USC Upstate coach Eddie Payne resigns

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USC Upstate coach Eddie Payne has resigned, citing health reasons after having a second ankle replacement over the summer, the school announced Tuesday.

The decision from Payne came after experiencing issues in his foot after USC Upstate’s first practice of the year Saturday.

“I was on my feet for four hours and the adrenaline was pumping,” he said in a statement, “but I started having a lot of pain that night.

“The pain got worse through the weekend.”

Payne went 227-241 in 15 seasons at Upstate, and compiled an overall career record of 484-474.

“For all student-athletes there comes a time for them to stop bouncing a ball, and the same is true of coaches,” USC Upstate athletic director Julio Freire said in a statement, “but this is not how Eddie would have scripted it.

“He is to be commended for the tremendous impact he has made on hundreds of young men, coupled with the unbelievable success while at the University of South Carolina Upstate and throughout his 43-year career.”

Kyle Perry, who has been an assistant for Payne for eight years, will take over as head coach on an interim basis. Upstate went 17-16 and finished fourth in the Atlantic Sun Conference last season.

“In basketball there’s no gray area,” Payne said. “You compete, you lay it all out there and you either win or you lose. I’ll miss the kids and the relationships. I won’t miss the referees.”