The issue is a false Masiello resume, greed of college athletics and student/athletes as the victims

By Rich Mancuso

This has happened more than once. A college coaching opportunity is available and the candidate has the supposed credentials to move up the ladder after building a program. In the case of Steve Masiello, who got the Manhattan College men’s basketball team back to the NCAA Tournament, he is a candidate of the latest embarrassment and greed of collegiate sports.

Yes, Masiello lied for an opportunity to land the head men’s basketball coaching job at the University of South Florida. His resume was inaccurate about being a graduate of the University of Kentucky. So, Tuesday it appeared he was moving on, and Wednesday morning he may be without a job.

The truth is, and lesson hopefully learned again, false information on a resume will eventually backfire and that applies for someone like Masiello. And a million dollar opportunity that was at hand now could leave him on the unemployment line.

The bad and, more so, sad aspect of this Masiello mess: Manhattan College has a dilemma. Do, the decision- makers at the school move ahead and begin the process of hiring a new coach, or do they forgive and forget? Another aspect, and it is obvious, how did responsible officials at Manhattan, who hired Masiello three years ago, bypass false information that USF was able to discover?

That aspect may never be known. Masiello was a perfect candidate to rebuild a men’s basketball program at the Metro Atlantic Conference affiliated college that is based in the Bronx, in a section known as Riverdale. He played under current Louisville coach Rick Pitino as a freshman at Kentucky in 1997.

He later learned more on the sidelines as an assistant coach for Pitino at Louisville. So, Masiello had the credentials to land a head coaching job. At Manhattan, Masiello compiled a 60-39 record in three years, and got the Jaspers to a first round game last week in the NCAA Men’s basketball Tournament losing to Pitino and Louisville.

Officials at Manhattan College could not be reached for comment, nor could Masiello. Though a source reached at the school said, “There was every indication that Steve had all the credentials to be here. This has been a shock to all of us as we wished Steve well. “

The source, when asked, did not comment regarding the future for Masiello as to whether his job at Manhattan would be open to him again. And that is something that would be subject to extensive review, because college coaching jobs require in most part credentials of an undergraduate degree or beyond.

In other words, success on the sidelines and compiling a respectable record at a mid-major school (Manhattan) and working under a successful coach, Pitino, does require more of a background check when it comes to credentials.

Perhaps the more significant issue here revolves around college coaches leaving a school to take another opportunity while under contract. In that case, as is with Masiello, the student/athletes become the victims. Those under scholarship and recruits are betrayed and left to consider other options.

Success can be an option, but it has to be accomplished the correct way. We see this time-and-time again. The reputation of college athletics is becoming more like professional sports and big business that includes mega-million contracts with cable television networks and for the coaches.

This is not only an issue for Manhattan College but the entire NCAA community of schools.  There is a concern and this goes beyond the status of Steve Masiello and his future.

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