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Florida Gulf Coast upset with USC for taking ‘Dunk City’ nickname

Dunk City

Florida Gulf Coast is not mad at USC for stealing their basketball coach, but they are upset with the Trojans for hijacking the “Dunk City” nickname.

USC announced on Monday night that they hired Andy Enfield as their new basketball coach. Enfield was with Florida Gulf Coast for two seasons, and he led the Eagles to a stunning Sweet 16 run during the NCAA tournament. The team’s exciting, dunk-filled style endeared them to fans across the nation, and it led to the program receiving the “Dunk City” nickname.

After hiring Enfield, USC began promoting the “Dunk City USC” name:

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Andy Enfield wanted by USC and Minnesota

Andy EnfieldAndy Enfield is one of the hottest coaching names in college basketball, so it’s no surprise to hear that two major programs are interested in him.

According to reports, both USC and Minnesota are targeting Enfield. Enfield, 43, led Florida Gulf Coast to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament in the school’s first ever tournament appearance.

Yahoo! Sports’ Dan Wetzel reported Saturday that the Trojans are targeting Enfield to fill their vacancy. USC fired Kevin O’Neill during the season and had assistant Bob Cantu take over on an interim basis. The Los Angeles Daily News reported that Enfield is expected to interview with the Trojans this week, and that USC would like to hire a coach this week.

Minnesota TV station KSTP reported Saturday that the Golden Gophers reached out to Enfield and that the pursuit was in the “phone call phase.” Minnesota fired coach Tubby Smith after losing in their second game in the NCAA tournament. They reportedly have been turned down by VCU’s Shaka Smart, Iowa State’s Fred Hoiberg and former NBA coach Flip Saunders.

There has been no word yet about progress in USC or Minnesota’s search.

Another potential name to keep in mind for the Trojans is Ben Howland. FOX Sports analyst Marques Johnson threw out the suggestion that the former UCLA coach could show interest in the USC job since he already is so familiar with coaching in Los Angeles. Howland may have heeded his advice; the LA Daily News’ Scott Wolf reported Friday that Howland informed wealthy USC donors that he is interested in the job. If that’s the case, then USC should have some strong options when it comes to their next hire. Minnesota, on the other hand, may not be able to get the type of prominent coach they desire.

We shared a report last week that said the Eagles were scrambling to find funds to give Enfield a raise so he would stay at the school. Their efforts likely will not be enough to keep him. Quite frankly, I wish UCLA had hired him instead of Steve Alford.

Report: Kevin O’Neill to Be Fired by USC

Life does not appear to be getting any easier for USC men’s basketball coach Kevin O’Neill in the wake of his drunken altercation Thursday night.  For those of you who have not heard, O’Neill and his wife, Roberta, reportedly got into it with a notable Arizona booster in a hotel and Roberta (and possibly Kevin) allegedly struck the man.  O’Neill was suspended for the remainder of the Pac-10 tournament (their run ended Friday), and USC athletic director Pat Haden acknowledged that “additional discipline” is a possibility.  Could that additional discipline come in the form of termination?

The March to Madness called our attention to a report from Point Guard U, the site that first reported the hotel confrontation, which states that O’Neill will be fired on Monday.  USC was bounced from the Pac-10 tournament by Arizona on Friday without O’Neill and their NCAA tournament hopes may have been squandered with the loss.

However, Haden has had little tolerance for nonsense since he was hired and he was not in charge when O’Neill was brought in as head coach in 2009.  With that in mind, it would not be stunning to hear that O’Neill will be fired.  LBS is currently working on confirming the accuracy of the report.

UPDATE: USC’s media relations has informed LBS that any firing of O’Neill would be news to them and that it would come out of nowhere. They also termed Point Guard U’s initial report as having 25% accuracy.

UPDATE II: O’Neill has been re-instated as the team’s head coach to guide them through the post-season which could include an NCAA tournament berth. Athletic Director Pat Haden says he still faces additional institutional discipline and a fine.

Kevin O’Neill Suspended for Pac-10 Tournament, Bob Cantu Taking Over

USC head basketball coach Kevin O’Neill has been suspended for the remainder of the Pac-10 tournament for his involvement in a fight with an Arizona booster Thursday (read about the incident). USC’s athletic department posted the news on its site along with comments from athletic director Pat Haden and O’Neill.

Some of Haden’s statement: “We have met with various parties who have knowledge of the incident. Based on the information we have gathered, I am immediately suspending Coach O’Neill for the balance of the Pac-10 Conference Tournament. We also have set forth additional discipline that will remain private.”

“Coach O’Neill was remorseful and apologetic and accepted responsibility for his actions. He understood that his actions were unacceptable and that they reflect poorly on him, his team and USC.”

The swift move supports the no-nonsense approach Haden promised to take when he accepted the position. It also indicates that O’Neill was guilty of the allegations. As for Cantu, he’s been with the program for 10 years and served under Henry Bibby, Tim Floyd, and now O’Neill. This will be his first time serving as a head coach at the collegiate level.

NCAA is Right to Investigate OJ Mayo

A lot of people are laughing off the NCAA investigation of USC freshman O.J. Mayo, one of our favorite athletes to be cleared of pot charges, for accepting free tickets to a Nuggets game from his friend Carmelo Anthony. At its most basic level, a friend offered Mayo a small gift and he accepted. If a friend called you up today and offered you a ticket to a Laker game because he had an extra seat, you’d take it, right? Well, as the argument goes, so would O.J. Mayo. Why should that be a problem? I’ll tell you.

The NCAA represents collegiate sports — amateur athletics. The line between college basketball and pro basketball had disappeared up until recently when the NBA made high schoolers attend one year of college to be eligible for the draft. The point is that the NCAA is looking out for its amateur, collegiate athletes, trying to keep them in school. By showing up at NBA games sitting in baller seats, Mayo is exposed to an enticing lifestyle and his head is undoubtedly infiltrated with thoughts about turning pro. Sure, he was a 99% one-and-done guy entering USC, but that small percent of him staying more than one year existed. Until now, when OJ Mayo is sitting in sweet Laker seats, thinking about all the celebrities he could play in front of next year, judging his game against NBA players firsthand.

Many sports fans, USC fans included, probably view this as a petty infraction that doesn’t warrant any sort of investigation. You are right on the most elementary basis. But when you really think about it, if you’re a fan of college sports, this sort of rule is designed for you. And USC fans, if you’re thinking properly, you should want Mayo as far away from the glitz and glamour of the NBA as possible.

UPDATE: The incident has been resolved and the NCAA asked Mayo to make a $460 contribution (the total value of the tickets) to a charity for the violation. Also, JS does a brilliant job taking me to task in the comments — a must read.

Incoming USC PG OJ Mayo Busted for Marijuana Charges

I guess when you’re a highly touted athlete from West Virginia, you have no choice but to follow in the footsteps of fellow West Virginia natives Jason Williams and Randy Moss — maybe it’s some sort of initiation process. WANE TV in Huntington West Virginia reports that

O-J Mayo was among four males cited on misdemeanor marijuana possession charges in Huntington, West Virginia, late last night. Cabell County Sheriff’s Deputy Doug Adams says the driver had a small amount of marijuana on him and there was marijuana in a spare set of shoes in the back of the car.

That’s a nice start to Mayo’s career. Between this and the facebook group controversy, I’d say the Trojans are having a heck of a week.

Now who’s going to go ask him about it on his myspace page?

Chest bump for commentor JS on the tip.

UPDATE: The citation has been dismissedtwo dudes from Mayo’s entourage fessed up two of the men he was with took responsibility for the marijuana

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