USC Faced Down Floyd’s Salary Extortion Scheme

USC AD Mike Garrett is generally regarded as a figurehead atop the athletic department, but he deserves some credit today.

Tim Floyd USC Basketball

(OK everybody, don’t forget to pass the hat!)

USC hoops coach Tim Floyd has spent the week flirting with coach openings at Memphis and Arizona, going so far as to visit Tucson earlier this week. The night before that visit to southern Arizona to inquire about the Wildcats gig, Floyd gave an impassioned speech to his own players asking them not to consider leaving USC for pro ball.

From the LOS ANGELES TIMES:

At the team banquet Tuesday, he implored players to stay at USC. A little more than 12 hours later, he was on a private jet to Tucson. He had also been contacted by Memphis but decided to go to Arizona because, Floyd said, “I was curious to see what constitutes an elite program.”

While some found that hypocritical, I certainly didn’t, considering that Floyd never had any intention of USC.

The only reason Floyd acted like he was considering those jobs was to extort the USC athletic department into raising his $850,000 salary. Of course, that’s certainly nothing new these days, it happens with dozens of college coaches every year.

So many coaches now feign interest in another job only to receive a raise to stay in their current position. Most media members know all about the trend, which has absolutely exploded over the past decade.

But in Floyd’s case, he got a pass from the Los Angeles media. If Floyd was operating in a basketball hotbed, or east coast media market, he probably wouldn’t have been afforded such cushy treatment.

So, how do I know that in this case Floyd was only entertaining other schools to get a raise from USC? The true tell was this comment from him at a press conference yesterday:

Floyd, who has an 85-50 record in four years at USC, said the decision to stay was not based on the possibility of a contract extension. He said he has three years left on his current contract with a base pay believed to be about $850,000.

However, he did say, “Hopefully they will add a year or two.”

That’s exactly what Floyd’s plan was, to get Garrett to give him more money with his bogus job hunt. Be it in a salary increase or more guaranteed years added onto his contract. Thankfully, at least from what we can tell, USC did no such thing.

Listening to sports radio and the local media here in Los Angeles yesterday and today, USC fans seem to be relieved that Floyd is staying. And perhaps he is in for the long haul, but is that such a good thing? Yes, Floyd is willing to sell his soul to get recruits, so he more than likely will always have legit talent on the roster. But his own in-game coaching performance has always been sub-standard, dating back to his days at Iowa State.

Sorry Trojan fans, but I think this is about as good as it’s going to get for you with Floyd. But as long as USC football dominates, that’s probably enough anyway.