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Tim Floyd returns to his roots in El Paso

One year removed from his resignation as head coach at USC, Tim Floyd is headed back to the college ranks to take over for the recently departed Tony Barbee at UTEP.

In light of recent events, Floyd was still able to snag the job after multiple UTEP boosters strongly pushed for his candidacy in the wake of Barbee's decision to leave for the head coaching vacancy at Auburn. And their push for Floyd isn't the least bit surprising.

As many of you already know, Floyd began his coaching career at UTEP as an assistant under Don Haskins from 1978-1986 before leaving for stints at Idaho, Iowa State, and the NBA's Chicago Bulls and New Orleans Hornets. He has always spoken foundly of his time in El Paso, particularly his mentor Haskins.

But it's Floyd's most recent stint at USC that has kept him in the short term memories of most Trojan fans. Despite compiling an impressive 85-50 overall record while leading 'SC to three consecutive 20-win seasons and NCAA Tournament appearances, Floyd resigned last June amid allegations that he helped funnel at least $1,000 in cash to a handler for O.J. Mayo by the name of Rodney Guillory.

At this point in time, you all know the story so there is little point in rehashing the details of Floyd's resignation from the program.

However, moving forward, I think this hiring could potentially be a good sign for the Trojans. If there was the slightest indication that Floyd had handed Guillory $1,000 in cash in the middle of Figueroa Boulevard in broad daylight, it would be incredibly unlikely that Floyd would then be hired at UTEP less than one year removed from the alleged incident. In fact, it would be all the more likely that he would have been personally sanctioned and given the Kelvin Sampson treatment.

In the meanwhile, UTEP has already been assured by the NCAA that Floyd won't be punished individually, which in the end, gave the Miners the go-ahead to offer the former USC headman the job. At this point, in time it doesn't appear as if the NCAA governing body isn't about to turn him into some sort of sacrificial lamb. That job was and is saved for Mike Garrett.

However, I don't mean to suggest USC isn't going to get punished by the NCAA because Floyd was just hired by UTEP, but the chance that the basketball program receives any more severe sanctions because of Floyd's actions would seem to be less likely at this moment.

In the end, I'm inclined to think that the Trojans are going to be punished to some degree. Simply from a PR perspective, the NCAA can't launch a 4-year investigation that proves absolutely nothing. That's just how life works. But, the fact that Tim Floyd is coaching again in college basketball does increase the odds that USC may avoid any sanctions that are overly severe.