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USC's Hackett backs ex-Coach Tim Floyd

June 10, 2009 |  6:25 am

Hackett On Tuesday, former USC guard Daniel Hackett did what he does best: display intense defense.

Hackett landed hard on the side of USC Coach Tim Floyd, who resigned Tuesday in the face of a mass exodus of players and an NCAA investigation stemming from O.J. Mayo's one season as a Trojan.

Hackett said, "I feel like with all this speculation, Coach Floyd did a selfless act. He resigned for the sake of the program to save the players from scrutiny and embarrassment. He acted like a man."

On the one season he played with Mayo, Hackett said, "I know there were a lot of people around  O.J. But I don't think Coach Floyd did anything wrong. He would do nothing like that."

Meanwhile, Anthony V. Salerno, the attorney who represents Louis Johnson, a onetime confidant of Mayo, had a different view of the situation.

Salerno: "What it looks like is that [Athletic Director] Mike Garrett gave Floyd the option of chewing a cyanide capsule instead of conducting a public execution. Floyd decided to bite the capsule."

Johnson claimed Floyd gave an agent's "runner" who was connected to Mayo an envelope with at least $1,000 on Feb. 14, 2007.

-- Chris Foster

Photo: USC guard Daniel Hackett, left, talks with Coach Tim Floyd during UCLA's 64-60 victory over the Trojans on Jan. 11. Credit: Gary A. Vasquez / US Presswire