COLUMBIA — South Carolina athletic director Eric Hyman is leaving for the same job at Texas A&M, according to the Houston Chronicle, which cited an anonymous source “with knowledge of the situation.”
Earlier Thursday, multiple reports in Texas said Hyman was a significant candidate for the job.
Texas A&M will officially join the Southeastern Conference on Sunday. The school’s board of regents will meet today and is expected to give president R. Bowen Loftin the go-ahead to work out a deal with Hyman, according to the Chronicle, which reported that Hyman will accept the job “barring a last-minute change of heart.”
“As he has consistently done numerous times over the years, Eric does not comment on those rumors/reports,” a USC spokesman wrote in an email Thursday afternoon.
Hyman, 61, has been at USC since July 2005 and has overseen facilities improvements while helping the athletic department overcome debt issues that he inherited.
He has multiple connections to the state of Texas. Before coming to USC, he worked as the athletic director at Texas Christian from 1997-2005. Hyman’s son and daughter and their spouses live in Fort Worth, where TCU is located. Texas A&M is 170 miles south of Fort Worth.
Hyman graduated from North Carolina and was a candidate for that school’s athletic director job last fall. North Carolina hired Bubba Cunningham.
“I am honored to be considered by my alma mater, North Carolina, but my work here has not been finished and I love being a Gamecock,” Hyman said in a statement last September.
In August, after Hyman’s name was mentioned in connection with the North Carolina and Tennessee jobs, he received a $75,000 raise to about $500,000, but not an extension to his contract, which is set to expire in June 2015.
Texas A&M, which will be USC’s permanent West Division football opponent starting in 2013, is seeking a replacement for Bill Byrne, who retired in May with a year left on his contract. He was reportedly scheduled to make $690,000 in the final year of his deal.
In the seven years since Hyman’s arrival at USC, the school has spent or plans to spend $154 million on facilities improvements, including a new video board for Williams-Brice Stadium ($6.5 million) and a tailgating area across the street from the football stadium ($30.5 million). Both projects are scheduled to be completed by this coming season. In 2009, USC opened its new baseball park, Carolina Stadium, which cost $39.8 million.
If Hyman does leave, possible candidates to replace him might include Georgia Tech athletic director Dan Radakovich and Middle Tennessee State athletic director Chris Massaro.
Radakovich was an associate athletic director at USC from 1994-2000. Massaro worked at USC from 1985-2005, finishing his career in Columbia as a senior associate athletic director.