COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier has almost a half-million more reasons to stay with the Gamecocks.

The university’s board of trustees on Saturday approved a reworked contract that increases Spurrier’s yearly salary to $1.75 million, up from his current package of about $1.25 million. The first coach to lead South Carolina to a bowl in his first two seasons also had his contract extended through the 2012 season.

Spurrier said he hoped the new deal would end speculation he would be anywhere else than South Carolina next season and beyond.

He wanted prospects to know “if you come to South Carolina, you’re going to play for coach Spurrier and his coaches.”

The agreement also increases the buyout Spurrier or the school would pay to terminate the contract from $250,000 per remaining year to $500,000.

Athletic director Eric Hyman had approached Spurrier about putting his deal more in line with other coaches in the Southeastern Conference. The two hoped to handle that in the spring, but rumors of Miami and Alabama showing interest in Spurrier sped up the process, Hyman said.

The Gamecocks finished 7-5 after defeating Clemson 31-28 last week. They’ll find out Sunday which of the SEC bowl games they’ll attend, most likely in the state of Tennessee at the Liberty Bowl in Memphis or the Music City Bowl in Nashville.

AP-ES-12-02-06 1440EST

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