Manhattan places head coach Steve Masiello on leave

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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.