“USD Basketball–You Never Know”
The beautiful campus up on the hill, the one with the Catholic school religious affiliation, is hurting again.
USD, touched by another athletic scandal, none of its own making, but stained none-the-less.
A really classy place, with what appears to be a proper balance between athletics and academics.
USD may call itself Division 1, but it is really Division 3-in philosophy, with a touch of Ivy League class.
and now it finds its name dragged into the gutter again, a second time, by disgraced basketball coach Lamont Smith.
USD touched by this academic entrance scandal involving the Newport Beach business, funded by rich families, with the intent of getting the children of those families admitted to elite schools they were not qualified to enter.
Bribery for special admits is probably the simplest way to describe the scandal that has rocked places like USC, UCLA Stanford, Yale and more. And now the school on the hill too.
Allegations that fired basketball coach Lamont Smith may have taken 110,000 from William Singer’s Newport Beach Academic center, to falsify documents, to admit a son and a daughter, of an LA family. Allegations the family paid over 400,000 to get the special admits onto the campus, and that Lamont Smith was the conduit to the university.
The same Lamont Smith, who rebuilt the basketball program over the last two years, that resulted in a 20-win season and a berth in the NIT tournament.
But a year ago this month, he was fired after being arrested on a domestic abuse case, in the team hotel, on the road in Oakland, with a woman who was not his wife.
A week later he was gone from USD, without a farewell, without really an apology.
He wound up at Texas El Paso as an assistant. And now hours after his name was linked with the USD scandal, he has been terminated at UTEP too.
End of credibility, end of career likely.
All this coming years after the school’s all time leading scorer Brandon Johnson was arrested and convicted, along with another assistant coach, in a point shaving scandal in Johnson’s final year at the school.
For all the hard work done, by then Athletic Director Ky Snyder, and current AD-Bill McGillis, it must be gut wrenching to have their schools name dragged into the sewage of scandal.
Snyder hired Smith. McGillis stood by Smith as they tried to rebuild the program. And now both have been betrayed.
They were fooled, they were lied to, about Lamont Smith’s character. Shocking in that Lamont Smith played at USD and reportedly had quality credentials coming back to his Alma Mater.
You never know about people sometimes. Sadly, an innocent USD, now knows about one of its own.
Bad situations for a really good school, led by good people, now having to deal with all this, because up on the hill…..”you never really know-do you?”