O.J. Mayo cost Tim Floyd his career.
Now I can't help but wonder who's next.
Will it be Rick Stansbury for taking Renardo Sidney?
Will it be the coach who ultimately takes Lance Stephenson?
These are the questions swirling around my head on this Tuesday night in light of the Clarion-Ledger's report that Floyd has submitted his resignation at Southern California in a one-paragraph letter to athletic director Mike Garrett. The development is a result of the NCAA investigation surrounding the recruitment of Mayo, a one-and-done superstar who clearly wasn't worth the trouble he caused the program that accepted him despite major warning signs.
Mayo had bounced around in high school.
He was tied to a noted "runner" named Rodney Guillory.
He had been a big part of a corrupt summer scene for years.
And yet Floyd still took him, still put him on scholarship and welcomed him to campus. Two years later, Floyd's career is effectively over, his name forever tainted by allegations that he, among other things, once gave Guillory a stack of $100 bills on a street corner in Beverly Hills. When that allegation broke, some questioned whether Floyd was stupid enough to deal that way because in this business it's usually the assistants whose fingers get dirty. But I never accepted that logic as a defense, because one thing I had always been told about Floyd is that he was incredibly private and determined to not let others know what he was doing, regardless of what he was doing.
Why is this relevant today, you ask?
Because Floyd's letter apparently caught most off-guard.
Sources have told CBSSports.com that the USC staff and players learned of Floyd's resignation from everybody except Floyd. They either heard about it from a friend who had read the Clarion-Ledger report, or from a reporter calling about the report. There is no indication that Floyd personally alerted his staff or players, which, if true, is the final questionable thing Floyd did as USC's coach, not unlike how he hopped a plane to interview at Arizona in April without telling his staff or players.
Either way, now Floyd is gone for good.
And this should serve as a lesson to all college coaches.
|Tim Floyd accepted O.J. Mayo at USC despite major warning signs. (AP)|
So I ask again: Who's next?
He has now taken a prospect with just as many red flags as Mayo, signed Sidney to a letter of intent that has him on track to play at Mississippi State in November, assuming he's cleared by the NCAA. Remember, Sidney is a recruit from Los Angeles whose background is so sketchy that USC and UCLA declined to enroll him. Common sense tells you that's not a good sign. But Mississippi State can smell an SEC West title, believes it's this close to a Final Four run. So the staff signed Sidney last month, and they had better keep their fingers crossed (and fingernails clean).
Or will it be Gary Williams?
Or Josh Pastner?
Or Sean Miller?
All three coaches -- at Maryland, Memphis and Arizona -- are reportedly still involved with Stephenson to varying degrees, this despite industry sources believing it's a near certainty that the NCAA will immediately launch an investigation into the New York native the second he enrolls at any school. The Class of 2009 star has been a national name for years, and -- fair or not -- most college coaches believe his amateur status is intact about as well as Paris Hilton's virginity. To date, no specific allegations have been made. But it's important to note that at this point before Mayo's freshman year of college, no specific allegations had been made against him either, and we all know how that turned out.
In other words, be careful coaches.
Make a wrong move, and it's your one-paragraph resignation that might be next.