USC Proves Once Again That It Does Not Take Basketball Seriously

There’s a saying in the coaching community that coaches are hired to be fired.  Never has there been a coach more fitting for that mantra than coaching vagabond Kevin O’Neill.

USC basketball fans – meet your new head coach.

The beloved Kevin O'Neill

The beloved Kevin O'Neill

There is no question that USC basketball is “an immense salvage operation” after the damage done during the Tim Floyd era.  And, admittedly, most coaches with any pedigree or hope of advancing their careers (including Pitt’s Jamie Dixon and UNLV’s Lon Kruger) wouldn’t even consider the move to Los Angeles at this time.

But Kevin O’Neill?  Really?  This is a guy of which cbssports.com’s Gregg Doyel says: “To know Kevin O’Neill is to hate him.”  And he’s right.

The early response from numb Trojan fans has been priceless.  Just check out some of the comments on Twitter and Facebook.

The bright side?  Well, Andy Katz of ESPN does point out that O’Neill will bring much-needed discipline to the program.  But, as much as I generally like Katz and his analysis, this feels like a major reach on his part.

Not to mention the reach on the part of USC Athletic Director Mike Garrett.  USC basketball remains a neglected stepchild on his watch and that is not going to change anytime soon.

As for O’Neill, he will be as successful at USC as he has been throughout his career.  Which is to say – not.  With a 171-180 record in 12 seasons as a college head coach, you know exactly what to expect during his time at this latest stop on his coaching merry-go-round. 

And he knows what he’s going to get from this gig too – 3 or 4 seasons of mediocre basketball with lackluster fan support, a decent salary, lots of great weather, and a severance check on his way out the door when he is inevitably told to hit the road to look for his next job.

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~ by acm213 on June 20, 2009.

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