UPDATE, 2 p.m. ET Nov. 15
South Carolina athletic director Ray Tanner issued a statement Friday that expressed support for head coach Will Muschamp in the wake of the comments made by school president Robert Caslen.
"Today, I want to make it clear that Will Muschamp is our football coach and will be our coach going forward," Tanner said in a statement. "President Caslen and I are fully supportive of his leadership and his development of student-athletes on and off the field. Coach Muschamp and our staff are dedicated to the success of Gamecock football. They have built a program where our team plays for each other and for our University, and they deserve our support. While we wish the outcome of some of our games would have been different, we are excited about the future of our program."
The original story from Wednesday is below.
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South Carolina coach Will Muschamp doesn’t have to worry about his job status over the final two games of the Gamecocks’ season. But will he need to start worrying once the season concludes?
School president Robert Caslen told the Greenville News in an interview Tuesday that Muschamp would be the team’s coach “through the end of the season.” After that, Caslen said, Muschamp would be evaluated like any other coach in the athletic department.
"Coach Muschamp is my coach. That's the message. He will be my coach through the end of the season," Caslen said. “And then, just like any other coach that's out there, whether it's a soccer coach, whether it's the equestrian coach, whatever, they're going to do an end-of-year assessment, the athletic director does. Then, we'll see what’s up.”
South Carolina is 4-6 in 2019 after a loss to Appalachian State on Saturday. The Gamecocks need wins over Texas A&M and Clemson to get to 6-6 and bowl eligibility. While an A&M win would be an upset but not anything crazy, a Clemson win is bordering on improbability.
Would a 5-7 season lead South Carolina to make a coaching change? A losing season would lead to the first non-bowl season of Muschamp’s four-year tenure and just the second losing season overall in those four years. One SEC school, Arkansas, has already made a coaching change. Florida State has already fired Willie Taggart as well.
Muschamp said Sunday night that the school’s administration has been “supportive” and called the 2019 season “frustrating.”
Muschamp has a massive buyout
If Muschamp would get fired he would become an even more incredibly rich man. Muschamp’s buyout is $19 million after he signed a contract extension with the school at the end of the 2018 season. That number varies slightly depending on the timing of a dismissal. But it’s still in the vicinity of $19 million either way.
Caslen wasn’t the school’s president when Muschamp signed that extension less than a year ago. He came to South Carolina this summer. But he also understands how massive Muschamp’s buyout is. He told the paper that he could build a parking garage or make stadium renovations with the amount of money that it would take to terminate Muschamp’s contract.
Could infrastructure win out over a new football coach once the calendar turns to December? We’ll find out soon enough.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports
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