Kevin O'Neill fired as USC basketball coach after 7-10 start

Head coach Kevin O'Neill of the USC Trojans shouts instructions during the game with the UCLA Bruins during the first round of the Pac12 Men's Basketball Tournament at Staples Center on March 7, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

LOS ANGELES Southern California athletic director Pat Haden says Trojans men's basketball coach Kevin O'Neill has been relieved of his duties.

The school says assistant coach Bob Cantu will serve as interim head coach while USC searches for a successor.

Haden says in a news release that it became evident to him this season that the program needed new leadership and that it was best to make the change now to "re-energize" the team.

O'Neill, who was in his fourth year, had a 48-65 overall record, including a 6-26 record last season. The Trojans are 7-10 this season.

CBSSports.com's Jeff Borzello notes that USC beat Utah by 17 over the weekend on the road. That, however, was not enough to save O'Neill.

"Despite a nice road win in our last game, I felt it was best to make a change now, with most of the Pac-12 season still ahead of us, in order to re-energize our team," Haden said

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