With a job offer apparently on the table from Alabama, Shawn Elliott has elected to remain at South Carolina. Elliott's decision is a big one for South Carolina, one that says a great deal about the state of the program and provides some momentum heading into next season.
First things first: While Elliot likely used his offer from 'Bama to leverage a substantial raise, let's not kid ourselves. Elliott had more to gain than money by leaving to work with Nick Saban in Tuscaloosa. First of all, it wouldn't have been a lateral move. Alabama is in the midst of a dynasty right now. Elliott just turned down the most desirable job in his field. What's perhaps even more important, having coached under Saban and Steve Spurrier would be a pedigree that would be hard to beat for the ambitious young coach. Elliott turned down a position that would have looked great to future employers.
As such, there was more at money at play in this situation. Yet Elliott chose to remain at Carolina. This says a lot about his commitment to this program. The Camden native clearly wants to finish what he started here--potentially because he's interested in succeeding Steve Spurrier. Regardless of his eventual intentions, the decision gives some indication that South Carolina is no longer a place where coaches go either to finish their careers or to eventually move on to bigger things. Elliott sees this as a long-term gig and is going to stay the course.
It's particularly good news considering that the program has suffered some morale challenges lately. The departure of Brad Lawing and the talk about Jadeveon Clowney sitting out his senior season have put a damper on the afterglow to an otherwise excellent season. Granted, we capably replaced Lawing, and Clowney isn't going anywhere, but the energy surrounding these two issues hasn't been positive. Elliott's decision gives this program a circling-the-wagons moment, some motivation to regroup and focus on the task at hand--and SEC Championship in 2013.