Perez and Masiello embrace after defeating first-seed Iona in the final seconds last season. Gerald Rodriguez/COURTESY
By, Caroline McCarthy, Managing Editor/Sports Editor
Head basketball coach Stephen Masiello was fired from the Jaspers just 13 days before the start of their season, as announced on Tuesday, Oct. 25.
This would have been Masiello’s 12th season at Manhattan College, but now, days before Manhattan Madness, the school’s pep rally for men’s and women’s basketball, Masiello has gone silently.
“We thank Coach Masiello for his service and wish him well. As we look to building successful teams for the future — and with recruiting season beginning soon and Coach Masiello’s contract ending in April 2023 — we determined that it was the right time to begin rebuilding from the top down,” Athletic Director Marianne Reilly said in a press release Tuesday afternoon.
Associate head coach RaShawn Stores will be the interim head coach as the Jaspers enter the start of their season.
The Athletic Department has declined any further comment on this matter.
Who didn’t go silently, though, is recently-named MAAC Preseason Player of the Year Jose Perez, Masiello’s key player in the 2021-2022 season.
Perez took to his Twitter and Instagram accounts, first posting “Please respect my space right now and this difficult time I’m going through,” on his Instagram story just before 2 p.m.
Around the same time, Perez tweeted a similar statement with an added sentiment, “…honestly speaking it would [be] very difficult for me to put on a Jasper’s uniform again if coach ain’t on the sidelines. Love you coach!”
By 3:36, reports of Perez entering the transfer portal had been circling the news. Perez re-posted a tweet regarding the move and captioned the photo “Enough said. Please respect my decision to weight [weigh] my options.”
According to Adam Zagoria, contributor to the New York Times Sports section, Oregon, Memphis, Kansas State, Mississippi State, Rhode Island, San Diego, Alabama and Wake Forest have all expressed their interest in Perez, who averaged 18.6 points per game last season.
According to the NCAA website, “College athletes in all sports will continue to be immediately eligible the first time they transfer, provided they notify their schools in writing during designated notification-of-transfer windows (as determined by their sport.)”
The transfer window for Winter sports ends 60 days after the championship game. However, the legislation allows student-athletes to transfer for the upcoming season after the window closes without repercussions if there is a change in head coaching staff.
Masiello is no stranger to scandals at the college. In 2014, Masiello was discovered to have lied about his degree from University of Kentucky. He was offered a 5-year contract at the University of South Florida that was rescinded upon fact-checking Masiello’s credentials.
Earlier this year, the Quadrangle reported on an allegation that Masiello had been abusing the use of his school credit card by buying his team pre-game meals at Jake’s Steakhouse before home games.
More recently, former captain Matthew Glassman accused Masiello of wrongfully taking away his scholarship to play on the team for his graduate year after Glassman had signed his renewal contract. He referred to himself as being “another Division I athlete who has been backstabbed” in an Instagram post on July 14th.
With the loss of Perez and Masiello, Manhattan’s #2 ranking on the preseason poll will likely be re-evaluated.
This is a continuing story that The Quadrangle intends to continue reporting.