Manhattan's Masiello can return after degree

Apr 7, 2014 - 9:37 PM Riverdale, NY ( - Manhattan College says Steve Masiello can return as head men's basketball coach after he completes his undergraduate degree from the University of Kentucky.

Masiello will remain on unpaid leave until he receives his degree, Manhattan announced Monday. Associate head coach Matt Grady will serve as interim head coach in the meantime.

Masiello said in a statement he was "extremely grateful and humbled" to have the chance to continue coaching at Manhattan.

His status was up in the air after the revelation two weeks ago that Masiello hadn't received a degree from Kentucky, as was claimed on his resume. The fact was uncovered in a review of his credentials by South Florida, which had an agreement in principle to hire him as its new head men's basketball coach.

After Masiello's deal with South Florida fell apart, Manhattan placed Masiello on leave while it looked into the situation.

Manhattan president Brennan O'Donnell said Masiello participated in graduation ceremonies at Kentucky but never followed through on taking the summer classes he needed to complete his degree.

Manhattan's minimum requirements for a head men's basketball coach call for at least a bachelor's degree in an appropriate area of expertise and eight years experience at the high school level or above.

"I made a mistake that could have cost me my job at an institution I love," Masiello said. "Details matter. Manhattan College has shown me a great deal of compassion and trust during this process, and I will do everything in my power to uphold that trust. I understand that I am very fortunate to have the chance to remain here at Manhattan."

O'Donnell said the university determined Masiello "executed poor judgment but did not intentionally misrepresent himself" when he applied for the job.

"We are confident that Mr. Masiello will be able to complete his degree this summer and return soon thereafter to resume his duties," he said.

Kentucky had earlier confirmed Masiello attended the university from the fall of 1996 to the summer of 2000 but didn't earn a degree.

Masiello played basketball for the Wildcats under coaches Rick Pitino and Tubby Smith, and his biography on the official Manhattan and Louisville websites said he was a 2000 graduate of Kentucky.

Masiello spent six seasons as an assistant to Pitino at Louisville, developing a reputation as one of the country's best recruiters, before he was hired by Manhattan as head coach in April 2011.

He led the Jaspers into this year's NCAA Tournament, where they took Pitino's defending national champion Louisville team down to the final minutes in a 71-64 loss.

As an assistant from 2001-05, Masiello helped Manhattan reach the postseason three times, including two straight trips to the NCAA Tournament. The Jaspers upset Florida as a No. 12 seed in the first round of the 2004 tournament.

Masiello is 60-39 as Manhattan's head coach.

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