Late last night, it was reported that the University of South Florida rescinded their offer to Manhattan head coach Steve Masiello due to inaccuracies discovered during a background check. Rumors spread on message boards such as Masiello being involved in some kind of illegal Kentucky Derby ticket ring. That isn’t true, but what is had to do with a claim on his résumé in which Masiello noted that he graduated from Kentucky with a degree in communications. According to a report from ESPN.com, he never did.
Masiello did attend Kentucky, and was a member of the basketball team, but the university has no record of him graduating. UK spokesperson Ashley Caresson confirmed this to ESPN.
Caressen said Masiello contacted the UK’s registrar office Tuesday but said his conversation with the registrar’s office “was confidential.”
Jason Charney, Masiello’s agent, declined comment Wednesday. Numerous attempts to reach Masiello have been unsuccessful.
This obviously hurts any chance in the near future of Masiello, who impressed many with the way Manhattan pushed heavily favored Louisville in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Cardinals are coached by Rick Pitino, who Masiello was an assistant for with Louisville. Masiello also played for Pitino at Kentucky.
“If it’s accurate, I’m shocked by it,” said Pitino, whose team beat Manhattan in the second round of the NCAA tournament last week. “I had no idea. I left the previous year, and he was on track to graduate.”
There is no word if Masiello will be eligible to return to Manhattan now that the deal fell through.
Who missed this claim at Manhattan? Transcripts and records are received from the university. Did they not follow up on this? USF obviously followed protocol, and Masiello got caught. That being said, Masiello is at fault and deserves far greater criticism for duping Manhattan and attempting to do the same with USF.