Cleveland State University fired basketball coach Kevin Mackey yesterday, two days after he admitted to cocaine and alcohol problems.
"I fired Kevin Mackey, but really he fired himself," university president John Flower said at a news conference. Flower said Mackey's behavior had "made a mockery" of ethical and moral standards.
Mackey was arrested Friday night as he drove away from a reputed drug house. A urine test showed he had .20 of a gram of alcohol per 100 milliliters of urine, above the legal limit of 0.14 of a gram. The test also showed cocaine in his system. At a news conference Tuesday, Mackey called his problems with drugs and drinking a "descent into hell."
He said he soon will enter the John Lucas New Spirit Recovery Center in Houston.
Mackey, 43, was hired as Cleveland State's coach in 1983, after he had served as an assistant at Boston College since 1977. Under Mackey, the Vikings went 14-16 in 1983-84, then recorded more than 20 wins each of the next four seasons.
The program has been on NCAA probation the past two years for recruiting violations that included improper attempts to land Manute Bol. Mackey last week signed a two-year contract with base salaries of $85,000 and $90,000. Endorsements and other outside income were expected to nearly double the base pay.
The contract has been voided, although university senior vice president Jan P. Muczyk said Mackey may be entitled to some money.
"Kevin Mackey's contract did not have a morals clause in it, per se," Muczyk said. "Behavior that disgraces the university is adequate grounds for voiding a contract."
Mackey's top assistant, Eric Shanaberger, was let go July 1 amid financial irregularities, according to Cleveland's WJW-TV. It reported that Shanaberger had his travel and phone accounts audited by the university over questions of financial improprieties.