spring? Or his alma mater LSU a year ago? Like Kelvin Sanctions before him and John Calipari at present, Floyd clearly hasn’t figured out that the key to long-term success along the blurred edges is to stay one step ahead of the NCAA gumshoes.
Instead of Floyd’s lasting legacy at USC becoming a deep tournament run led by OJ Mayo and his SuperFriends, it will now instead be sullied ruminations of the urchin Rodney Guillory and a stack of benjamins handed over on a corner in Beverly Hills, just another soulless transaction like so many others on LA street corners in a given day. But if you think about the whole sordid affair, who ever believed that Mayo, a kid who had never expressed a bit of interest in the Pac-10 throughout his prep career, suddenly became enamored with the City of Angels without so much as a recruiting visit? Who out there bought into that yarn that Floyd often related about Guillory showing up at his office one day ‘offering’ Mayo, and letting the coach know that ‘ OJ will call you,’ not the other way around? The whole thing was farked from the get-go, and anyone with any sensibility about how this sport works knew it.
USC fans don’t seem very surprised, and they’re already pushing several names – Jamie Dixon (with his SoCal ties), Craig Robinson, Mark Few, Lon Kruger, Randy Bennett – but whoever takes this job will be entering a post-apocalyptic war zone, not unlike what Tom Crean found at Indiana last season, with little to no hope and even fewer players. The key difference between the situations, of course, is that there’s an awful lot more things to do in LA than there are in Bloomington, and this particular school isn’t exactly known for its hardwood glory (as IU is). Still, the resources are there to become successful and god knows there’s enough prep talent in LA (even after UCLA takes theirs) to support another top 25 program. But it’ll take the right person to get the job done there, someone who has the charisma and personality to sell the program to a fickle crowd as well as an ability to genuinely interest recruits on the school for reasons that don’t involve payment plans. At least one commentator isn’t sure that it can happen. He’s probably right.
Now, about that Reggie Bush thing…