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South Carolina, Boynton’s Alma Mater, Has Coaching Vacancy

Boynton’s buyout could make it difficult for programs to try to poach him.



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

Update: USA Today and The Athletic’s Seth Davis report that Boynton’s buyout would be $13.5 million, contradicting some reports (and our math) that put Boynton’s buyout at $9.45 million. We think this has something to do with bonuses.

For the first time since Mike Boynton has been a head coach, South Carolina has a coaching vacancy.

South Carolina fired Frank Martin on Monday. Martin had run the program for 10 years. It’s relevant because Boynton played for the Gamecocks from 2000 to 2004 before also spending time in Columbia as an assistant. This time of year, links to coaches and vacancies are commonplace. It’s a part of the news cycle. Boynton got mentioned for LSU’s opening on Sunday (a program with more NCAA issues than OSU). But South Carolina having such a personal tie with Boynton will likely have some Oklahoma State fans sweating.

The link sounds good on paper, but whether Boynton wants South Carolina or South Carolina wants Boynton remains to be seen. What OSU fans can find solace in is that it’s significantly harder (more expensive) for any program to swipe OSU’s coach this offseason than it was last offseason.

Last April, Boynton signed a seven-year extension with OSU that pays him $2.1 million annually. According to The Oklahoman, if Boynton leaves OSU within three seasons of signing that contract, he would owe 75% of it, which this offseason would be $9.45 million*. So, paying for Boynton would cost the Gamecocks that plus whatever his salary would be.

South Carolina paid Martin $3.2 million annually, according to USA Today, which is in the middle of the pack for SEC programs.

There are a few ways to look at it. One, you could argue that if South Carolina could find a donor to eat the buyout, Boynton could get a pay raise at his alma mater. But, Martin (288-201 as a head coach) is a veteran coach who took the Gamecocks to the Final Four in 2017. Would Boynton (87-73), still young in the head coaching game, be able to demand as much money? That’s for someone somewhere else to decide.

A young, hungry coach with the recruiting ability Boynton possesses will always be a name to watch during coaching carousel season. This one feels more like a possibility given it is Boynton’s alma mater, but overall, OSU did a solid job in protecting itself logistically for potential suitors trying to poach its up-and-coming coach.

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