Saying that he is "grateful and humbled," Steve Masiello will be back as the Manhattan men's basketball coach.
Administrators at the school opted to retain Masiello, who has been with the Jaspers the last three seasons before opting to move on and accept a sizable raise to coach at the University of South Florida last month.
But, mere days after he accepted a five-year contract for more than $6 million to coach there, it was discovered that Masiello's claim to have an undergraduate degree from Kentucky wasn't true. USF officials, who require coaches to have completed college degree work, withdrew its agreement with Masiello.
Manhattan, which according to one report also has a similar policy, opted to suspend Masiello pending an investigation.
Its decision, released via a statement issued today, is to reinstate Masiello once he completes his undergraduate degree.
Masiello will be placed on unpaid leave until that course work is completed. Associate head coach Matt Grady will serve as interim head coach during Masiello's absence.
"I made a mistake that could have cost me my job at an institution I love," said Masiello, in a statement released by Manhattan's public relations office. "Details matter. Manhattan College has shown me a great deal of compassion and trust during this process and I will do everything in my power to uphold that trust. I understand that I am very fortunate to have the chance to remain here at Manhattan.
According to multiple sources, Masiello is about 10 credits short of a degree and will take classes to get one in upcoming months.
"After an extensive review of the situation and extenuating circumstances, we determined that Mr. Masiello executed poor judgment but did not intentionally misrepresent himself in applying to the college," according to the Manhattan statement issued by school president Brennan O'Donnell.
"After (his) participation in graduate ceremonies at the University of Kentucky, he enrolled in summer courses with the intention of completing his degree, but never followed through to make sure the degree was awarded.
"We appreciate the counsel of all involved in assessing this complex situation. our policy was always that the coach must have at least a four-year undergraduate degree. We are confident that Mr. Masiello will be able to complete his degree this summer and return soon thereafter to resume his duties."
Masiello's three seasons at Manhattan have resulted in a 60-39 record, including a 25-8 finish this past season and a trip to the NCAA Tournament.