Manhattan keeps Steve Masiello

ByJeff Goodman ESPN logo
Monday, April 7, 2014

Manhattan has decided to retain coach Steve Masiello and will reinstate him once he completes his undergraduate degree, the school announced Monday.

Masiello will be placed on unpaid leave until he completes his undergraduate degree at Kentucky, Manhattan said in a statement. Associate head coach Matt Grady will serve as interim head coach during Masiello's absence.

"I am extremely grateful and humbled by the opportunity to continue as the head men's basketball coach at Manhattan College," Masiello said in the statement. "I made a mistake that could have cost me my job at an institution I love. 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. I understand that I am very fortunate to have the chance to remain here at Manhattan."

According to multiple sources, Masiello is about 10 credits shy and will take classes to finish his degree in the next couple of months.

"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 to the college. After participating in graduation ceremonies at the University of Kentucky, he enrolled in summer courses with the intention of completing his degree, but never followed through to make sure that the degree was awarded," Manhattan president Brennan O'Donnell said in the statement.

"We appreciate the counsel of all involved in assessing this complex situation. Our policy was always that the coach must have at least a four-year undergraduate degree. We are confident that Mr. Masiello will be able to complete his degree this summer and return soon thereafter to resume his duties."

Masiello, 36, led the Jaspers to the NCAA tournament this season and a near-upset over Louisville in the second round. He then agreed to a deal with South Florida to replace Stan Heath, but a background check provided information that Masiello did not have a degree.

"During the search for a new men's basketball coach, an agreement in principle was reached by USF and candidate Steve Masiello," USF said in a statement. "The agreement was pending a verification of credentials. Through the verification process it was determined the candidate's credentials could not be substantiated and therefore he did not meet the requirements for the position."

Masiello began his coaching career as an assistant at Manhattan from 2001 to 2005, then worked for Rick Pitino at Louisville from 2005 to 2011 before taking over at Manhattan three years ago. His career mark is 60-39 with the Jaspers, who were 25-8 this season.

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