Joe Castiglione has a major decision to make and the quicker he makes it the easier the decision will be for Jeff Capel to stay in Norman will be. Anyone who doesn't think South Carolina is going to come hard after Capel with lots of money is foolish and anyone who feels that Capel will stay in Norman just because this is Oklahoma is just stubborn.
Capel made $750,000 this last year at Oklahoma and South Carolina's offer could come in around twice that much. Castiglione's offer not only needs to be quick but it also needs to be significant. I don't necessarily think that he needs to bring $1.5 million to the table but he does need to bump Capel up from being one of the lowest paid coaches in the conference. South Carolina needs to offer a boatload of cash because they fall way short in the area of basketball tradition. OU may be a football school but stacked up against USC they are abundantly richer in basketball tradition. However, what South Carolina does have going for them is that it is a lot closer to home for the Capel family than Oklahoma.
What Oklahoma does have in its favor is that Capel likes it her and while a raise is necessary because of his performance it also necessary to keep him. In a television interview Sunday night Capel said that his first choice is OU.
"Hopefully it doesn't get to that," Capel said in an interview that aired on KWTV-9 Sunday night. "Hopefully we can work something out here at Oklahoma. This is where I want to be."
So does "working something out" entail a better contract?
"Sure," he said with a laugh. "Yeah."
So now it becomes a question of simple economics. Can OU afford to give Jeff Capel a raise and does he deserve it? The answers are yes and yes. While the taste of the Louisville defeat is still in our mouths it's a bittersweet taste because the OU basketball team that was supposed to finish 6th in the league actually placed 4th and not only did they qualify for the NCAA tournament but they advanced to the second round. Does anyone else remember how void of talent this team was when Capel first arrrived in Norman? Because of the Sampson fiasco OU lost prized recruits Scottie Reynolds and Damion James but only two seasons later Capel would have the Sooners in the second round of the Big Dance. In case you are scoring at home that's quicker than Kelvin Sampson did it.
If OU comes out in the near future and offers Capel a contract extension with a significant raise and an annuity clause for longevity then the South Carolina talk will fade away quickly.