UTEP coach Tim Floyd demands radio host puts respec on his name

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UTEP coach Tim Floyd demands radio host puts respec on his name

(Skip to the 18-22 minute mark)

Give UTEP coach Tim Floyd this: He found himself a sure-fire way to land a national college basketball headline in the middle of May.

Floyd held something of a seemingly random offseason press conference on Tuesday. After watching the video above, you'll see it wasn't so random, though. Floyd's motive for the presser is clear. The six-year UTEP coach is unhappy with some local media coverage of the team, and in particular, after watching the video, it's obvious Floyd wanted a public forum to argue with a specific member of the local media. The target is a radio host named Steve Kaplowitz. Over the course of nearly 30 minutes, Floyd took aim at Kaplowitz, calling him "irresponsible" a number of times.

The impetus for this blow-up is catalyzed by two factors: UTEP has yet to make an NCAA Tournament under Floyd, and now the school is undergoing transfer spate, losing four players, three of them to transfer to other schools, according to's transfer tracker.

The rant began, really, when Floyd started to mention how many other teams in the league lost numerous players to transfer. However, the video above is cued to start where the tête-à-tête begins. Floyd is asked why he thinks so many transfers are happening in college basketball. He immediately turns the question back around on Kaplowitz.

"It's the culture of the milennial that we're all dealing with," Floyd said. "It's not just in college basketball. It's in the workplace. The average millenial has five jobs within the first three years of graduation."

Kaplowitz then opts to air some private grievances, as he calls Floyd out for not returning his calls and texts.

"I don't respond to journalists who just throw things out, throw things against the wall and hope it sticks," Floyd said. "In my opinion, you don't know what the hell you're talking about."

Floyd then recites a bunch of transfer numbers, including a referenced stat that there were seven schools -- just seven -- that did not have a transfer amid or after the 2014-15 season.

Here's the climax of the confronation:

FLOYD: "It's complete fiction what's coming out of his mouth."

KAPLOWITZ: [Non-verbally reacts off-camera]

FLOYD: "Don't shake your head -- you know I'm dead-ass right."

KAPLOWITZ: "That's wrong and you're classless for saying that in front of the media."

[Both shouting over each other]

FLOYD: "Your show is fiction."

KAPLOWITZ: "How about all the folks in El Paso? How about all the fans, all the season ticket holders that are upset, that they've been upset with the lack of results over the last six years, and they're tired of not going to the postseason. They're tired of not going to the NCAA Tournament. How about that?"

FLOYD: "We were in the NIT a year ago."

KAPLOWITZ: "Yeah that really means a lot to El Paso right now."

FLOYD: "Is that right?"


FLOYD: "We lost four starters, we didn't quite get there this year."

KAPLOWITZ: "So every year it's gonna be the same thing, coach? Every year? Is that how it's going to be?"

FLOYD: "Is that right? If you're upset about us not wininng agames and want me fired because of not winning games, that's your prerogative."

From there the argument continues on the merits of sports-talk radio, with Kaplowitz defending his show and fighting back against UTEP "feeding" stories to other media outlets. Floyd eventually makes his way back to Kaplowitz and the nature of his radio show. Kaplowitz asks Floyd, "Do you believe everything you hear?" to which Floyd replies "You're damn right I do. From everyone but you."

After the drama went down, Kaplowitz briefly wrote on the confrontation. Here's an excerpt:

Coach Floyd made things personal today and took aim at me for the way we have handled the roster merry-go-round at UTEP. Sadly, he believes that I am the root of the problem since Sportstalk has been “misinforming” the public all this time. Despite everything that was said about me earlier today, my stance on Tim Floyd and the UTEP men’s basketball program has not changed. I endorsed him more than six years ago when he was hired and believed that he was the right man for the job. Many people have been patient with Coach Floyd and still see him as the man to turn around the program. They just need to accept the fact that each year, it gets tougher and tougher to keep players happy on a roster, and some will not stick around with hopes to get more playing time. That, coupled with playing in C-USA each year, has made advancing to the NCAA Tournament a long shot each year for Miner fans.

From a national perspective, UTEP is far from what it once was, but that's also due to the fact that Conference USA -- the Miners' league -- isn't the power it once was either. Floyd also makes a valid point in that C-USA is in the unfortunate sweet spot (if you want to call it such) in that it's right in the middle for the transfer market. The best C-USA players capture the attention of major-conference programs, while others with potential who aren't meeting their ceiling get deftly courted by low-major schools who can promise much more attention and playing time.

All in all, it's not a great look for Floyd, even if the frustration is understandable. He knew it wasn't a great look either, but even if his emotions got the best of him, it's clear he had an intention heading into Tuesday's presser.

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