More trouble for Trojan basketball

Just three months after USC imposed sanctions on its basketball program that stemmed from a scandal regarding former player O.J. Mayo and his alleged acceptance of improper gifts and benefits, the school has another potentially damaging issue to deal with.

The conflict circulates around the potential transfer of Rutgers sophomore guard Mike Rosario. Rosario asked for his release over a week ago and then again on Wednesday.

If Rosario’s request is granted, Rutgers is expected to prevent him from transferring to USC, where he has some ties. His former high school teammate Jio Fontan transferred to USC from Fordham this past winter.

The request comes at a time when Rutgers basketball is struggling with issues of its own, primarily with head coach Fred Hill.

The school has given Hill the offer of taking a buyout worth around $600,000. If he does not accept this deal by Monday, the school will fire him with cause. Charges against Hill include insubordination and failure to discuss important program details with Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti.

When Rosario asked the school for his release, he was told that he would have to wait until a new head coach was hired.

It is not clear exactly what USC did that would prompt Rutgers to file tampering charges.

Rosario led Rutgers in scoring the past two seasons.

If he is released, not only will Rosario be apparently prevented from going to USC, he will also not be able to transfer to Florida or Kansas.