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Kevin O’Neill suspended for Pac-10 Tournament

Southern California head coach Kevin O'Neill yells instructions to his team during the men's Pac-10 basketball tournament against California at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, on Thursday, March 10, 2011. USC topped Cal, 70-56. (Paul Rodriguez/Orange County Register/MCT)
PAUL RODRIGUEZ
Southern California head coach Kevin O'Neill yells instructions to his team during the men's Pac-10 basketball tournament against California at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, on Thursday, March 10, 2011. USC topped Cal, 70-56. (Paul Rodriguez/Orange County Register/MCT)

USC Trojan head coach Kevin O’Neill has been suspended for tonight’s game against the Arizona Wildcats and the rest of the Pacific 10 Conference Tournament, according to the athletic department.

“”I have talked to Coach Kevin O’Neill and expressed my disappointment in his involvement in an incident last night in which he and his wife engaged in an argument with a supporter of another school,”” USC athletic director Pat Haden said.

“”Coach O’Neill was remorseful and apologetic and accepted responsibility for his actions,”” he added. “”He understood that his actions were unacceptable and that they reflect poorly on him, his team and USC. We hold our coaches to very high standards, as they are role models to the student-athletes they lead. Clearly, Coach O’Neill used poor judgment and failed in this situation.””

Haden also said the coach will receive other punishments that will be kept private.

The semi-final round game of the Pac-10 Tournament between the Trojans and Wildcats will tip at 6 p.m. PT. Assistant coach Bob Cantu will take O’Neill’s place as coach for tonight’s game.

“”I understand my behavior as the leader of our team was unacceptable,”” O’Neill said in the release. “”I used poor judgment and put myself, my team and USC in a bad light. I regret that I have let them down. “”

“”I respect and accept the disciplinary actions imposed on me by USC,”” he added. “”It is something that I will have to live with. I look forward to learning from this, moving forward and coaching the Trojans well into the future.

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