PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas — UTEP Coach Tim Floyd lashed out at USC counterpart Andy Enfield on Thursday night, accusing him of tampering with a prized recruit and blasting Enfield for what the first-year coach said about Floyd and El Paso, Texas in a magazine article.
“We’re not going to just sit back and take it in the shorts, OK? Floyd said minutes after his Miners beat Tennessee in the Battle 4 Atlantis. “Just not going to do it, not going to do it. We’ve done it enough.”
Floyd, who coached USC from 2005 to 2009, took issue with Enfield’s comments in a Men’s Journal article, which fueled an altercation between the two during a banquet Wednesday night at the Battle 4 Atlantis. Enfield approached Floyd at a tournament reception to apparently apologize, but Floyd rejected any conversations. According to Sports Illustrated’s Seth Davis, assistant coaches from both schools had to be separated.
Enfield told Men’s Journal that Floyd “shows up every day at work and realizes he lives in El Paso, Texas, and he’s pissed off that he didn’t get the USC job two months ago.”
“His comments in that damn magazine were totally inappropriate, totally inappropriate.”
Enfield apparently tried to apologize to Floyd at the banquet for his comments. Thursday, Enfield said, “I regret that situation happened. I apologize to the USC fans.” He added that he would have no further comment about the incident.
Floyd refused to accept Enfield’s apology.
“As far as him saying he was just trying to apologize (Wednesday), it had been really nice if he had tried to apologize three weeks ago when that magazine article came out, to phone call then and try to do it then, OK?” Floyd said. “His timing wasn’t very good.”
Floyd signed top California guard Isaac Hamilton to a letter of intent but Hamilton later backed off his letter. Floyd refused to release Hamilton from his scholarship. Hamilton, who now attends UCLA, was ruled ineligible to play this season when the NCAA denied his appeal request.
“I lobbed a call into Coach Enfield back in April and felt like there was tampering going on with our McDonald’s All-American Isaac Hamilton,” Floyd said. “Sure enough three months later with USC on his Facebook page, (Hamilton) backed out of his letter of intent. He called, we discussed that in a very serious vein. He asked me not to turn them in and that they just wouldn’t take him. But we didn’t end up with him and that was a lick.”
Enfield told the magazine, “I told him, ‘Tim, if I could have all this power to somehow convince a family to do this, why the heck didn’t the kid come last spring, when I first got the job?’”
In the article Enfield also took shots at crosstown counterpart Steve Alford, who coaches at UCLA.
The teams will not meet in the tournament. USC lost to Villanova and will compete in the consolation tournament against Wake Forest. UTEP will play Iowa at 6 p.m. Friday in a tournament semifinal.
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