LOS ANGELES – Tim Floyd suddenly resigned as basketball coach at Southern California on Tuesday following allegations that he give $1,000 in cash to a man who helped steer former star player O.J. Mayo to the Trojans.
Floyd submitted a one-paragraph letter to USC athletic director Mike Garrett, saying he was quitting after four seasons because he no longer had full enthusiasm for his job.
“I accept Tim’s decision and wish him well,” Garrett said in a statement.
The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Miss., first reported Floyd’s resignation. He is from Hattiesburg, Miss.
The announcement follows allegations that thousands of dollars in cash and gifts were funneled to Mayo by a representative of a sports agency.
Last month, YahooSports.com reported that Louis Johnson, a former associate of Mayo’s, told federal and NCAA investigators that Floyd paid to have Mayo sign with the Trojans.
If the NCAA can prove Floyd paid to have Mayo delivered to USC, it would be considered a major violation. The Trojans could be forced to forfeit victories, and they could face recruiting restrictions and lose scholarships.
USC’s powerhouse football team also is under NCAA investigation because of allegations that Heisman Trophy-winning running back Reggie Bush accepted gifts and his family free rent from would-be marketers who wanted him as a client.
Floyd’s resignation is another blow to a program that has had starters DeMar DeRozan, Taj Gibson and Daniel Hackett declare for the NBA draft and has lost three recruits since the season ended.
“As of 1 p.m. today, I am resigning as head basketball coach at the University of Southern California. I deeply appreciate the opportunity afforded me by the university, as well as the chance to know and work with some of the finest young men in college athletics,” Floyd wrote in his letter to Garrett.
“Unfortunately, I no longer feel I can offer the level of enthusiasm to my duties that is deserved by the university, my coaching staff, my players, their families, and the supporters of Southern Cal.”
The 55-year-old coach led the Trojans to the NCAA tourney three straight seasons, a first in the program’s history, and this year he coached them to the Pac-10 tourney title. USC lost to Michigan State in the second round of this year’s NCAA tourney. He was 85-50 in four seasons.
Floyd’s other college stints were at Iowa State, New Orleans and Idaho. His combined record in 16 years at the college level was 328-180. He coached the NBA’s Chicago Bulls from 1999-2002 and the New Orleans Hornets from 2003-04.