COLUMBIA -- It being the holiday season, South Carolina's two highest-profile coaches received some good tidings Monday morning from the school's board.
Football coach Steve Spurrier had a year added to his contract, although a raise was not part of the new deal. The Ball Coach is now under contract through 2013.
Basketball coach Darrin Horn received two additional years, and, beginning right away, he'll earn $300,000 more a year.
Horn, 36, will earn $1.1 million a year through the 2014-15 season.
Spurrier, 64, has said he feels the extension is important, primarily for recruiting.
He wants prospects to know he has four years remaining on his contract, a symbol of his commitment to turning USC into a winner.
Two weeks ago, both athletic director Eric Hyman and USC president Harris Pastides publicly recommended the extension for Spurrier, who is 35-27 in five seasons here.
It's no coincidence that the bump came on the heels of South Caro-lina's 34-17 romp against rival Clemson.
Spurrier earns $1.8 million a year.
"The key issue was the extra year," Hyman said, adding that a raise hadn't really been discussed as part of the extension.
Spurrier had said he wanted any money, whatever would've gone into a raise, to be appropriated to his assistant coaches.
The Gamecocks (7-5) will play Connecticut (7-5) in the Jan. 2 Papajohns.com Bowl in Birmingham, Ala.
Hyman said negotiations for Horn's extension and raise began in the offseason. Their busy schedules, Hyman said, prevented the new contract from being presented earlier to the board.
South Carolina, which hosts Richmond on Wednesday night, is 6-2.
"I appreciate the show of support for our program from the board, Dr. Pastides and Eric Hyman," Horn said. "I'm excited about the remainder of this season and the future of Gamecock basketball. I look forward to continuing to build upon the foundation we've laid for this program."
University officials, Hyman included, were left impressed by Horn's first season.
The Gamecocks went 21-10, winning a share of their SEC division and narrowly missing the school's first NCAA berth since 2004.
More, Hyman said he liked Horn's overall vision for the program -- something Horn is consistently talking about during media junkets.
"His accomplishments merited the adjustments we made in his contract," Hyman said.
Additionally, Horn was very near the bottom of the league's salaries. The raise at least makes his income comparable to many of the SEC's coaches.
Horn's buyout clause was also amended. Notably, if Horn leaves early for another job, he'll owe twice as much (or a little more) for the next three years.
If he left after this season, he would owe $2.5 million (compared to $1.25 million in the old contract). If he left after next season, he would owe $2 million (compared to $800,000 before). If Horn left after the 2011-12 season, he would owe $1.25 million (compared to $600,000).
The number falls after 2012, but the contract could certainly be renegotiated by that point in time.
Of course, all this is designed so that the Gamecocks can keep Horn for an extended period, preventing the school from losing him to a bigger program.
But Horn has professed the desire to make South Carolina that type of program.
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