This is what a snafu sounds like… well, except in Columbia, South Carolina, where it merely sounds like business as usual.
University of South Carolina President Robert Caslen said Monday he has not asked Florida State how it came up with money to fire football coach Willie Taggart earlier this month and pay him a buyout worth a little more than $18 million.
“No, but our athletic director (Ray Tanner) has,” Caslen said during an interview session at the Morning News. “And they’ve got a whole lot more money in their athletic endowment than we do. I know that, for a fact.
“Listen, for the record, (South Carolina football coach Will Muschamp) is my coach, period. And he’ll remain my coach, just for the record. If you look at the athletic director’s statement (Saturday, supporting Muschamp before his team’s 30-6 loss to Texas A&M), that’s the same that I endorse.”
Several hours later…
Okay, cool. But what about this?
Caslen, the university’s president since August, was then asked what Muschamp’s fate would be if Clemson wins by a large margin on Nov. 30 at Williams-Brice Stadium.
“If we’re totally imploding and no one shows up, I’d say we’ll have a discussion,” Caslen said. “But there’s no desire intended to make a change.”
“Coach Muschamp is my coach. That’s the message. He will be my coach through the end of the season,” The Greenville News attributed to Caslen. “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.”
Caslen, on Monday, then gave his version of what happened.
“I did not say that,” Caslen said. “Those were three-minute-apart statements. I said, ‘Coach is my coach.’ Three minutes later, we had a discussion about what happens at the end of every athletic team’s season. A common practice that has gone on forever is that you assess. Frankly, I’m assessing my role: How can I as the president help his program? I have leadership responsibilities, too. Season assessment is important.
“You take THAT statement, and you take the statement, ‘He’s my coach until the end of the season,’ and then they twisted my words, and it … me off to no end. How clear can I make it? He’s my coach. He’s the university’s coach. And the statement by Ray Tanner last week is the same that I support 100 percent.”
Dude sure seems to contradict himself. A lot. Maybe he’s just confused, which is understandable at South Carolina.
Then he gets profound.
Earlier in the interview, Caslen referred to South Carolina’s 20-17 upset over Georgia, now the nation’s fourth-ranked team.
“That just shows we have the potential to be halfway decent,” Caslen said.
That may be the best mashup of Will Muschamp’s career and South Carolina’s place in the world you’ll ever see. It’s inspiring.
By all means, keep Boom. Hell, sign him to an extension while you can. Y’all clearly deserve each other.
UPDATE: Yep, this is going well.
They must not teach the First Rule of Holes at South Carolina.