C of C should pay Wojcik and move on

College of Charleston head coach Doug Wojcik. (Wade Spees/postandcourier.com)

Overtime is one of the best things about college basketball, unless it's the College of Charleston threatening to enter a third week of the Doug Wojcik mess without resolution or significant comment.

Which is why we don't hear venerable ESPN analyst Dick Vitale joyously shouting "OT, baby!"

The school, wedged between a rock and a difficult-negotiating place, should free its reputation and fans from double-OT embarrassment and pay Wojcik to go away - even if it takes the full $1.2 million left on his contract.

It's a tough check to write, particularly eight years after the College of Charleston sent Tom Herrion packing with $787,000.

An unfortunate series of events adds up to a seven-figure stomach ache.

The College of Charleston academic and athletic brands acquire mud as the school suffers nationally from name association with its head basketball coach. Wojcik is the subject of a scathing 50-page investigative report financed by the school and obtained by The Post and Courier on July 3. It says Wojcik crossed the line with dozens of examples of personal bullying and verbal blasts directed at players and staff.

Having read the report, athletic director Joe Hull met with players on June 30 and told them he was firing Wojcik.

But outgoing president George Benson overruled Hull, deciding that Wojcik should be suspended without $33,000 in pay for the month of August and get counseling sessions.

It was probably one of the costliest mistakes in College of Charleston history.

After hiring an outside attorney to investigate player charges going back two years, after compiling a convincing case for firing Wojcik with cause, Benson allowed Wojcik to accept a wrist slap.

Scott Tompsett, Wojcik's smart Kansas City-based attorney, knows leverage when he sees it. Tompsett for 20 years has represented coaches, schools and players in NCAA infractions cases.

"Coach Wojcik cooperated with the College's investigation and he accepted the College's sanctions," he said in a statement.

No doubt, Tompsett and Wojcik are fighting for every penny of that $1.2 million while College of Charleston attorneys ponder new buyout tactics, hoping for more of a Tom Herrion-like figure.

Obviously, Wojcik cannot coach the Cougars in the 2014-2015 season, and not because he's a mere 38-29 in two years. Even if returning players might be convinced to play for a coach almost all of them hammered in the report, the dwindling fan base will not support a program run by a coach the school has publicly trashed over 50 pages.

So pay the $1.2 million, or some sum, and do the right thing. Or get out of big-boy and big-girl college athletics where big-money commitment is required and drop down to Division II.

So why is it taking so long?

Experienced sports decision-makers are scarce.

College of Charleston President Glenn McConnell, on the job only since last week, is still getting to know the names of his administrative assistants.

Athletic Director Joe Hull is possibly a lame duck, but no one at the College of Charleston will comment.

Any school is understandably reluctant to part with a parting gift almost equal to its $1.55 athletic department deficit (as reported by USA Today from 2013 figures).

But all involved can come out of this in decent shape.

McConnell can make friends on many levels by hiring former College of Charleston and NBA guard Anthony Johnson as head coach.

The College of Charleston can make up some of the Wojcik buyout with increased ticket and concession sales plus more Cougar Club memberships.

Wojcik, 50, can get the counseling he needs and find another job in basketball.

If Hull is let go anytime soon, he will land on his feet with a new opening line on his resume: "Advised College of Charleston to whack Wojcik."

And the NCAA benefits, too. It will get to replace Wojcik with someone else on its Division I men's basketball Ethics Coalition.

Follow Gene Sapakoff on Twitter @sapakoff