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Rick Majerus (official thread)


Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Deal would require Majerus to leave ESPN

By Andy Katz

Rick Majerus is in serious talks with Southern California to become its new men's basketball coach, and the sides appear poised to reach a deal that could be announced later Tuesday, sources close to the process told ESPN.com.

[font=verdana, arial, geneva]Majerus[/font]

Majerus, the former Utah coach and a current ESPN analyst, has been the top candidate to replace Henry Bibby, who was fired last week. Majerus would have to resign from ESPN and pay the network a negotiated buyout if he accepts USC's offer, which is expected to be a five-year deal, close to $1 million a year.

Majerus has said he would not start coaching the Trojans (3-3) until after this season, allowing Jim Saia to finish as interim coach. Saia is 1-1 since taking over for Bibby last week.

A source close to the NCAA said Majerus could not represent USC and recruit for the program if he's not currently employed by the university. If Majerus were to agree to coach the Trojans starting after the end of the season, at that point he would be able to freely recruit.

USC would have to review job parameters for Majerus with the NCAA if he isn't on staff for this season. A source said he would have to be certified to recruit for the program. The NCAA would not allow Majerus to talk about or essentially recruit prospective student athletes on the air while working for ESPN.

If Majerus accepts a USC offer, ESPN would not allow him on the air due to conflict of interest.

If talks were to break off, then USC is expected to wait until the season is over and possibly pursue Pepperdine's Paul Westphal, a 1972 USC grad.

Andy Katz is a senior writer at ESPN.com.
tibor75 said:
Given the great food in LA, no telling how big this fatass will get.

I suspect he'll be in line for angioplasty or possibly bypass surgery at some point in the near future. Don't knock it, the hire might be good for business. That or maybe he'll accidentally sit on Petey. :p
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sorry, Nutty, he's damaged goods...

Majerus' long-term plans to place Utah among the elite in college basketball were slowed somewhat in his first season at the U. After guiding the Utes to a 4-2 start, Majerus was sidelined for the rest of the 1989-90 season following heart bypass surgery in early December.
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Filed at 7:10 p.m. ET

NEW YORK (AP) -- Rick Majerus backed out of a deal to become Southern California's new basketball coach just days after his hiring, and will stay at ESPN as a college basketball analyst.

``Rick expressed to us that he had a change of heart and wondered if the possibility still existed for him to work for ESPN. And it does,'' ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz said Saturday night. ``We told him he could (return).''

Majerus, who cited health reasons when he retired in January after 15 seasons as Utah's coach, was announced as the Trojans' incoming coach Wednesday. He was to assume the post on April 1.

Until then, Majerus was supposed to serve on the staff and work on recruiting, filling the assistant's job vacated when Jim Saia was promoted to interim coach after Henry Bibby's firing.

At a campus news conference following his hiring, the 56-year-old Majerus said he wasn't worried about his health.

``My health is good or I wouldn't do this,'' he said. ``Both my doctors encouraged me to do it. I wouldn't put anyone, least of all myself, in harm's way.''

Majerus coached Utah to the national championship game in 1998, losing to Kentucky, one of the school's 10 NCAA tournament appearances during his tenure. His other stints were at Ball State, Marquette and with the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks as an assistant.
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per si.com:

Just three days after coming out of retirement to become head basketball coach at USC, Rick Majerus is seriously considering resigning from the job, according to two sources close to the situation.

The reason, once again, is concern over Majerus' health, the sources said. Since accepting the USC job on Wednesday, the 57-year-old Majerus has been working full force and is already experiencing physical discomfort.

While it is possible Majerus could change his mind, USC is tentatively preparing to hold a news conference Monday morning to announce his resignation and is already turning its attention to finding a new coach. In an effort to expedite the process, the school will begin its search with candidates who are not currently in jobs.

Associate athletic director Daryl Gross, who is spearheading the search, has accepted the athletic director's position at Syracuse and wants to fill the Trojans' coaching job before he leaves USC early next year.

USC turned to Majerus after firing Henry Bibby four games into the season and appointing assistant Jim Saia as interim coach. Hired temporarily as an assistant, Majerus was expected to focus on recruiting before officially taking over from Saia as head coach on April 1.

When he was hired by USC, Majerus was working as a basketball analyst for ESPN. Citing health concerns, he had retired from coaching last January after 15 years at Utah.

Majerus coached the Utes to the national championship game in 1998, losing to Kentucky, one of the school's 10 NCAA tournament appearances during his tenure. His other coaching stints were at Ball State, Marquette and with the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks as an assistant.
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That's a shame. I really wanted to see him coach again. Not at the expense of his health to be sure, just really enjoyed what he brought to the game. Anyone ever read his book. Funny as hell and a good read. I think it was called my life on a napkin or something to that effect. If you see it, get it. You won't be sorry.
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I saw him speak about a month ago at a Big Brothers and Sisters event in Indy. He is very passionate about doing the right thing and is very dissapointed in the direction of the NBA and its star players. It was an enjoyable evening listening to his stories.

I wish him well.
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Majerus Apologizes for Backing Out of USC Basketball Job
Former Utah Coach Resigns Less Than a Week After Being Hired

LOS ANGELES (Dec. 20) -- Rick Majerus took a long look in the mirror and didn't see a guy ready to become the Southern California coach.

Majerus apologized Monday for backing out of the Trojans' basketball job less than a week after accepting it, saying he realized his health wouldn't allow him to put in the marathon work days he has in the past.

"I made a mistake. I was blinded by this opportunity. But I'd be doing them a disservice and myself a disservice. Right now I just can't bring it," a glum Majerus said at a news conference. "I looked at myself and thought that I was a phony.

"I realized they weren't getting the guy they hired. I'm not fit enough for this job for my standards."

Majerus said he didn't think he was being fair to the players or athletic director Mike Garrett.

"They weren't going to get the guy who puts in 18-hour days," Majerus said.

Majerus, 56, has had heart problems and an ongoing battle with his weight, which has been around 370 pounds. He cited health concerns when he retired as Utah's coach last January after 15 seasons. He has been working as an analyst for ESPN.

"I have a fitness issue. It all relates directly to my weight," he said. "I've got a problem. I know I need to do something. And I'm going to try hard to do something about it... I don't want to have a Rick Majerus memorial game."

"I think my health is good for probably anything other than to be an astronaut or a coach. I swam a mile and a quarter this morning just because I was so anxiety-ridden."

Assistant Jim Saia, made the interim head coach after Henry Bibby was fired four games into the season, will remain in the post for the rest of this season, Garrett said. Majerus was not scheduled to take over until April 1, although he was going to work on recruiting until then.

Garrett said the search for a coach will resume, although he has set no timetable.

He was disappointed that Majerus changed his mind, but was still impressed after spending time with him.

"This is the shortest-lived head coaching job, I think, in the history of NCAA basketball," Garrett said. "It's a tremendous loss for USC. He's the best."

Majerus apologized several times during the news conference held in the same room where his hiring was announced last Wednesday.

"My selfishness in wanting this job and then my stupidity in thinking that I could undertake this, put Mike Garrett and (assistant AD) Daryl Gross in an untenable position. My apologies," Majerus said.

"No one's hurt here. They're going to get a great coach, get a coach better than I am, probably."

Majerus, who plans to return to his ESPN job, guided Utah to the NCAA title game in 1998, losing to Kentucky, one of the Utes' 10 NCAA tournament appearances during his tenure. He earlier coached at Ball State, Marquette and was an assistant with the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks.

Pepperdine coach Paul Westphal, a former USC star, and former Iowa State and Chicago Bulls coach Tim Floyd are considered among the leading candidates for the USC job.

12/20/04 18:34 EST
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