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February 10, 2012

Price of success: New deals approved



South Carolina athletics director Eric Hyman describes it as the financial cost of doing business - and remaining competitive - in the Southeastern Conference, the powerful and influential Division I league in the country.

Membership has its privileges, but comes with a heavy price tag attached.

Whatever you call it, the salaries for SEC head football coaches and, just as important, assistant coaches isn't decreasing anytime soon.

South Carolina will pay Steve Spurrier and nine assistant coaches a total of $5.725 million in 2012 and $5.865 million in 2013 under new contracts unanimously approved Friday afternoon by the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees.

Last year, five assistants made less than $200,000 per year. That number will dip to four in 2012 and then to two in 2013.

Four assistants are set to earn $300,000 or more in 2012, five in 2013.

Hyman maintained Spurrier and his staff have earned their escalating salaries.

"It's a marketplace issue," Hyman told a small group of reporters Friday after the deals for Spurrier, four current assistant coaches and four new assistants were given the thumbs-up by the Board. "Our football program generates about 71 percent or our revenue, and it may be a little higher. The football program here has been spectacular. We've won 20 games the last two years. Look at what South Carolina has achieved and all the firsts they have accomplished."

Spurrier, who received a two-year extension through the 2015 season in December, was given a $425,000 raise to $3.3 million annually in guaranteed compensation by the Executive Committee.

His base salary was increased to $350,000, while he will receive $2.95 million in TV/radio/apparel income for the next four seasons. The latter figure will be paid to Spurrier in nine installments - five payments totaling $1.668 million during football season (Aug. 1 to Dec. 1) and four payments totaling $1.283 million spread throughout the year.

"We are fully aware of what is taking place in the marketplace and have made some contract adjustments accordingly," Hyman said in a press release.

Spurrier will earn a $100,000 bonus if USC appears in the Capital One Bowl, Cotton Bowl, Chick-fil-A Bowl, Outback Bowl or BCS Bowl, and $50,000 for any other bowl.

He also gets a $50,000 bonus if USC wins nine games, $100,000 if USC wins 10 games, $200,000 if USC wins 11 games and $300,000 in any year USC wins 12 or more games.

Spurrier was set to earn $2.875 million in 2012 and $2.95 million for the succeeding three seasons (2013-15).

Six weeks ago, Spurrier collected a $1 million "longevity" bonus from the school for remaining as head coach through the 2011 season under the terms of a 2008 agreement with the Board.

Spurrier is 55-35 in his seven seasons to rank second on USC's all-time wins list. He needs nine victories to equal the school record of 64 wins held by Rex Enright. He is also third in games coached at USC behind Enright (140) and Paul Dietzel (96), and needs three wins to reach the career 200-win plateau.

"Coach Spurrier is very reasonable and very fair," Hyman said. "I tip my hat to him. The program is certainly headed in the right direction. He is so excited about trying to achieve things that have never been achieved here at South Carolina."

New defensive head Lorenzo Ward was awarded salaries of $550,000 and $575,000 for the next two years. He was promoted to his current position in late December when former Assistant Head Coach for Defense Ellis Johnson left to take the head coaching job at Southern Miss.

Ward earned $280,000 in 2011, so he will see his salary almost double, though he will be paid $150,000 less per year than Johnson.

Offensive line coach/run game coordinator Shawn Elliott, defensive line coach Brad Lawing and wide receivers coach Steve Spurrier, Jr. will earn $300,000 each in 2012 and $315,000 in 2013.

Elliott earned $185,000 in 2011, meaning he was awarded a raise of $115,000 for the upcoming season.

The lone USC assistant coach from the 2011 season who will not be awarded a raise is quarterbacks coach G.A. Mangus. His salary was frozen at $175,000 in late July for one year in the wake of his arrest last summer in Greenville for nuisance conduct. Mangus also forfeited a month's salary as well.

Mangus is theoretically eligible to receive a raise in six months. However, in USC's Response to the NCAA's Notice of Allegations, the school stated Mangus would be prohibited from collecting any salary bonuses during the 2012-13 academic year (thus, he could not receive a bowl bonus, for example) and "will not receive any salary increase for the 2013-2014 academic year" because of his connection to the SAM Foundation.

The Executive Committee also approved contracts for the four new assistants hired by Spurrier since the conclusion of the historic 2011 season.

Secondary coach Grady Brown will be paid $150,000 in 2012 and $170,000 in the following season, while linebackers coach Kirk Botkin gets $185,000 for 2012 and $200,000 in 2013.

The highest paid newcomer is special teams coordinator/tight ends coach Joe Robinson, who will be paid $280,000 in 2012 and $300,000 in 2013. Running backs coach Everette Sands will make $185,000 in 2012 and $200,000 in 2013.

"We have an excellent group of coaches here that can really coach, recruit and represent the University of South Carolina in a first class manner," Spurrier said in a press release.

All nine assistant coaches were given two-year contracts, a change from past policy when an assistant was required to hold a coordinator title in order to receive a multi-year contract, and will earn $30,000 if USC reaches a BCS bowl game.

"That's what Steve asked for and we were able to accommodate him," Hyman said. "That's what he wanted for his coaches. We are extremely pleased that our program has been very competitive and are supportive of Coach Spurrier's request to give his assistants multi-year contracts."

Each contract for the nine assistants expires on Jan. 31, 2014.

Head baseball coach Ray Tanner was financially rewarded by the Board for winning another national championship last June with a new deal that pays him $650,000 yearly in guaranteed income, an increase of $140,000 per annum.

"He is compensated among the top coaches in the country," Hyman said. "Look at the program and what they've achieved. The university has made a tremendous commitment to the baseball program."

Moreover, Tanner will be paid the sum of $56,000 annually on or before June 30 of each year on the contract that he is employed as USC head baseball coach.

Tanner's contract was extended one season through 2016, and he has been bestowed the title of special advisor to the president for community relations. General counsel Terry Parham told the Board the newly created position "would not in any way detract from his primary focus to continue to be the best baseball coach in the country."

"He is so good about reaching out into the community," Hyman said. "This just recognizes him for the service he has provided for the state of South Carolina."

Tanner and USC begin defense of their back-to-back national championships in seven days when the Gamecocks face VMI on Feb. 17 at Carolina Stadium.

Finally, USC softball coach Beverly Smith ($106,600) and men's soccer coach Mark Berson ($100,000) had their contracts extended through 2015 and substantially amended through a potpourri of incentive clauses.

2012 USC Football Coaches Salaries:
Steve Spurrier - $3.3 million ($2.88 million)
Lorenzo Ward - $550,000 (280,000)
Brad Lawing - $300,000 (250,000)
Steve Spurrier Jr. - $300,000 (225,000)
Shawn Elliott - $300,000 (185,000)
Joe Robinson - $280,000
Kirk Botkin - $185,000
Everette Sands - $185,000
G.A. Mangus - $175,000*
Grady Brown - $150,000

(2011 salaries in parantheses)

2013 USC Football Coaches Salaries:
Steve Spurrier - $3.3 million
Lorenzo Ward - $575,000
Brad Lawing - $315,000
Steve Spurrier Jr. - $315,000
Shawn Elliott - $315,000
Joe Robinson - $300,000
Kirk Botkin - $200,000
Everette Sands - $200,000
G.A. Mangus - $175,000*
Grady Brown - $170,000

Note: Salary for G.A. Mangus is frozen at the current level until July of 2012.

Just because SIGNING DAY is over doesn't mean our coverage of the
big day stops. We have more analysis of USC's 2012 signing class, plus
all of our normal content on GamecockCentral.com. Don't miss a thing
with our 7-day FREE TRIAL.

D. McCallum


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