With finances improving, SC State athletics is still examining e - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

With finances improving, SC State athletics is still examining everything - including football

It's decision time in Orangeburg. Buddy Pough's roamed the sidelines as SC State's leading man for 16 football seasons. (Source: WIS) It's decision time in Orangeburg. Buddy Pough's roamed the sidelines as SC State's leading man for 16 football seasons. (Source: WIS)
ORANGEBURG, SC (WIS) -

It's decision time in Orangeburg.  

Buddy Pough's roamed the sidelines as SC State's leading man for 16 football seasons. If there's to be a 17th, the Bulldogs must extend his contract at the end of this season.

Pough's enjoyed tremendous success as the Bulldogs head coach. He's guided the Bulldogs to six conference titles and ranks second on the program's all-time wins list. However, the Bulldogs are 2-6 overall this season.   

Stacy Danley's been sitting in SC State's Director of  Athletic chair for nearly six months. He's charged with deciding Buddy Pough's future.  

"People ask me all the time what you're going to do with your coach? I'm going to support him," Danley said. "Give him all the support he can get from my seat."

"As far as I know I'll be back," Pough said. "If that's what you're trying to get at. I tell our guys we will still be here until they tell us differently."

Danley is very understanding of the tough hand Pough and the program has been dealt.  

"Been doing this a long time - always have had the best results when I wait until the end of the season and take a comprehensive evaluation of the program and make a strategic decision," Danley said. 

SC State's difficult financial situation forced the University to cut $2.5 million from its Athletics budget back in 2015.

"Unrealistic for it to not affect athletics," Danley said. "The struggles we're having athletically are just indicators of that stress.  Very difficult when you're in survival mode and rebuilding. 

Danley says the Athletics department received $1.5 million more from the university for this year's operations budget. which has helped. They will not receive that additional financial support next year and must raise the extra money themselves. 

Danley adds the athletic department is undergoing a strategic assessment from an independent company to assist in developing a plan for the future of Bulldog athletics.

SC State's last MEAC championship came before the budget cuts in 2014.  Since then, the Bulldogs football team has not sniffed a title. The financial situation negatively impacted recruiting efforts and the ability to bring in assistant coaches.

"Got two or three guys on this staff that is working their fannies off, but we got hem in just prior to the season starting," Pough said. "A lot of that stuff we got to see if we can fix this coming year from the very get-go."

Despite financial setbacks, Danley believes the Bulldogs future athletically remains bright.

"A lot healthier right now financially and just identifying areas we can improve in. What we're doing right now is developing that strategic plan so we can be at that championship level we all want to be at."

Danley adds the athletic department is undergoing a strategic assessment from an independent company to assist in developing a plan for the future of Bulldog athletics.

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