South Carolina president Robert Caslen backs coach Will Muschamp, erred in buyout talks

South Carolina president Robert Caslen issued a statement on Wednesday in which he clarified his remarks from earlier this week that suggested the Gamecocks were at least exploring whether to buy out football coach Will Muschamp's contract.

In his latest comments, Caslen said he and South Carolina athletics director Ray Tanner supported Muschamp and "look forward to him being our coach next year and for seasons to come."

The Gamecocks are 4-7 going into their regular-season finale against No. 3 Clemson on Nov. 30 (noon ET, ESPN). Muschamp, in his fourth season, has a 26-24 record with the school.

On Friday, Tanner offered a statement of support for Muschamp, saying, "Today, I want to make it clear that Will Muschamp is our football coach and will be our coach going forward."

During an interview with the Morning News in Florence, South Carolina, Caslen suggested on Monday that Tanner had at least explored how the Gamecocks might be able to buy out the rest of Muschamp's contract, which would cost close to $19 million.

Caslen told the Morning News that Tanner had contacted Florida State officials after they fired football coach Willie Taggart earlier this month. The Seminoles owed Taggart about $18 million.

On Monday night, Caslen issued a statement that said: "Let me set the record straight: Athletics Director Ray Tanner did not speak with anyone at Florida State University about coaching contracts."

In a statement released by the university on Wednesday, Caslen said, "Earlier this week, I had a lengthy conversation with reporters and editors from the Florence Morning News about our university and the importance of keeping it affordable and accessible to the people of South Carolina. In the course of that interview, I was asked several questions about the football program, including one about Coach Muschamp that I misinterpreted.

"I misspoke and the mistake was mine, and I apologize for any confusion my comments have created with Gamecock fans and our program. Our Athletic Director and I support Will Muschamp, and we look forward to him being our coach next year and for seasons to come."