Pac-12: David Scheper

Floyd calls appearance before NCAA committee 'right thing to do'

February, 20, 2010
2/20/10
6:44
PM ET
TEMPE, Ariz. -- After nearly eight hours in front of the NCAA infractions committee, former USC basketball coach Tim Floyd, carrying a folder overflowing with hastily gathered papers, walked out of a conference room at the Marriott "The Buttes" resort and shared a handshake and what appeared to be a warm exchange with new Trojans football coach Lane Kiffin.

Floyd hopes the hearing and the handshake afterwards aren't his last contact with college coaching, which is one of the reasons he attended the hearing.

[+] EnlargeTim Floyd
Jamie Squire/Getty ImagesFormer USC basketball coach Tim Floyd met with the NCAA infractions committee for nearly eight hours on Saturday.
The other?

"It's the right thing to do," he said.

Floyd, now an assistant coach for the New Orleans Hornets, was shortly hustled away by his lawyers, Jim Darnell and David Scheper, into a waiting elevator.

Floyd appeared before the committee because ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” reported in May, 2008, that his former player, O.J. Mayo, accepted cash and gifts from Rodney Guillory, who was connected to Bill Duffy Associates Sports Management. Moreover, Floyd was alleged to have provided a $1,000 cash payment to help steer Mayo to USC, according to a Yahoo! Sports report.

His lawyers said their intention was to present their side of the case and clear Floyd's name. They said they felt the hearing was fair. While they wouldn't talk about what went on behind closed doors -- or whether things got contentious -- they admitted there were some unexpected twists.

"Over eight hours there are always surprises," Darnell said. "But nothing that big of a deal."

As far as their odds of success, Darnell said he didn't have "the slightest idea."

"I'll know that in two months," he said.

USC already admitted wrongdoing with the basketball program and sanctioned itself, including a ban on postseason participation, a reduction of scholarships and vacating all of its wins from 2007-08.

While the details aren't available -- USC's status as a private institutions allows it to keep NCAA allegations from public scrutiny -- it's fair to say USC's version of events and Floyd's version don't match.

In fact, in recent interviews with the LA Times and New Orleans Times-Picayune, Floyd talked about how he believed USC athletic director Mike Garrett made him the program's scapegoat.

"Mike's reputation took precedence over the truth," he told the newspapers.

Floyd and his lawyers left at 3:30 p.m., local time, but the hearings continued.

Former football coach Pete Carroll was interviewed on Thursday. Current running backs coach Todd McNair, who allegedly was aware of former running back Reggie Bush's dealings with a couple of would-be sports agents, was interviewed Thursday and all day Friday.

When the committee is finished with USC, it will reconvene -- at an "undisclosed location," NCAA spokesperson Stacey Osburn said -- to evaluate the testimony and reach a verdict.

That could last well into the evening, and it remains possible that the committee won't be able to finish its business.

But, when the elevator doors closed behind Floyd, the last of the star witnesses departed.

Floyd the star of USC hearings, Day 3

February, 20, 2010
2/20/10
1:49
PM ET
TEMPE, Ariz. -- After an early start, 7:30 a.m. local time, USC and the NCAA infractions committee took Day 3's second break just before 11 a.m., with a dour looking Tim Floyd, the Trojans former basketball coach, ambling outside and into the rain for an animated whisper conversation with one of his lawyers, Jim Darnell.

After two days of football, it's on to hoops, though football coach Lane Kiffin remains inside the meeting room, as he has the previous two days.

Floyd is here because ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” reported in May, 2008 that his former player, O.J. Mayo, accepted cash and gifts from Rodney Guillory, who was connected to Bill Duffy Associates Sports Management. Moreover, Floyd was alleged to have provided a $1,000 cash payment to help steer Mayo to USC, according to a Yahoo! Sports report.

USC's already admitted wrongdoing with the basketball program and sanctioned itself, including a ban on postseason participation, a reduction of scholarships and vacating all of its wins from 2007-08.

The NCAA could accept these penalties against the basketball program or decide to augment them. And they could rope them together with alleged football violations and find USC lacked institutional control -- which could mean severe penalties for both programs as well as the athletic department as a whole.

Kiffin asked reporters for an update on the day's sports news. The conversation briefly turned to Tiger Woods before he had to return to meetings. The hearing could last well into the evening as the infractions committee tries to cover all aspects of the alleged violations before heading back to Indianapolis.

The LA Times noted that coaches are often compelled to sit in during these hearings, even if they aren't a centerpiece of the investigation, because it serves as a sort of "scared straight" program.

That, and from most of the participants' expressions, bored straight.

It's likely many of these people will have endured perhaps 30 hours of detailed and sometimes ponderous discussion before heading home.

Floyd is represented by two men, Darnell and David Scheper. USC fans might find it interesting that Scheper is a Notre Dame Law School alumnus, class of 1985.

The final portion of the day's business doesn't involve USC. When all questioning is complete, the infractions committee will hash over testimony, attempt to reach a verdict and, ideally, decide who will write the final report.

It's possible that the committee won't complete its process on Saturday. They may ask for more from USC and may need additional meetings later.

On average, most reports are completed within six to 10 weeks of the infractions hearing. But that time frame could extend longer for a complicated case.

Probably fair to say this is a complicated case.

SPONSORED HEADLINES