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Kevin O'Neill says he knows what he's getting into at USC

June 20, 2009 | 10:57 am

In his video statement on USC's website, new Trojans basketball coach Kevin O'Neill says he knows exactly what he's getting into in taking over a team under NCAA investigation and leaking top talent:

I recognized that USC basketball has been through a tough time lately. Like many college basketball fans, I have been following the developments in the media. One thing I expect people might second-guess me on is whether I made the right call in taking this job.

While all of us at USC are prohibited by the NCAA from discussing details of this ongoing investigation [actually Kevin, that's not true; the NCAA has made it clear that there is no gag order in place -- that's a choice made by USC], I want to assure you that I made my decision only after a thorough evaluation. . . .

If I didn't believe in USC -- and all of the people involved -- I wouldn't be putting my name and reputation on the line. But I do and I am. Enough said.

I'm sure I am also going to be asked whether the NCAA investigation involving basketball is going to hurt recruiting or the program in general. Let me just say that if I thought I wouldn't be able to do my job -- do the job that the university expects of me and equally important that I expect of myself -- I wouldn't have taken the job.

-- Mike Hiserman