COLUMBIA, S.C. — After USC President Bob Caslen made a statement about the future of football coach Will Muschamp, a statement from Caslen has been released from the University of South Carolina.
The statement reads:
"Earlier this week, I had a lengthy conversation with reporters and editors from the Florence Morning News about our university and the importance of keeping it affordable and accessible to the people of South Carolina. In the course of that interview, I was asked several questions about the football program, including one about Coach Muschamp that I misinterpreted. I misspoke and the mistake was mine, and I apologize for any confusion my comments have created with Gamecock fans or our program. Our Athletic Director and I support Will Muschamp, and we look forward to him being our coach next year and for seasons to come."
Caslen was asked during a visit to the Florence Morning News if he had talked to Florida State officials about how they had managed to come up with the $18 million dollars needed for the buyout of former head football coach Willie Taggart.
According to the article by Scott Chancey of the Florence Morning News, Caslen responded to the question by saying "No, but our AD has. And they’ve got a whole lot more money in their athletic endowment than we do. I know that, for a fact."
Caslen also referred to the Friday statement put out by USC athletics director Ray Tanner supporting Muschamp.
"Listen, for the record, (Gamecock head 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, that’s the same that I endorse," Caslen told the Pee Dee-based newspaper.
Last week, Caslen spoke on the record at a visit to The Greenville News. He disputed the tone of the article which quoted him saying "Coach Muschamp is my coach. That's the message. He will be my coach through the end of the season.
"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 said those were two separate statements which woven together gave the impression that he was only committed to Muschamp through the end of the season. Caslen said he is committed to Muschamp and he backed up Ray Tanner's Friday statement giving Muschamp a vote of confidence.