Former USC coach Tim Floyd (right) now knows that ruining a career for $1,000 is not G.
Sometimes you're not safe even when you roll with a pack of Trojans. Tuesday, Tim Floyd resigned as head coach of the University of Southern California Trojans basketball team following allegations that he gave $1,000 cash to a sports agency rep who then funneled it to prized high school recruit O.J. Mayo (in his letter of resignation, he claimed he just couldn't maintain his "level of enthusiasm" for the job). "Juice" surprised many people by signing with USC, where he played one year of college ball before bouncing to the NBA, where he now makes millions with the Memphis Grizzlies. Today, we're sure Mayo would wipe his ass with that G Floyd floated him illegally, but those ten Benjamins did cover the cost of his coach's credibility collapse and career humiliation—and at a bargain basement price!
OK, chill with the disapproving sour scrotum face. These kinds of scandals are just gonna continue to surface until the NCAA admits that many of its "student-athletes" read at a first-grade level and should be paid pro wages for all the cake they bake for schools. While we're all caught up in this absurdity, we might as well laugh at it, right? So check out five of Complex's favorite rib-tickling recruiting violations...
KELVIN SAMPSON GETS PHONE TAGGED
• Like a teenage girl on a family talk plan, Kelvin Sampson just won't get off the damn phone. In 2007, the former Indiana University coach was caught making phone calls to recruits—while specifically restricted from doing so as punishment for making 550 illegal calls to recruits while coaching at Oklahoma University. In Sampson's defense, if you don't use those minutes, you lose them!
ROBERT PARISH CEASES TO EXIST
• Legendary Boston Celtics center Robert Parish had a distinguished college career that never happened. Centenary College, where he played from 1972 to 1976, violated academic eligibility regulations by converting his standardized tests scores to fit an NCAA formula intended to determine that freshmen could maintain a 1.6 grade average. The NCAA told Centenary to pull scholarships for him and four of his teammates; the school refused. Though the NCAA promptly did away with its "1.6 rule," it put Centenary's basketball program on probation for six years, barred it from postseason play, and refused to acknowledge its results, statistics, or existence officially. To this day, the record books show that Parish did NOT average 21.6 points and 16.9 rebounds per game and he did NOT finish school with an 87-21 career record. So, he's kind of like you, only with a far better scoring percentage at parties.
HARVARD DUMBS OUT
• In 2008, Harvard University coach Tommy Amaker was accused of making illegal contact with recruits and their parents and recruiting players who scored below the Ivy League's Academic Index minimum (he's since been cleared, though Complex was not consulted on that and refuses to recognize the clearance's legitimacy). Considering that "attending a prestigious academic institution" ranks right behind "graduating a virgin" on most college recruits' wish-lists, it seemed quite odd that Amaker's 2008 freshmen class included players who turned down full-scholarships to play for far better basketball schools in the Big East and Big Ten conferences. But then nobody said you have to have a high IQ to coach at Harvard.
• When it comes to recruiting violations, the 1980s Kentucky Wildcats were wild flagrant with theirs. A 1986 investigation showed a series of payments made to Wildcat recruits, but UK ignored things until 1989, when it was discovered that Eric Manuel had cheated on his college entrance exams and an envelope sent to the guardian of Chris Mills broke open in transit and $1,000 in cash fell out. The NCAA barred UK from the 1990 and 1991 tourneys but stopped short of giving the school its second "death penalty" (a.k.a. shutting down its athletic department for years) since a 1949 point shaving scandal. New Wildcats coach John Calipari, who conveniently slipped out of the University of Memphis just in time to avoid a recruiting scandal that took place on his watch, should feel right at home.
TODD BOZEMAN TRIPS UP
• In 1996, University of California-Berkeley coach Todd Bozeman was fired for paying $30,000 to the parents of recruit Jelani Gardner so they could travel to see him play. When the coach cut Jelani's playing time, his dad snitched to the NCAA, which banned Bozeman from coaching for eight years. Afterwards, the disgraced coach coughed up even more money for tickets so the Gardner family could go to hell.