by Bill DiFilippo

This might be the weirdest story you’re going to read today.

Manhattan head coach Steve Masiello—who led the Jaspers to the NCAA Tournament and nearly took down Louisville—signed a contract with South Florida to become the next head coach of the Bulls.

However, one thing stood between Masiello and Tampa: a background check. During the background check, it was revealed that Masiello never received his degree from Kentucky, where he was a walk-on with the school’s basketball team.

Via The Tampa Tribune:

The UK Office of Public Relations confirmed to The Tampa Tribune that Masiello was a student there from 1996 to 2000. He was a walk-on basketball player for Coach Rick Pitino in his first year, then Coach Tubby Smith for his final three seasons. According to UK records, Masiello never received a degree.

In Masiello’s official biography with Manhattan College, he is described as “a 2000 graduate of the University of Kentucky with a degree in communications.” 

Pitino told ESPN that he was “shocked” and “had no idea” Masiello never graduated from Kentucky. “When I left (UK for the NBA), he was on track to graduate,” Pitino said.

Per USF policy, all full-time coaching hires at the university must have at least a bachelors degree. There is no word on whether or not Masiello will return to Manhattan, but according to Manhattan’s student newspaper The Quadrangle, at least one Jasper player would welcome Masiello back.