Breaking News: Coach Paul David, Jr. Given 9 PM Deadline to Accept Gamecock Offer South Carolina Finally Offers David Extension - But Too Little Too Late? Three weeks ago, Coach Paul David, Jr. would have jumped at the chance to remain the head coach at the University of South Carolina, but there's no denying that a lot has changed since then. It all began when Carol Easy was hired last off-season to replace the high-profile, yet underachieving, Steve Spurrier. Considered a slam-dunk addition at the time, Easy was a well-respected up-and-comer in the college football world, an individual many deemed capable of making USC an elite program within the SEC. Yet after a hot start, rumors of sex scandals, shady recruiting practices, and continual conflicts with administration lead to his "resignation", leaving defensive coordinator David, Jr. behind to clean up the mess. To many, he was expected to merely hold down the fort until the University could catch it's breath, put together a new game plan, and turn the page (yet again). But David complicated things - by winning. Under Paul's leadership, the Gamecocks displayed tremendous desire and toughness, handing the Troy Trojans their first loss of the season in convincing fashion and then topping the Clemson Tigers within the confines of Memorial Stadium. How many rookie head coaches can claim that feat? In addition to his on-field success, David was just as impressive off of it. Unlike Easy's tireless mumbling coach speak, David was both engaging and articulate, quickly becoming a fan amongst the press. He was willing to answer any and every question thrown his way. While many coaches make it a practice to belittle journalists, Paul embraced them. His famous first line following the conclusion of every game? "Okay, guys, what you got for me?" Coach David apparently asked the same thing of AD Jamie Speronis shortly after his victory at Clemson, but according to a report in the South Carolina Sun printed last week, Paul was told, "Win your Bowl game first, and then we'll see." Not the most encouraging of words. It didn't take long for this exchange to spread to El Paso Texas, where UTEP head coach Mike Price announced his plans to retire after the season earlier in the year. According to various sources close to the program, David was given a lengthy contract offer to coach the Miners, an opportunity he's said to be seriously considering. David was a graduate assistant at UTEP from 2001-2004, an experience he's often spoken fondly of. Many also view the program as one on the rise, but considering the graduation of top players such as Donald Buckram, Kris Adams, and Trevor Vittatoe, the cupboard's undeniably thin. In addition, the C-USA conference won't be producing a National Championship contender anytime soon. So the Gamecocks have the obvious advantage, right? If only it was that simple. Rumors began circulating early yesterday morning that another Texas program is hot after David. Texas Tech. With Tommy Tuberville's sudden decision to return to Auburn, the Red Raiders are on the hunt for new leadership, and TTU AD Gerald Myers is enamored with Paul's off-field presence and aggressive defensive philosophy. While Myers is expected to step down as Athletic Director as early as this week, it is anticipated that he will still remain a strong influence throughout the hiring process. Will coach David jump at the chance to compete with the likes of Texas, A&M, and Oklahoma in the football capital of the world? Nervous yet? It gets worse. Sources have indicated that a "mystery team" may also be vying for David's services. The culprit? South Carolina's own Clemson University. However, journalist Doug Roberson from AJC.com is "skeptical" of this report and speculates that it's the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets that remain the dark horse candidate. So where does this leave us all today? Tuesday morning, despite a loss to Virginia Tech in the Fiesta Bowl, USC AD Eric Hyman offered David a 3-year extension to remain the head coach at South Carolina, explaining that he's "convinced Paul's the right man for the job." The only problem? Coach David has yet to accept the offer, and one can only begin to ponder why. Was David insulted by the delayed offer? Or was it the rumors of USC's interest in Pittsburgh's head coach Dave Wandstedt that did the trick? Is David simply weighing more attractive offers? According to this latest report, our questions shall be answered tonight, as the deadline's been set. Will Paul David, Jr. lead the Gamecocks on the field next season? Or will he return to his Texas roots and bear the colors of the Miners or Red Raiders? Whatever the case, just please God, don't let him return to Williams-Brice Stadium a Clemson Tiger.