Floyd breaks up fight at casino

Updated: November 5, 2009, 10:17 AM ET
By Andy Katz | ESPN.com

Coach Tim Floyd had purposely kept a low profile since he resigned at USC over allegations that he paid a handler of former Trojan player O.J. Mayo last May.

Floyd moved back to his native New Orleans to reevaluate life. He never imagined that he would resurface Wednesday by breaking up a food-court fight between women at a California-area casino. But in this 24-7 Internet age his peacekeeping efforts have gone global.

Floyd, reached by phone in El Paso, Texas, where he was stopping on his drive from Los Angeles to New Orleans, told ESPN.com Wednesday night that he had been meeting a friend at the Morongo Casino outside of Palm Desert, Calif., on his drive out of Los Angeles.

"I was leaving and then this thing happened in the food court," Floyd said of the fight. "It looks like a bar but it's a food court. All I can say is that it was more physical than anything I'd seen in the Pac-10 and decided somebody needed to break it up."

Floyd said he had no idea that a woman was behind him ready to clobber him with a chair.

"I didn't see behind me," Floyd said. "It was one of those deals where people were circling, chanting and cheering. It went on for 20 to 30 seconds before I walked up there. I was thinking someone would break it up but nobody would."

Floyd coached the New Orleans Hornets, Chicago Bulls and Iowa State before helping the Trojans to a Pac-10 tournament title and NCAA tournament bid last season. He said he's not surprised that his presence in breaking up the fight went viral on the Internet.

"That's the world we live in," Floyd said.

Floyd declined to speak about his resignation at USC but said he would have plenty to say about the situation at some point. For now, he's returning to New Orleans. Asked about a return to coaching, Floyd was non-committal but left the door open.

Andy Katz is a senior writer at ESPN.com.

Andy Katz | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com