“A school decision”

It’s an ugly storm, and I don’t wish for anything bad on anyone who has to deal with the effects of it, but I can’t help but wonder about karma when you hear local officials try to justify playing the Georgia-South Carolina game.

Richland County Council Chairman Torrey Rush said he has no issues with the sheriff’s department, which employs 700 officers, stepping into the game as long as there are enough deputies to cover the rest of the county.

But no extra help will come from Columbia Police for the game. Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook said he already has officers committed to assignments related to the state evacuation plan and other tasks related to Hurricane Matthew.

Holbrook was diplomatic when asked about holding the game during a weather crisis: “It is not my place to provide an opinion as it relates to any decisions made by the University of South Carolina.”

Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin said “preservation of life” is the city’s top priority, but added, “I do know that USC football games are very important to the local economy.”

I hope that’s not your political epitaph, Mayor.


UPDATE:  Chip Towers doesn’t think, ultimately, it’s about the money.

No, if you ask me, the bigger issue here is South Carolina’s competitive edge. Let’s face it, the Gamecocks’ ability to win this game decreases dramatically if it is played anywhere else. South Carolina (2-3, 1-3 SEC) is fielding a competitive team this year, like it does pretty much every year. But the program is in a rebuilding mode in its first year under coach Will Muschamp, thanks to Steve Spurrier running out on them midway through last season.

As a result, Georgia is a significant favorite, even playing the Gamecocks on their home field. But South Carolina traditionally gives the Bulldogs fits at Williams-Brice. It has won the last three there, two of which it could be argued Georgia fielded the better overall team.

There was a very simple solution to this whole situation with respect to hurricanes and evacuees. Just move the game to Athens and play it in Sanford Stadium. That or take it down the road a little further to the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. Give them the Gamecocks the gate if you must, pay the game back next year, whatever it takes to make it as financially equitable as possible.

Just move it out of Columbia and let them use the stadium and the fairgrounds and all those facilities to care for the thousands of evacuees pouring into town.

But, no, Athletic Director Ray Tanner and the Gamecocks weren’t thinking about that. It seems their concerns were elsewhere.

South Carolina coach William Muschamp was asked about the decision Thursday night after announcing the time change on his radio call-in show.

“It’s all about the safety of our student-athletes,” he said of the 70 football players who will suit up for the Gamecocks on Sunday. “We’re very sensitive to a very catastrophic situation on our coast.”

That’s one of the worst “it’s all about the kids” excuses I’ve ever heard.  What about the safety of the fans and the kids on the other team?


Filed under 'Cock Envy, Political Wankery

35 responses to ““A school decision”

  1. Hardcoredawg 93

    Looking at the forecast its going to be beautiful in Columbia Sunday afternoon. That should be better for our offense than playing in rain and wind Saturday night.

    I hope this unusual move doesn’t put the mojo on us, though.

    • Macallanlover

      Think wind gusts are still a factor, based on current tracking/intensity, but no rain issues and the field should be fine. Actual weather in Columbia was always a low percentage risk, the problem was emergency workers could be needed in the low country, and hotel rooms for evacuees. SC school officials were selfish and myopic in their stubbornness to move the game to a neutral site. UGA admin caved in and was embarrassing….again. Playing on Sunday is a downside for UGA, none for SC. Since reasonable options were available, SC should have had to play the game at a neutral site, or forfeit. The storm wasn’t of their making but in an emergency you have to put aside selfish issues and do the most expedient thing. Cutting into UGA’s prep time for the next week isn’t a level playing field and our wimpy leaders should have dug in.

      • Bulldawg Bill

        Mac, Playing in Columbia on Sunday WAS the most expedient thing. To move the game would have been much more problematic. Ticketing and logistics would have been nearly impossible to change to a neutral site. But you are right, keeping the game in Columbia was expedient and self-serving!

        • ATL Dawg

          I respectfully disagree Bill. Ticketing would have been simple. Honor all tickets sold and make seating general admission. No additional ticket sales.

          As far as other logistics go, it would have been much easier if they had made the decision on Tuesday or Wednesday. Of course it’s going to be difficult when you make the decision late on Thursday night.

          Atlanta would have been perfect. The weather is great, plenty of hotels, it would have got a lot of people out of South Carolina, and free’d up plenty of hotel rooms in Columbia. Georgia State’s game at 3:30 isn’t on regular broadcast television (ESPN3 is via the web), so moving that up an hour or two in order to slide our game in later in the day wouldn’t have been much of an issue (again, especially when done earlier in the week).

          Unfortunately, Georgia officials sat on their hands all week and just accepted whatever direction South Carolina wanted to go in. That’s how we wound up with a Sunday game and now a short week before another game, while South Carolina gets to take next weekend off. Obviously, you can’t force South Carolina to move the game. However, you can set the table early and make it known to them that you will not be bullied into accepting a Sunday game when there is a great Saturday alternative available.

          • I agree, though I don’t know how much UGA could have done. SCU meant damn well they weren’t playing anywhere else.

            • ATL Dawg

              True. I don’t know for sure either. But when you take their Sunday option away from them from the get go, I’d be willing to bet they approach the decision a little differently.

              • Completely agree. When they pushed back on location, we should have drawn a line on the date.

                • Macallanlover

                  Bingo. With them having an open date next week, and us being punished by a day of prep sacrifice, the line should have been drawn by us first. Saturday is the day, what are you preparing to do to make it happen? Our guys are simply dunces in negotiating, protecting our interests.

  2. Money, money, money is first.

  3. Athens Dog

    She went to Clemmons. Clearly biased. Haha

  4. mwo

    Maybe old Lady Luck will grin at us Sunday and those kharmic bitches SJIII speaks of will drown Saturday night.

  5. Jim

    Where is the UGA President Jere Morehead. H has his head in the ground.
    Stand up and say we are not playing this game this weekend.
    NO GUTS!

  6. Cocks are money peckers.

  7. ATL Dawg

    UGA officials got taken for a ride on this one.

  8. Although I like the Dawgs to hammer those chickens to nuggets. LOL.

  9. watcher16

    And of course AD Greg McG rolls over agrees to this, while LSU downright says no to Florida’s offer for the reschedule

  10. Bright Idea

    So if Vandy beats us are we going to blame it on playing on Sunday/USC/McGarity/Morehead or blame it on Kirby? Personally I like that USC held out to play on Sunday. It just doesn’t sound like Columbia will be a war zone on Sunday. Who wants to give up next year’s home game to avoid going there now? Not me.

    • Macallanlover

      Wasn’t an issue at all. LSU didn’t give up the next SC home game. We offer our place to help them out, if they don’t want it, come up with an acceptable alternative. Simple. No one ever suggested we give them anything but an acceptable option. Their call on location, ours on date…which we promptly surrendered. You like how SC handled this? Wow. You do realize the issue was not Columbia being a war zone don’t you? It is a humanitarian/ greater good issue (with a large dash of ego and greed thrown in.) But, hey, some people like that sort of thing.

  11. cancels classes for three sunny and beautiful days so the chirren can evacuate to safer environs…..tells everyone to show up to the game to support their team on the day the hurricane hits….a vastly superior student care plan.

  12. I think the decision was ridiculous and irresponsible, but my opinion doesn’t count. Go over and whip their ass.

  13. Sides

    What a ridiculous article by Chip Towers. Use the fairgrounds and the stadium to care for the evacuees? It is a wide open field with no facilities. Its not the Louisiana Superdome and they are not building a FEMA camp in the fairgrounds. You could just as easily use SC State’s field in Orangeburg if you wanted to do that. There are plenty of open spaces the state could use and there is no reason to evacuate over 120 miles to Columbia.

  14. Uglydawg

    I don’t think it’s the money. I think Muschamp sees this hurricane as a Godsend. This opportunity, no matter how monstrous the downside, will be taken because Muschamp knows when he’s getting a break.
    The field will be soggy, even if there isn’t a cloud in the sky.

  15. In USCE fans’ minds they are on the same level as UGA as a school and program. Doesn’t surprise me they are delusional enough to think UGA is just another game.

    Maybe giving them another 50 pt beat down like last year and having Agent Muschamp nosedive another program for his alma mater will change their minds. Get after it boys.

  16. 86BONE

    As I stated several days ago, hundreds of thousands of people are fleeing the coastline seeking refuge inland. Columbia needs to worry about aiding those in need. Football needs to take a back seat this weekend. I can NOT believe the SEC officials are allowing this game to be played.
    Local residents should be figuring out how they can help people, not making plans to go watch football. UGA needs to send a statement out that they will NOT be traveling to Columbia, SC, to play this game!
    Am I being dullusional or does everyone not agree!?

  17. 86BONE

    Sorry for mispelled words and confusion…..I am in San Miguel, Mexico, seeking refuge from political correctness in my home country!
    Go DAWGS!!

  18. sniffer

    I dislike college football more every day.

    Literally, every day…

  19. Debby Balcer

    I hope the stadium is empty. SC has handled disaster prep very well. This decision by USC flies in the face of all their work. If evacuees can go home on Sunday roads will be a mess. The students will be headed back to Columbia while the evacuees head back to the coast and that is the best case scenario. If the coast sees the type of damage they expect and the loss of power they expect the evacuees stay put.

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