Rick Majerus backed out of a deal to become USC's basketball coach days after his hiring, and will stay at ESPN as a college basketball analyst. "Rick expressed to us that he had...

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NEW YORK — Rick Majerus backed out of a deal to become USC’s basketball coach days after his hiring, and will stay at ESPN as a college basketball analyst.


“Rick expressed to us that he had a change of heart and wondered if the possibility still existed for him to work for ESPN. And it does,” ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz said last night. “We told him he could (return).”


Majerus, who cited health reasons when he retired in January after 15 seasons as Utah’s coach, was announced as the Trojans’ incoming coach Wednesday.


He was to assume the post April 1.


“We plan to meet with Rick on Monday,” USC athletic director Mike Garrett said in a statement. “Until then, there’s really nothing we can say.”


Through March, Majerus was supposed to serve on the USC staff and work on recruiting, filling the assistant’s job vacated when Jim Saia was promoted to interim coach after Henry Bibby’s firing.


At a news conference after his hiring, the 56-year-old Majerus said he wasn’t worried about his health.


“My health is good or I wouldn’t do this,” he said. “Both my doctors encouraged me to do it. I wouldn’t put anyone, least of all myself, in harm’s way.”