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February 10, 2012

Horn explains call-in absences



Darrin Horn explained his two-week absence on his call-in radio show on Friday after the station that carries the show, 107.5 The Game, brought up the issue on air.

Brent Johnson, co-host of the station's noon show and the station's operations manager, mentioned at the beginning of Friday's broadcast that he apologized to his listeners for not having Horn on Thursday's airing of "Carolina Calls." He said that Horn had not been on the show for the past two weeks, being replaced by one of his assistant coaches each time, and that he was sorry for broadcasting "Carolina Calls with Darrin Horn" without Darrin Horn.

Horn, asked about it later, explained that he had a pre-planned commitment, which was a Daddy-Daughter dinner at the school of his 11-year-old daughter, Caroline. The fourth-year coach said that the event had been planned for weeks, that he had informed someone in his office of the switch, but that it apparently was not passed on to 107.5.

"I feel bad that it wasn't communicated more properly," Horn said. "There was some breakdown from that standpoint."

Johnson issued a statement to GamecockCentral.com on Friday afternoon.

"The expectation of the fans, advertisers, and 107.5 The Game listeners is "Carolina Calls with Darrin Horn" will feature Coach Horn," the statement read. "At a time when the fans have many legitimate questions to be answered, it is more important than ever for Coach Horn to be available. We pay a substantial amount of money for exclusive Gamecock programming. Coach Horn has missed two consecutive call-in shows and a total of three this year. Should unavoidable conflicts arise, we have the ability to pre-record his segments. We have a great love and respect for the University and consider it an honor to be their flagship station. That being said, we still have a job to do for the fans and take it very seriously."

The issue seemingly arose for a few reasons. One, Horn is contractually obligated to do the show and receives compensation for it. Two, it was the second straight week that Horn missed the show - the last broadcast was on a Tuesday due to the Gamecocks playing on Thursday, Feb. 2, and Horn missed to attend a game with prospective recruits playing in it, which he has missed previous shows to do as well.

The third was the timing. To have two straight weeks without the coach on the show while South Carolina is currently in a 1-8 skid didn't look too good.

But it was a misunderstanding, Horn said.

"I think in the past, I've always missed for recruiting, which I did the week before for a huge game in-state," Horn said. "That really was a coincidence. There's no doubt that my opportunity to communicate with fans and to interact with them, whether that's by radio show or phone calls or out in the public, that's something that's very important to me."

The show is on hiatus this week, due to Thursday's "Carolina Calls" show being a special baseball-only hour to preview the Feb. 17 season-opener. Horn said that he will be there for the next airing of his show, on Feb. 23.

The show is broadcast live at 7 p.m. on Thursday from Wild Wings Café in Columbia's Vista.

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