Houston coach Tom Herman hasn’t given his athletic director, Hunter Yurachek, a final answer on where he’ll coach next season, but he has at least informed his players that the ‘South Carolina thing’ is squashed.

The Cougars (11-1) clinched a spot in the American Athletic Conference title game with a win over Navy on Friday and will likely earn a New Year’s Six bid — and a $6 million payout for the league — if they beat the East Division winner (Temple or South Florida) next week.

Herman has been the Gamecocks’ reported front-runner since late-October, but that ship, finally, has sailed.

“We had a meeting at the start of the week, and he said, ‘I’m not going to talk to anyone about any other job or be in communication with anyone, because I have a task at hand,'” wideout Demarcus Ayers said, according to SB Nation. “I don’t know what other jobs he’d been talked about with. But he for sure told us he killed the South Carolina thing. He told us this is where he wanted to be, and if anything happens, it’s not gonna be right now.

“This is important to him right now. I think the guys really appreciated that.”

Herman has the support of his players, increased attendance at games and momentum from boosters and the Houston brass has made noticeable strides to ensure they keep him for the long haul.

“Coach Herman and I talk, his agent and I talk,” Yurachek said after Friday’s win, according to SB Nation. “I know where he stands as far as the University of Houston is concerned, and I’m very confident that he will be the head coach at the University of Houston next year. We’ve made a significant investment that has not gone unnoticed to try to retain coach Herman and his staff, and we’ve not yet completed that deal.”

Herman, like Memphis coach Justin Fuente, appears to be at the top of every school’s wishlist as a young, expert recruiter who boasts an exciting offense. Even if Herman leaves Houston at the end of the season, he’s doing so the right way by refusing to entertain other opportunities while the Cougars have a conference championship to win.

No outside distractions, he says, at least not for the duration of the regular season.