Kevin O'Neill Reinstated as USC Head Coach

USC head basketball coach Kevin O'Neill lives to yell another day. Trojans athletic director Pat Haden issued a statement on Sunday morning announcing that O'Neill has been reinstated and will be allowed to coach the team in whatever postseason tournament they may be invited to.
"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 from any remaining games of the Pac-10 Conference Tournament. He understands that his inappropriate actions and resulting suspension from the tournament's semifinal game and potential championship game put his team in an extremely difficult position. Further, he understands that he let them down as their role model and leader. He has apologized to his team, as well as to me, our administration, our fans and the Pac-10.
The trouble started after USC's win over California on Thursday. According to O'Neill and his wife, Roberta, were at a downtown Los Angeles hotel bar when they encountered longtime Arizona booster Paul Weitman. Exactly what happened next is still unclear, but what is known is that the O'Neills and Weitman had some manner of confrontation before security asked the coach and his wife to leave.

Haden immediately suspended O'Neill for the remainder of the Pac-10 tournament. The Trojans challenged Arizona in the semifinals before eventually losing, 67-62. Whether their 19-14 record is good enough to get them an at-large bid remains to be seen. Some bracketologists have them among the "last 4 in" while others have them playing in the NIT.

The reinstatement squashes the rumors that surfaced Saturday that O'Neill may be fired. However Haden did say that further punishment - including a fine - are still forthcoming. Meanwhile, O'Neill will be on-hand with his team when they learn their postseason fate this afternoon.

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