Two days prior to the open of the 2013 season, the University of Southern California announced it has fired head baseball coach Frank Cruz for “knowingly violating NCAA Countable Athletically-Related Activities limitations.”
During the offseason, players are only allowed to be scheduled for eight hours a week of mandatory supervised athletic activity. Coaches are allowed to make 20 hours mandatory in the season. It is also required that student-athletes have one day off each week during the season and two days off in the offseason.
Cruz was suspended indefinitely last Thursday, pending an investigation from the athletic department into the violations.
“Adhering to all NCAA rules is paramount for each one of our coaches, student-athletes and staff members,” athletic director Pat Haden said in a statement. “Those who knowingly break NCAA rules are subject to termination.”
Cruz ends his brief tenure with USC with a 48-63 record, including a 20-35 mark in Pac-10/12 games. He was promoted from assistant to interim head coach after Haden fired former head coach Chad Kreuter in August 2010. Haden later removed the interim tag in March 2011 in the midst of a 25-31 season that showed promise toward the end of the year as the Trojans won back-to-back series against top 10 teams.
The 2012 season started off great. USC won its first seven games and started the season 19-10, splitting its first four Pac-12 series. But the wheels fell off and burst into flames after that. The Trojans lost five of their last six series, getting swept in four of those, and finished an abysmal 4-22.
USC was predicted to finish near the bottom of the Pac-12 once again this year after the Trojans lost their entire weekend rotation.
In addition to Cruz’s termination, the school has also imposed a reduction in the team’s practice hours for this season and next year.
Associate head coach and pitching coach Dan Hubbs, who was an All-American closer at USC, will take over as the head coach.
“I’m confident that Dan Hubbs and his staff will lead our team to a successful season,” said Haden. “Dan is a good coach, he is highly-regarded in the baseball community and he has strong Trojan roots.”
The Trojans are set to open the season at Cal State Fullerton on Friday at 7 p.m.