USC basketball: Previously fired student manager to rejoin Trojans
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Stan Holt, a graduate student manager for the USCmen’s basketball team who was fired from his position Saturday, was reinstated today, the university announced.
Holt had been let go after he drew a technical foul for allegedly screaming obscenities at an official during a key stretch in Saturday’s game at Oregon.
According to a statement, USC Coach Kevin O’Neill asked Holt to rejoin the team today and ‘finish the season with us.’
‘He made a mistake and it was a costly one,’ O’Neill said in the statement ‘Although I did not hear what was said, I realize he was trying to support our team and that he cares a lot about our team. But Stan understands that he was out of line.’
‘Everyone deserves a second chance,’ O’Neill continued, ‘and I’m willing to give him that second chance. He’s been a loyal Trojan and he only wants the best for our team. I think this can be a valuable lesson for him.’
[Update: 2:29 p.m.: O’Neill said Holt will be on the bench for tonight’s game against California (7:30 p.m. tipoff), but he will not be speaking with the media.]
In the statement, Holt apologized and said he was grateful for the opportunity to rejoin the basketball staff, of which he has been a part of for the past three seasons.
He did, however, state that he ‘did not use profanity’ in his comments to official Bobby McRoy, which is contrary to what McRoy told O’Neill.
‘The referee told me he was screaming obscenities at him,’ O’Neill said after the game.
O’Neill later said that McRoy would not repeat what Holt allegedly said and that McRoy also never warned him about Holt before the call was made.
The call gained notoriety not only because it was directed at a student manager, which is a rare occurrence, but because it came during a key moment in the game.
McRoy called the Class A technical foul, which is often given for unsportsmanlike conduct, with 4 minutes, 35 seconds left with Oregon leading USC, 49-47. The Ducks made the ensuing free throws, starting a 13-3 run that essentially put the game out of USC’s reach.
O’Neill said he had never heard of a student manager drawing a technical foul ‘in the history of basketball.’
Holt was not of the three assistants O’Neill hired when he joined the team in June, succeeding Tim Floyd.
Holt, who is not related to former USC defensive coordinator Nick Holt, also worked with the USC football team in 2006-07 season and coached high school basketball during the 2004-05 season at Corona del Mar.
-- Baxter Holmes