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USF kills deal with Masiello after issue surfaces in background check

Steve Masiello
The University of South Florida has some explaining to do. And so might Steve Masiello. (USATSI)

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South Florida officials were forced to "kill the deal" with Manhattan coach Steve Masiello late Tuesday after finding a "previously undetected discrepancy in his background check," according to a report from The Tampa Tribune.

The background-check discrepancy was discovered by Eastman & Beaudine -- a Texas-based search firm that USF paid $60,000 to help find a new coach. A source confirmed to CBSSports.com that the discrepancy stems from Masiello's resume indicating he graduated from Kentucky in 2000 even though he never actually graduated from Kentucky.

As CBSSports.com first reported, Masiello agreed to a five-year deal worth more than $1 million per year to replace Stan Heath early Tuesday. Hours later, that report was confirmed by ESPN.com, and The Tampa Tribune later reported that Masiello actually "signed" the deal.

Louisville AD Tom Jurich was even quoted with a glowing review of Masiello's hire.

Masiello worked for Jurich while an assistant under Rick Pitino.

"Stevie can do whatever he wants to," Jurich told The Tampa Tribune in a phone conversation on Tuesday afternoon. "He's just terrific. He's a rising star in this business."

Then, late Tuesday, Masiello's background check became an issue, and now South Florida is back to searching for Heath's permanent replacement. Whether Masiello will be in a position to return to Manhattan under these circumstances remains unclear.

Masiello just finished his third season at Manhattan.

He led the Jaspers to their first NCAA Tournament since 2004.

 
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