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Despite Degree Flap, Manhattan to Retain Masiello as Coach

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images (NEW YORK) -- Manhattan College will keep Steve Masiello as its head men's basketball coach -- if he completes his undergraduate degree. Until then, Masiello will be placed on unpaid leave while associate head coach Matt Grady oversees the team.

Masiello was set to become the head coach at the University of South Florida before a background check revealed that he had not finished his degree at Kentucky as his resume stated. USF then rescinded their offer and Masiello's status with Manhattan became uncertain. The school placed him on administrative lead during an investigation into his academic standing at Kentucky.

"After an extensive review of the situation and extenuating circumstances, we determined that Mr. Masiello executed poor judgment but did not intentionally misrepresent himself in applying to the College," said Manhattan College president Brennan O'Donnell in a statement. "After participating in graduation ceremonies at the University of Kentucky, he enrolled in summer courses with the intention of completing his degree, but never followed through to make sure that the degree was awarded."

The 36-year old Masiello was hired by Manhattan in April of 2011, taking over a team that won just six games prior to his arrival. After leading the Jaspers to the nation's top turnaround in his first year, Masiello guided Manhattan to an NCAA Tournament berth in 2014 after winning the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) championship.

"We are confident that Mr. Masiello will be able to complete his degree this summer and return soon thereafter to resume his duties," O'Donnell said. "While we do not condone Mr. Masiello’s mistake, we believe it was a genuine one and that he deserves a path to reinstatement."

“I am extremely grateful and humbled by the opportunity to continue as the head men’s basketball coach at Manhattan College,” Masiello said in a statement released by the school. “I made a mistake that could have cost me my job at an institution I love. Details matter. Manhattan College has shown me a great deal of compassion and trust during this process, and I will do everything in my power to uphold that trust. I understand that I am very fortunate to have the chance to remain here at Manhattan.”

The Jaspers were 60-39 under Masiello in his first three seasons at the helm.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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