By now everyone has heard the news.
Darrin Horn has been fired from his position as head coach of the South Carolina Gamecocks. A disappointing SEC record, continued under-development of players and lack of fan support were all part of the driving cause that led athletic director Eric Hyman to recommend that Darrin Horn be let go from his position.
Eric Hyman just finished up his press conference with the media and here are a few comments that I gathered from Hyman during today's press conference:
- Hyman praised Darrin Horn for his commitment to academic success. Horn leaves the basketball team in much better shape than when he inherited it.
- He also mentioned that the team had great character and this was in direct relation to Darrin Horn. This was a good group of young men that went about things the right way.
- Hyman talked about wanting his programs to be nationally prominent and to compete for championships. He mentioned the football, baseball and women's basketball teams as examples.
- He did say that there was no positive vibe coming from the program and there was no hope. He had to take this program in a different direction.
- Hyman did say that he had to "swallow" the $2.4 million dollar buyout that Horn will receive since he was fired before April 1st. The athletic department has created a reserve fund of over $12 million dollars to help offset the cost of the buyout.
- Eric Hyman said he talked to the players this morning and asked them what did they want in a head coach. He also told them that life is full of experiences and the successful people learn from them.
- The timeframe for the hire will take as long as needed according to Hyman. They also will try to move in an expedited fashion as well but will take their time. There is no firm that will help with the search of a new coach. Hyman didn't use one last time around and has some people outside the program who will help in the search.
- He did mention that he would like the media to not have reports where they mentioned "my sources tell me..." as to not limit the university in the individuals that they can go after for the men's coaching position.
- Money won't be an issue for the next coach so expect USC to open up the pocketbooks for the hire. He also mentioned that pay will be driven by the marketplace for the new coach.
- Hyman wants a strong recruiter, player developer and someone with connections to the state of South Carolina.
Here's a statement that was on a release before press conference this afternoon:
"This was a very difficult decision. Darrin has done a good job in areas in which we place great value. Under his leadership our academics have improved immensely, he has run a program of integrity and his student-athletes have represented the university and department appropriately. However, we could not overlook other factors that led to this decision. In the world of college athletics, wins and losses and being competitive in the SEC had to be considered. Recruiting, player development and diminishing fan support also was considered when making a decision like this."
"Our goal for our men's basketball program is the same as all of our athletics programs at South Carolina - to be a nationally-prominent program that battles for championships. "With that in mind, we will begin a national search immediately to find the very best coach possible for the University of South Carolina."
Finally, here's a statement from Darrin Horn on his firing from the University of South Carolina:
"First and foremost, I'd like to thank Eric Hyman, Dr. Pastides and the Board of Trustees for the opportunity I've had as the head men's basketball coach at South Carolina for the past four years. I appreciate the Gamecock Nation for its support of the program. My family and I have thoroughly enjoyed our time in Columbia and wish nothing but the best for the Gamecocks."