Clemson coach agrees to extension

Clemson coach Oliver Purnell has agreed to a two-year contract extension that will keep him with the Tigers through 2016 -- and keep him the school's highest-paid coach.


Though the deal hasn't been signed, Purnell and athletic director Terry Don Phillips have signed a memorandum of understanding dated June 1 that outlines the package.

Purnell's base salary jumped $50,000 a year to $275,000. His supplemental income improved to $1.075 million each year, up from $775,000 guaranteed in a two-year extension agreed to in 2008.

Purnell will also receive deferred compensation of $250,000 a year in 2015 and 2016, money he would receive unless he left the school voluntarily or was fired for cause.

The Tigers coach would owe the school $250,000 if he left after April 30 for another Division I head coaching job. That amount would increase by $250,000 each year until reaching $1.5 million should Purnell depart for a Division I job after April 30, 2015.

Purnell, who arrived in 2003-04, has gradually turned Clemson into one of the Atlantic Coast Conference's stronger programs, improving the team's winning percentage each of the past five years.

The Tigers have gone 25-11, 24-10 and 23-9 the past three seasons, the school's longest streak of 20-win seasons.

The next few seasons could continue Purnell's run. Star forward Trevor Booker chose to return for his senior season in 2009-10 instead of exploring the NBA Draft. The Tigers' latest group of recruits includes perhaps Purnell's top signee in Milton Jennings and with Booker's equally talented younger brother, Devin.

Purnell will have to make up for the loss of senior K.C. Rivers, the team's top scorer for two of his four seasons, and Terrence Oglesby, a 3-point shooting specialist who decided to play professionally in Europe.

SOUTH CAROLINA: Former Maryland guard Marah Strickland has joined South Carolina and coach Dawn Staley. She must sit out next season because of NCAA rules, but will have two years of eligibility with the Gamecocks.

Strickland started 59 of 70 games at Mary-land. She ranked in the top 10 in the Atlantic Coast Conference in three-point field goal percentage and in 3-pointers made per game last season.

- South Carolina is getting $48,000 from the NCAA to promote the growth of women's basketball. South Carolina was among 18 schools or conferences that will receive about $750,000 as part of the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Grant Program.



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