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Disgraced ex-USC coach Floyd lands UTEP job

After a year-long hiatus from the college ranks, Tim Floyd has returned to become Tony Barbee's successor at UTEP.

Floyd was an assistant under legendary UTEP coach Don Haskins from 1978-86.

"I came here at 22 years old and I didn't know anything about the game of basketball,'' the 56-year-old coach said. "Coach Haskins gave me an opportunity when I didn't deserve one.''

Floyd spent this past season as an assistant with the NBA's New Orleans Hornets after being forced to resign at USC following allegations he committed a violation by paying an associate of O.J. Mayo's $1,000.

Floyd denied the allegations, but the NCAA has yet to hand down a verdict on the ongoing investigation. If the allegations are upheld USC could face recruiting restrictions and lose scholarships.

Floyd said Tuesday that his departure from USC was "not an admission of guilt.''

"I chose not to try my case in the media,'' Floyd said of the ongoing NCAA probe. "I left because of lack of support.''

Earlier this year, USC said an internal investigation concluded there were rules violations involving Mayo and pre-emptively forfeited 21 wins from the 2007-2008 season, took away one scholarship through the 2010-11 season and imposed a one-year ban on post-season play.

In four seasons in Southern California Floyd went 85-50, taking the Trojans to the NCAA tournament three times, including a trip to the Sweet 16 in 2007. He has also coached at Idaho, New Orleans and Iowa State.

Floyd will take over a UTEP team that lost to No. 5 seed Butler in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The Miners return most of their team but may lose Derrick Caracter and Arnett Moultrie early to the NBA Draft, according to sources.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.