Majerus Cites Health for Turnabout on USC

Times Staff Writer

Citing health issues, Rick Majerus confirmed today that he would leave his “dream job” after five days and resign from USC, despite having agreed to a five-year, $5-million contract.

Majerus, who left Utah in January after nearly 15 years because of health problems, emerged from a meeting with USC Athletic Director Mike Garrett and said his health was still not up to par and he could not do the job properly. Wednesday, he had said that his health was fine and that his doctors had cleared him for the job, which he was to begin April 1.

Majerus, 56, will return to ESPN as an analyst, though there has been rampant speculation on campus that he could have an eye on a potential opening at Indiana, where Coach Mike Davis is under fire for the Hoosiers’ 2-5 start. Majerus, though, said last week that USC was the only school for which he would leave ESPN.

USC officials said outgoing senior associate athletic director Daryl Gross, who will leave for Syracuse late next month, will continue the search.

Those reportedly interested in the USC job include former Iowa State and Chicago Bull coach Tim Floyd, USC alumnus and Pepperdine Coach Paul Westphal, former Seattle SuperSonic and Milwaukee Buck coach George Karl and Texas Tech Coach Bob Knight. A friend of Knight’s told a source that the coach would be interested if USC approached him.