Floyd talks with USC

Tim Floyd has talked to USC about returning to coach the Trojans.

Now the coach at UTEP, Floyd met with athletic director Pat Haden about USC’s opening, UTEP athletic director Bob Stull said Tuesday.

Floyd resigned from USC under accusations he improperly recruited star O.J. Mayo. His successor, Kevin O’Neill, was fired in January after three mostly disappointing seasons.

Stull said Haden contacted him six weeks ago about discussing the vacancy with Floyd.

“Coach Floyd has always indicated to me that he is happy working at UTEP, and until he tells me otherwise he is our coach,” Stull said.

Floyd was not immediately available for comment, but a UTEP spokesman said he would take questions after the Miners’ game Tuesday night against No. 25 Memphis.

Floyd told the Los Angeles Times he met with Haden for three hours, and he wanted former players and coaches to know the two had talked.

“I felt like I got my name back when I got offered a number of jobs when I left USC,” Floyd told the newspaper. “Pat and I talked at length.”

Floyd’s contract with UTEP runs through 2015 and pays at least $600,000 a year, according to the El Paso Times. He owes no financial penalty under the contract if he leaves UTEP.

While USC self-imposed sanctions on its basketball program over Mayo’s recruitment, the NCAA did not find any violations committed by Floyd. When he became UTEP’s coach in 2010, Floyd said he wanted it to be clear that his resignation from USC was “not an admission of guilt.”

Haden replaced Mike Garrett, the athletic director who originally hired Floyd at USC. Floyd had success turning an also-ran program at a school known mostly for football into a winner. He went 85-50 in four seasons, with three trips to the NCAA Tournament and one Sweet 16 berth.

After the 2009 season, allegations surfaced Floyd paid a Los Angeles event promoter $1,000 in cash to steer Mayo to USC. Floyd resigned in June 2009 and the school barred the team from the postseason for one year.

Floyd was hired the following year in El Paso, three decades after he got his first coaching job under legendary Miners coach Don Haskins. He has a 56-39 record with the Miners in three seasons.

USC spokesman Tim Tessalone did not immediately return messages Tuesday seeking comment.

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