USC has to feel good about Texas-El Paso's hiring of Tim Floyd. Maybe better than UTEP.
The hiring indicates that Floyd will not be penalized in connection with the NCAA's investigation of USC. You've seen the headlines: Floyd allegedly paid an associate of former Trojan O.J. Mayo $1,000. He resigned two months later and said in January his departure had to do with a deteriorating relationship with AD Mike Garrett. Floyd has maintained his innocence throughout.
Half the battle, then, might be won for Garrett with his two major sports staring down an NCAA gun barrel.
Don't be surprised if UTEP checked with the NCAA infractions committee through channels to determine if Floyd was going to be involved in USC penalties. It's interesting to note that Conference USA commissioner Britton Banowsky is on the committee.
Still, UTEP is still in a unique position. The USC case is still open. What if a show-cause order is attached to Floyd by the NCAA? Show-cause means if a school hiring a coach who has been slapped with such a designation must appear before the NCAA to explain why it shouldn't face penalties.
A show-case usually can be a career killer for a coach wanting to work in college again. Former Oklahoma coach Kelvin Sampson is currently under a five-year show cause. Dave Bliss, formerly of Baylor, has a 10-year show-cause. Current Morgan State coach Todd Bozeman was given an eight-year penalty after his issues at Cal.
But none of those coaches had taken another college job before his show-cause. I person familiar with the NCAA process told me that such a penalty would follow Floyd to UTEP. That's potentially a messy situation.
I spoke to UTEP AD Bob Stull on Tuesday who said the school had done its "due diligence" in vetting out Floyd. Stull is proud of the fact that there have been no major violations on his watch and called Floyd, "a man of integrity."
" We weren’t the only one out there talking to him [to coach]," Stull said. "As much as Tim loves El Paso, the situation at USC made him available to us. We feel like we have a guy who is an icon in the community. He's a good fit for us."
Floyd is a good fit particularly at UTEP because he was one of Don Haskins' lead assistants in the 1970s and 1980s. Given his recent past, he's not going to use UTEP as a steppingstone. That also makes Stull feel good. Three of his last four hires -- Tony Barbee, Billy Gillispie and Doc Sadler -- took the Miners to the NCAA Tournament.
Floyd should do the same.