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Manhattan places head coach Steve Masiello on leave

Mar 26, 2014, 5:18 PM EDT

Steve Masiello Getty Images

In the aftermath of USF’s decision to end contract talks with Steve Masiello with regards to his becoming the school’s new head basketball coach, one question asked was what would happen between Masiello and Manhattan. With Masiello winning 60 games in three seasons at the school after serving as an assistant to Rick Pitino at Louisville, he’s been viewed as a rising star in the coaching profession.

But a discrepancy in his resume, specifically a background check revealing that he had not graduated from the University of Kentucky, has cast doubt on Masiello’s future at the MAAC school.

Wednesday afternoon Manhattan announced that Masiello, who despite reports of his speaking to his players on Tuesday about leaving for the American Athletic Conference school had not officially resigned as head coach, has been placed on leave.

“As a result of a background check commissioned by the University of South Florida, Manhattan College has learned there is a question of the validity of head men’s basketball coach Steve Masiello’s undergraduate degree from the University of Kentucky.

Masiello is currently in the process of reviewing his degree status with the University of Kentucky. Manhattan College has placed Masiello on leave while he completes this process with the University.”

This is the second consecutive year in which a school learned that a head coach had not completed his bachelor’s degree, with Rutgers’ Eddie Jordan being in that position last May. However according to reports it was not stated in Jordan’s resume that he completed his degree, and Rutgers arranged for Jordan to work towards completing his degree while coaching.

In Masiello’s case, was there an honest belief that he’d completed his degree requirements? And if not, how much work needs to be done in order to do so? Also, was it stated during his hiring at Manhattan that Masiello graduated from Kentucky? Those are some of the questions that Manhattan and Masiello will work to answer during the coach’s leave of absence, and until they’re addressed his status remains up in the air.

  1. sportswright - Mar 26, 2014 at 8:24 PM

    Interesting situation. I suspect there is more to it than just this as if they didn’t want to make a stink about this the University probably would not have to.

  2. tomtravis76 - Mar 26, 2014 at 8:39 PM

    The guy can coach. why not instead of acting like this is the worst thing in the world, help him finish his degree and take the cost of tuition and books out of his salary. Is he a good man to have around the school, is he positively influencing the players? If it is all yes, then treat him as part of the Manhattan university family.

    • stoutfiles - Mar 26, 2014 at 10:53 PM

      Except that he’s trying to leave said family. They are doing this to set precedent and possibly to get some money back before he goes.

      • fatcamper - Mar 27, 2014 at 8:47 AM

        They hired a man from the Pitino lineage whose stock was on the rise until this fiasco. Manhattan’s AD would have to be completely naive to think he would stay there if given a better opportunity. By allowing him to finish his degree and stay on there it would help show the student athlete’s the importance of finishing school and allow them to grab a couple more years of Masiello’s excellent coaching.

        USF caught a bad break on this one. Excellent coach.

  3. gman16 - Mar 27, 2014 at 10:00 AM

    It would be of greater help to show the student-athletes about the importance of being up-front, straight-forward and not being a liar.

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