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Posted March 11, 2011

USC Reinstates O'Neill

The University of Southern California has reinstated men's basketball coach Kevin O'Neill on Sunday, just days after he was suspended for an altercation with a fan at a Los Angeles hotel.

"Effective immediately, I am reinstating Kevin O'Neill as our men's basketball head coach," USC athletics director Pat Haden said in a statement on the school's web site. "Coach O'Neill and I have talked numerous times these past few days. He has continued to express his regret and embarrassment over the incident that led to his suspension ... He has apologized to his team, as well as to me, our administration, our fans and the Pac-10."

Various reports said that O'Neill was suspended after he and his wife got into an altercation with an Arizona booster on Thursday.

Haden said despite the incident and resulting suspension, he still stands behind his coach.

"I said this before: Kevin O'Neill is a good person and a very good basketball coach. He made a mistake and paid the price. I look forward to working past this issue with him. I am confident in his ability to produce winning basketball teams at USC. He has my support."

O'Neill now hopes his team will be called out during Sunday's Selection Show for the NCAA tournament.

"I'm excited to be back coaching the Trojans and I am looking forward to the post season," O'Neill said. "This is a special team and we have shown that we can compete with anyone in the country. ... "I was really proud of the effort our team put forth in Friday's game against Arizona. I know I let them down and put them in a very challenging situation. But because our players are high-character young men, they were able to put that aside and compete extremely well."


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