Former UK basketball walk-on and Manhattan College men’s basketball head coach Steve Masiello has been placed on leave from Manhattan College, according to a Manhattan press release issued Tuesday.
His leave comes as the result of a background check by the University of South Florida that revealed he did not graduate from UK as his resume indicated. Masiello is “currently in the process of reviewing his degree status with the University of Kentucky,” according to the release.
ESPN’s Brett McMurphy first reported the results of Masiello’s background check.
Masiello was set to accept the head coaching position at USF when the background check by Eastman & Beaudine, the firm hired by USF for the search, revealed that Masiello did not receive the degree, according to the release.
“The agreement was pending a verification of credentials,” Manhattan’s statement read. “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. The national search continues and USF looks forward to introducing a new coach at the appropriate time.”
Masiello has been the Manhattan head coach since April 2011. Before then, he was an assistant coach at the University of Louisville from 2005-11 under Rick Pitino, who was his coach at UK in 1996.
UK spokeswoman Kathy Johnson said that Masiello attended the university from fall 1996 to spring 2000 but did not graduate. UK could not provide any other information under federal student privacy regulations.
Louisville spokesman Kenny Klein said that criminal background checks were done for coaching candidates when Masiello interviewed and hired in 2005. Klein said that an undergraduate college degree was preferred but not required to be an assistant coach under university guidelines in 2005. Head coaches have been required to have a degree, Klein said.
“We did a background check on Steve when he was hired in 2005, but we cannot access his personnel file to reference what the report would have been,” Klein said. “Regardless of background checks, we assumed he had his degree from Kentucky. “