Here’s the statements from Pat Haden and Kevin O’Neill regarding his suspension for the rest of the Pac-10 Tournament.
This comes as a surprise to the basketball program, which did not think he would be suspended.
USC athletic director Pat Haden announced today that head men’s basketball coach Kevin O’Neill will be suspended for the remainder of the Pac-10 Tournament.
Pat Haden statement:
“I have talked to Coach Kevin O’Neill and expressed my disappointment in his involvement in an incident last night in which he and his wife engaged in an argument with a supporter of another school.
“We have met with various parties who have knowledge of the incident. Based on the information we have gathered, I am immediately suspending Coach O’Neill for the balance of the Pac-10 Conference Tournament. We also have set forth additional discipline that will remain private.
“Coach O’Neill was remorseful and apologetic and accepted responsibility for his actions. He understood that his actions were unacceptable and that they reflect poorly on him, his team and USC. We hold our coaches to very high standards, as they are role models to the student-athletes they lead. Clearly, Coach O’Neill used poor judgment and failed in this situation.
“Coach O’Neill is a good man and an outstanding basketball coach. He made a bad decision in this instance and is now suffering the consequences.
“Assistant coach Bob Cantu will coach the Trojans for the remainder of the Pac-10 Tournament.”
Kevin O’Neill statement:
“I want to apologize to my team, our university and our fans for my involvement last night in an incident with a fan.
“I understand my behavior as the leader of our team was unacceptable. I used poor judgment and put myself, my team and USC in a bad light. I regret that I have let them down.
“I respect and accept the disciplinary actions imposed on me by USC. It is something that I will have to live with. I look forward to learning from this, moving forward and coaching the Trojans well into the future.
“I know that Coach Cantu and the rest of the staff will do a great job in my absence, and that my players will continue to give a great effort on the court.”