Report: USF kills Steve Masiello deal

Updated: March 26, 2014, 11:02 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

South Florida has rescinded a five-year offer to Manhattan's Steve Masiello to become its next coach after a search firm found a previously undetected discrepancy in his background check, The Tampa Tribune reported, citing a source close to the search.

Masiello, 36, regarded by many as one of the top young coaches in the country, had agreed to the deal, leaving only financial details to be worked out, according to the Tribune.

[+] EnlargeSteve Masiello
David Manning/USA TODAY SportsSouth Florida has rescinded a five-year offer to Manhattan's Steve Masiello to become its next coach, reportedly as a result of a background check.

The newspaper reported the contract was believed to be worth more than $1 million per season.

It wasn't clear whether Masiello was eligible to return to Manhattan in the wake of the deal falling through or what it was specifically that Eastman & Beaudine, a Texas-based search firm, found in the background check.

Manhattan lost to defending national champion Louisville and Rick Pitino in the second round of the NCAA tournament last week. Masiello, who was 60-39 in three seasons with the Jaspers, played at Kentucky and had been an assistant to Pitino at Louisville. He was hoping to take over a South Florida program that went 12-20 in its inaugural season in the American Athletic Conference. The Bulls have finished 3-15 in league play each of the past two seasons.

Former Bulls coach Stan Heath took the team to the NCAA tournament two years ago and received an extension, but the school bought out the remaining $1.5 million on his contract and had hired Eastman & Beaudine for $60,000 to help find his replacement.

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