South Carolina AD Ray Tanner attempted to close the book on speculation that Will Muschamp will be fired when he released this statement on Friday:
“Today I want to make it clear that Will Muschamp is our football coach and will be out coach going forward. 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.”
U of SC president Bob Caslen then opened that book and put highlighters up and down the text on Monday, when he spoke to the Florence Morning News and said he and Tanner want Muschamp back, but a bad loss to South Carolina could spark a conversation. Oh, and he also said that he hadn't spoken with Florida State about how the school managed Willie Taggart's near $20 million buyout, similar to Muschamp's $19 million figure, but...
“No, but our athletic director (Ray Tanner) has,” Caslen told SC Now. “And they’ve got a whole lot more money in their athletic endowment than we do. I know that, for a fact.”
As far as reassuring statements go, it was a bit like telling the police you didn't kill your missing neighbor, but they shouldn't look in your basement.
On Wednesday, Caslen had to do clean up with this statement.
Here's a live shot of South Carolina's board of trustees meeting with Caslen after his assistant hit "send" on that email:
It's hard to take Caslen's "I misspoke" explanation seriously given, not only had Tanner spoken with Florida State, but Caslen seemed pretty certain Florida State has more money than South Carolina, according to Caslen's own research.
Still, given the specificity of the final sentence in Caslen's statement, it finally seems Muschamp is indeed safe to return to Columbia in 2020. That is, until Caslen talks again.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.