Tim Floyd met with USC about its coaching opening, but is he a candidate?

Dan Dalstra-USA TODAY Sports

UTEP head coach Tim Floyd met with his former employer, the USC Trojans, regarding their head coaching vacancy, but about what exactly remains to be seen.

Tim Floyd admitted he spoke with the USC Trojans and athletic director Pat Haden about their upcoming head coaching vacancy, according to the Los Angeles Times. And the UTEP head coach's current boss, UTEP athletic directer Bob Stull, acknowledged as much on Tuesday, according to the Associated Press.

What exactly that meeting entailed is far from understood. If it was about filling that coaching vacancy with Floyd, it could be alarming for UTEP fans considering the Miners are in the middle of their own season.

Floyd is expected to address the meeting on Tuesday after the UTEP Miners' game against No. 25 Memphis, according to the AP, and no reports as of Tuesday afternoon have a great grasp of main reason for the three-hour meeting.

So what could Floyd and Haden discussed? Floyd eventually parted ways with USC because of a poor relationship with then-athletic director Mike Garrett, who was fired by the school a year after Floyd departed.

The Times reports that Floyd's meeting with Haden was in part to clear his name from the scandal that ultimately forced Floyd from coaching position at USC in 2009. The NCAA investigation didn't explicitly name Floyd as having been a part of any wrongdoing going back to the recruitment of prized guard O.J. Mayo.

Floyd told Yahoo! Sports he wasn't offered the job, but it also appears that the Trojans' former coach wasn't only there to talk about the past:

When reached Tuesday, Floyd confirmed he met with USC, which was first reported by the Los Angeles Times. He did so, in part, he said, because he wanted to help lift what he felt was a stigma about the program during those years. He understood the significance of just being interviewed.

"I've neither been offered the job, nor said I'm even looking for a new job, but I felt it was important to talk to [Haden and Lopes] for our former players at USC and former coaches at USC," he said. "Obviously Pat did his homework on what really happened."

The interview of Floyd could simply be a brain-picking session with a coach who developed a successful plan of attack at USC. After Kevin O'Neill was fired this season, the Trojans could -- if not pursuing Floyd's services -- take some advice from their former head coach.

Floyd left after coaching at USC from 2005-09, taking the Trojans to three NCAA tournaments and being impressive enough to warrant an interview with the Arizona Wildcats, who in 2009 were trying to find a permanent replacement for Hall of Fame coach Lute Olson. Arizona eventually settled on then-Xavier coach Sean Miller.

Arguably, Floyd hadn't yet peaked at USC following the recruitments of players like Mayo, Taj Gibson and DeMar Derozan. His recruiting class for 2009, before his departure, included a trio of players who would eventually land at Arizona with Miller.

Before becoming the No. 2 overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, Derrick Williams left Tucson following his sophomore yea and after leading the Wildcats to an Elite Eight tournament run. Solomon Hill, now a senior, is one of the leaders of Arizona's current top 25 team and a potential second-round draft pick, while guard Lamont "Momo" Jones -- he transferred to Iona -- is one of the nation's leading scorers at 23.2 points per game.

So perhaps USC's interest in speaking with Floyd is harmless enough, a method of research for planning the school's basketball future.

But until Floyd addresses the issue, there's only going to be speculation that he could bolt El Paso. After all, that meeting with Arizona in 2009 was evidence that he's always been a man who will mull over every opportunity that comes his way.

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