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Silence From Columbia, Horn Appears Safe At USC

Hear that?

It’s the sound of crickets chirping and it’s emanating from Columbia, South Carolina.  After a 2-14, last-place finish in the SEC this season, it was expected that Gamecock coach Darrin Horn would be getting the boot.

If that’s going to happen, there’s no sign of action yet.  And, heck, USC president Harris Pastides blabs about everything.

Horn is under contract to make $1.1 million through the year 2015.  But his buyout is expected to drop from $2 million to $1.25 million in April.  So maybe Carolina is just waiting a few weeks so they can save themselves $750,000.

We think that’s unlikely.  USC would be firing a coach — at the earliest — right smack during the Final Four.  Schools like to can coaches earlier than that, hire their search firms, make under-the-table contacts with prospective coaches, and then meet with those interviewees while at the Final Four site.

If Carolina waits til April to blow up Horn, the Cocks will be slow out of the coach-searching chute.  So as long as silence continues to envelop the Palmetto State, we’re gonna think that Horn’s safe.  Amazingly.

Horn’s four-year basketball record at Carolina is 60-63.  Since a 21-10, NIT season in his first year, Horn has gone 6-10 then 5-11 and now 2-14 in the SEC.  This year’s team was young.  But two league wins and a mausoleum of a new arena would get most coaches canned.

UPDATE — Jay Phillips of WNKT-FM in Columbia tells us Horn’s actual buyout numbers go from $2.4 million  to $1.6 million on April 1st.

So it’s an $800,000 difference, not $750,000 as reported in the piece we linked to. Obviously, that $50,000 difference doesn’t change our thinking on Horn’s status.


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