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Manhattan Puts Masiello On Leave In Wake Of Rescinded Offer By USF

TAMPA, Fla. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Steve Masiello's status as basketball coach at Manhattan College remains in limbo.

The school announced Wednesday it had placed Masiello on leave in the wake of the résumé snafu that derailed his chances of taking over the program at South Florida.

Masiello has two years remaining on his contract with the Jaspers. The school released a statement, which reads in part:

"As a result of a background check commissioned by the University of South Florida, Manhattan College has learned there is a question of the validity of head men's basketball coach Steve Masiello's undergraduate degree from the University of Kentucky. Masiello is currently in the process of reviewing his degree status with the University of Kentucky. Manhattan College has placed Masiello on leave while he completes this process with the University.

"We ask all parties to respect the privacy of our student-athletes until this matter is resolved. Manhattan College will issue further comment as soon as this expedited process is complete."

South Florida confirmed Wednesday that it had an agreement in principle to lure the 36-year-old rising star away from Manhattan, but had to rescind the offer because it requires its basketball coach to have at least a bachelor's degree, which Masiello apparently doesn't have.

"During the search for a new men's basketball coach, an agreement in principle was reached by USF and candidate Steve Masiello," the University of South Florida said in a statement released Wednesday. "The agreement was pending a verification of credentials. Through the verification process it was determined the candidate's credentials could not be substantiated and therefore he did not meet the requirements for the position."

It appears Masiello did not receive a degree after attending Kentucky, where he played for Rick Pitino and Tubby Smith from 1996 to 2000.

A former assistant under Pitino at Louisville, Masiello was going to replace Stan Heath, who was fired this month after going 97-130 record over seven seasons at South Florida.

Masiello went 25-8 this season for Manhattan, which saw its season end with a tight loss to Louisville in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

The question next becomes where does Masiello go? The dynamic has clearly changed, so it will be interesting to see what Manhattan decides to do. A bachelor's degree was a listed requirement for his position when he applied in 2011, the NY Post reported.

Masiello took over a six-win program in 2011 and led the Jaspers to 21 wins. In his second season, he took an injury-plagued team within one win of the NCAA tournament, and his overall record in three seasons is 61-39.

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