Floyd: I heard DePaul was going to call

Updated: March 31, 2010, 4:00 PM ET
ESPNChicago.com

Tim Floyd said Wednesday he had heard DePaul was going to contact him about its coaching vacancy. But Floyd said any school interested in him needed to get past the headlines created by the NCAA investigation into his program at USC.

UTEP felt comfortable enough to hire Floyd on Tuesday, bringing him back to a place where he was an assistant under Don Haskins for nine years.

DePaul would have been an interesting fit for Floyd as it would have brought him back to a city where he struggled through nearly four seasons of losing with the Chicago Bulls.

"I did not talk to DePaul," Floyd said Wednesday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "I heard they were going to call, but they did not.

"From the outside looking in, unless people wanted to go do some checking and they wanted to go ask enough questions ... If they wanted to read media reports, you wouldn't hire me. Because that thing took on a life of its own."

The controversy centered around allegations of recruiting violations involving player O.J. Mayo.

Floyd reiterated that he didn't run away from an impending investigation.

"I basically knew about the charge that they had levied against me five months before it ever became public," he said. "Before my bosses knew about it, I knew about the charge.

"I had opportunities to leave. I could have left after the season. I had already talked to the NCAA. It's been a well-publicized case, 18 months for the Reggie Bush and O.J. Mayo situations. They were both agent-related, is how they originated. And both cases, if they happened during the season and they had been found guilty, they probably would have lost their eligibility until restitution was paid for whatever money they accepted. But it didn't work that way. It happened after the season.

"I had talked to the NCAA and felt really, really good about everything. My assistant coaches were retained even after I left, which tells you a lot."

Floyd said he could have accepted other coaching offers if he wanted to run from the investigation.

"I was offered jobs last year, Arizona and Memphis, and turned them down," he said. "I did not run from an investigation, because I didn't feel I had done anything wrong.

"As the investigation became an institutional control investigation, I felt like the institutional control portion of it was focused towards us. I didn't like the tone of how I was being talked to, and how I was being approached. I've always felt like if I was not wanted at a place or did not feel appreciated at a place, rather than gripe or complain, I would just leave. And I felt I had done enough in my career that I could go look again someplace else where I would be supported, and that's what I chose to do."

Floyd said "life is great" now that he's landed at UTEP, but he doesn't view it as validation that he did nothing wrong at USC.

As he looked back at his time in Chicago, Floyd does have one source of pride in his legacy.

"I can remember telling Jerry Krause that I didn't really want to come, unless Gar [Forman, the Bulls general manager] came with me," Floyd said. "And they just kind of found some capacity for him in the early days. First he was a scout.

"Gar is a guy who's extremely intelligent. He's a guy that understands basketball, and as people got to know him, the respect grew from all areas."

Floyd believes Forman and the Bulls have put themselves in position to land a major free agent this summer.

"I think the opportunities are just immense in the future for that franchise," he said. "You have the great young talent. That team became very good when the guys were healthy.

"They made choices to get the cap right so they can position themselves for a great player next year. And I think all the great players that are being looked at, if they'll really look at that situation very closely, and look at who they're going to surround themselves with, I think the choice is obvious for that group. That's the place. If they're trying to win a championship, I think they're that one great piece away."