April 8 (Bloomberg) -- Steve Masiello can return as Manhattan College men’s basketball coach after he completes his undergraduate degree from the University of Kentucky. Until then, he will be on unpaid leave.
Masiello had reached an agreement in principle to take over as coach at South Florida, an offer that was withdrawn after a background check by the prospective employer showed he hadn’t received a degree as his resume stated. Masiello was then put on leave by Manhattan on March 26.
Manhattan said Masiello, who played basketball at Kentucky from 1996 through 2000 under coaches Rick Pitino and Tubby Smith, participated in graduation ceremonies at Kentucky and then enrolled in summer courses with the intention of completing his undergraduate degree, but never followed through to make sure it was awarded. Masiello has been Manhattan’s basketball coach since 2011, compiling a 60-39 record.
“After an extensive review of the situation and extenuating circumstances, we determined that Mr. Masiello executed poor judgment but did not intentionally misrepresent himself in applying,” Manhattan College President Brennan O’Donnell said yesterday in an e-mailed statement.
School rules require the head basketball coach to have a four-year college degree.
“We are confident that Mr. Masiello will be able to complete his degree this summer and return soon thereafter to resume his duties,” O’Donnell said.
Associate head coach Matt Grady will serve as interim coach until Masiello’s return.
Masiello said in a statement that he’s “grateful and humbled” to be able to remain at Manhattan, which had a 25-8 record this season and lost to the University of Louisville in the second round of the National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament.
“I made a mistake that could have cost me my job at an institution I love,” Masiello said. “Details matter. Manhattan College has shown me a great deal of compassion and trust during this process, and I will do everything in my power to uphold that trust.”
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