When Manhattan toppled Iona in the MAAC title game and led defending national champ Louisville into the final minutes of its opening-round NCAA tournament game, Steve Masiello figured to be one of the most coveted coaches on the market this spring.
Less than a week later, it's not even certain that Manhattan will take him back.
Masiello was all set to replace Stan Heath as the new coach at South Florida when the school's background check revealed that he had not actually graduated from Kentucky in 2000 as his resume claimed, ESPN.com reported Wednesday morning. Masiello's bio at Manhattan and from when he was an assistant at Louisville both refer to him as having graduated from Kentucky in 2000 with a communications degree.
The question now becomes whether Manhattan policy demands that its head coaches must have bachelor's degrees in order to be eligible to work at the school. This is common practice among Division I institutions who want their head coaches to be able to set an example for their players about the importance of graduating.
A Manhattan spokesman did not immediately return an email from Yahoo Sports seeking clarification on if the school requires its coaches to have a degree. The email also asked if the initial resume Masiello had submitted falsely indicated he had graduated from Kentucky and if the school had made any decision regarding whether he would be welcomed back.
The school later released a statement that it had placed Masielo on leave while investigating the status of his degree.
Masiello is not the first coach to lose a high-profile job for falsifying details on his resume.
In 2001, Notre Dame hired Georgia Tech football coach George O'Leary only to fire him a few days later when it became clear that he had lied about playing football for the University of New Hampshire and earning a graduate degree from Stony Brook. In 2004, Louisiana-Lafayette had to fire Glynn Cyprien weeks after he accepted the school's men's basketball head coaching job because he did not graduate from Texas-San Antonio as he claimed on his resume and his other degrees came from unaccredited diploma mills.
Masiello, a former player and coach under Rick Pitino, was considered one of the rising stars of the coaching industry prior to this incident. In three seasons at Manhattan, he led the Jaspers to a 60-39 record, two postseason appearances and the school's first NCAA bid since 2004.
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