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We've Moved! Come Follow Us On Tumblr

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Hey Gamecocks! We've had fun here on Spurs Up Blog the past few years, but we're taking a new step and shifting our GamecocksOnline.com/South Carolina Athletics blog efforts to Tumblr. Check us out on our new GamecocksOnline Tumblr here.

We'll post pictures, graphics, the "best of" stuff we see in social media (including content created by fans), fan photos, articles from around the web, and other notes about the Gamecocks. You can get to our posts directly on Tumblr or click on the "Blog" tab on the front page of GamecocksOnline.com.



Not familiar with Tumblr? Read the About section on the blogging platform.

Gamecock Gala Award Finalists

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Gamecock Gala logo.pngEach year the athletics department hosts its Gamecock Gala to honor our student-athletes and all their accomplishments. This year's Gala is Monday, April 22, so be sure to check back to GamecocksOnline.com for a full list of winners, along with video and photos from the event.

Here are finalists for some of the night's awards:

Female New Student-Athlete of the Year:
Caroline Bixler (Swimming)
Kayla Lampe (Cross Country)
Sarah Schmelzel (Golf)

Male New Student-Athlete of the Year:
Michael Carrera (Basketball)
Dondre Echols (Track & Field)
Matt NeSmith (Golf)

Female Student-Athlete of the Year:
Samie Garcia (Softball)
Jeannelle Scheper (Track & Field)
Ieasia Walker (Basketball)

Male Student-Athlete of the Year:
Nolan Belcher (Baseball)
Jadeveon Clowney (Football)
Michael Flach (Swimming)
Robert Razick (Track & Field)

Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year:
Whitney Avers (Swimming)
Taylor Bruns (Volleyball)
Kimberly McCormack (Equestrian)

Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year:
Harry Menzies (Tennis)
Robert Razick (Track & Field)
Kevin Stam (Soccer)

IT'S GREAT TO BE A GAMECOCK!

With all the regular season head to head competitions between South Carolina and Clemson complete for 2012-13, the Gamecocks have secured a win in the all-sports series for the sixth straight year. So far in 2012-13 South Carolina has beaten Clemson eight times with the Tigers coming out on top just four times. The Gamecocks have defeated the Tigers more times each year since 2007-08. In 2006-07 the two programs split at an even 7-7. Clemson has not had the edge over Carolina since the 2005-06 season.

The most recent wins over our Palmetto State rival came from Baseball and Men's Tennis this past weekend. Baseball earned a series victory over the Tigers, two games to one. On the same Sunday afternoon that Nolan Belcher pitched a complete game shutout to clinch the series with an 8-0 Carolina victory, then-No. 43 Men's Tennis upset then-No. 18 Clemson with a 4-3 victory at Carolina Tennis Center.

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The Gamecocks have now beaten Clemson in 20 of the last 28 baseball contests between the two schools dating back to the 2007 season.


Football has done its part to help the cause, bringing home a fourth-straight victory over Clemson this season. Jadeveon Clowney had 4.5 sacks in the 27-17 win, setting the single-season sack record at Carolina at 13. The win gave Coach Spurrier 65 victories at Carolina, a new school record.



 
Women's Basketball stormed past the Tigers with a 64-43 victory in November for their third consecutive win over Clemson. The South Carolina defense did not allow a Clemson field goal for the first 11 minutes of the game and never looked back in holding the Lady Tigers to 23.9 percent shooting.

In addition to Baseball, Football, Women's Basketball, and Men's Tennis, South Carolina earned victories over Clemson in Men's Soccer (a thrilling 1-0 shutout), Men's & Women's Diving (the Gamecocks swept the competition), and Volleyball (a 3-0 sweep over the Tigers in front of the 3rd-largest crowd in program history). The Gamecocks' only losses to Clemson this year came in Men's Basketball, Women's Soccer (the Gamecocks had been on a four-game winning streak), Women's Tennis, and one game in Baseball.

IT'S GREAT TO BE A GAMECOCK!!!

NGWSD Video Features

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We sat down with two very important women to discuss the importance of Title IX and the opportunities the legislation has had on their lives. As you get ready for the NGWSD game Sunday at 3 PM, take a few minutes to watch the three feature interviews below with Mrs. Karen Tanner and Mrs. Patricia Pastides.












Gamecock Basketball: Gamecock Confidential

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Take an unprecedented look inside the men's basketball team with a Gamecock Confidential feature from the win over Rider. This feature was one of several new segments debuted on The Frank Martin Show. Tune in again this Sunday at 11:30 a.m. or 7:30 p.m. on SportSouth.


The newly opened Rice Athletics Center in the University of South Carolina Athletics Village will hold a grand opening and dedication on October 26, 2012. The beautiful, modern facility houses several Gamecock Athletics teams and departments. Watch video of the dedication and get more information on the facility here.

Check out photos of the new facility below, along with comments from several athletics department staff members working in the new building.




Kevin O'Connell, Chief Operating Officer:

"The Rice Athletics Center is a beautiful building that, along with the Dodie Academic Enrichment Center, provides a magnificent gateway into the Athletics Village. This state-of-the art structure features an abundance of natural light, tall ceilings and beautiful millwork throughout. The Architect of Record, Marc Warren, JHS, did an exceptional job in bringing our coaches and support staff together in a unique setting that allows us to work more efficiently while projecting the professionalism and commitment to excellence consistent with Gamecock Athletics. All of Gamecock Nation can take a tremendous sense of pride in this first-class facility."


Beverly Smith, Head Softball Coach:

"Being in the Rice Athletics Center is great. The fact that the entire staff is under one roof really makes the department efficient and it makes you feel part of a big team. I feel like I'm surrounded by great teammates and all different departments are available at our fingertips.

The building also gives us a huge recruiting advantage. I think that any parent of an athlete who walks through the Rice Athletics Center or through the Dodie will recognize that they will be a part of world-class facilities.

[The Athletics Village area] really is a village and the parents understand that their kids will be able to eat, go to practice, shower, study, have dinner and kids won't have to get in their car and drive around."

 

McGee Moody, Head Swimming & Diving Coach:

"The Rice Athletics Center is among the best in the country. It brings a sense of pride to the athletics department and gives us a home where we're all under one roof. From a swimming perspective, it allows our staff to be in one place and have access to technology that we didn't have when our offices were over at the PE building. This is definitely something that will help take our program to the next level.

It makes our operations a whole lot easier. For example, in the past if we had something to go to the business office or to compliance we had to drive across campus to get here. Everything moves much more efficiently, much more effectively and in a much quicker manner which is imperative when you talk about recruiting in the SEC. It has to be done quickly."

 

Josh Goffi, Head Men's Tennis Coach:

"The building is beautiful and everything about it is top-tier. Personally, the way it has benefited my program is with recruits the past three weekends. They've commented on how gorgeous it is, how modern the entire facility looks. It's definitely amped up our status in our recruiting battle and we can't be happier.

Having everyone in one space has been a dream...It makes everything seamless and has helped our efficiency. We've gotten a lot more productive.



Kalen Harris, Head Women's Golf Coach:

"The Rice Athletics Center is a tremendous upgrade and a top facility in the country. It's benefited us to have more departments under one roof.  It's enhanced our efficiency and camaraderie as an athletics department."



Patrick McFarland, Executive Director of the Gamecock Club:

"The new building has made a big difference! We have the donors being able to come in and we can actually take care of them in one place. So if we have a new member they can sign up to join the Gamecock Club and they can take care of their tickets all in one stop. To put it quite frankly, it's not embarrassing to have them come into our building [compared to the Roundhouse.] We're proud when they come into the new building. It gives us a place to show all our accomplishments.

I know when we've taken donors through their jaws have just dropped. Everybody says, 'Wow, this is big time!' To be able to look in one direction and see the football stadium and that new video board that says, 'South Carolina Gamecocks,' [on the back] and to look in the other direction and see the indoor facility, the soccer field, and campus. It just makes it feel like a true on campus facility and brings the whole athletics department together.
"



This blogger can agree- in the past to talk to each of these people it would have taken trips to four different buildings. Now? One trip down the hall and up the stairs. We are loving the Rice Athletics Center!

Photos: New Softball Stadium Progress

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The beautiful weather in Columbia the past couple weeks has allowed progress on the new softball stadium to continue along nicely! Check out a couple new photos from this morning and the past couple days below. To see more, go here to a Facebook album of the project!

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#TannerOnTwitter Q&A Recap

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Did you miss the first-ever #TannerOnTwitter Q&A this morning? Athletics Director Ray Tanner used his new Twitter account (@RayTannerSC) to answer fans' questions in a "Top 11 at 11" session. He answered 11 questions starting at 11 a.m.

Check out a sampling of the conversation if you missed the action:




 

Storify: Fans React to @RayTannerSC Joining Twitter

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Ray Tanner got started on Twitter yesterday, immediately sparking a huge amount of interest in what the Gamecocks' Athletics Director would have to say. Tanner attracted over 4,200 followers in less than 24 hours with quite a few well-wishes from fans. Coach Holbrook and some of his former baseball players also got quite a kick out of Tanner's new Twitter account. Check out some of the tweets in our Storify below:






Tune in on Monday at 11 a.m. for a "Top 11 at 11" Q&A where Ray Tanner will answer the best 11 submitted questions on his @RayTannerSC account. Submit your questions via the #TannerOnTwitter hashtag.

Ray Tanner Joins Twitter, Hosts Q&A Monday

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New South Carolina Director of Athletics Ray Tanner started up a Twitter account Thursday, check him out at @RayTannerSC.




To help introduce him to Twitter we hosted a Twitter "Top 11 at 11" Q&A on Monday, August 6, at 11 a.m. Tanner answered the 11 best questions submitted to the #TannerOnTwitter hashtag from his new Twitter account.

Check out a few samples here:  http://www.gamecocksonline.com/blog/2012/08/tannerontwitter-qa-recap.html

 



Ray Tanner: Excited, Honored, Humbled to Become AD

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The mood was festive this afternoon in The Zone at Williams-Brice Stadium.

In what university president Dr. Harris Pastides described as perhaps "the world's worst-kept secret", former head baseball coach Ray Tanner was named the new Director of Athletics at South Carolina, effective August 2, 2012.

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The two-time National Championship winning baseball coach took the podium after his introduction to thank the Board of Trustees, the advisory board, and Dr. Pastides, then got a little choked up expressing his appreciation for his wife, Karen, and their three children, all sitting in the front row.

Tanner will take the helm of our athletics program during a time of great success over the past few years, with more exciting things on the horizon. 

"I'm very excited to begin my new role as we continue on our path to give Carolina forward momentum," said Tanner. "It is imperative that we stay on track as we compete in the SEC and nationally. As you all know, we have tremendous coaches across all sports, and we have a great administrative staff here in place."

Tanner announced two new assignments within the athletics staff, thanking them for stepping up to help him lead the department. Charles Waddell will move into the role of Deputy Athletics Director, while Kevin O'Connell will take over as Chief Operating Officer for the department.

Tanner told a story of his time at NC State under Jimmy Valvano, when the late legendary coach encouraged Tanner to move into administration full-time, saying he had a great opportunity to become an athletics director at a young age and that as a coach he, "might not make it."

"So Jimmy V," said Tanner, with a smile. "It's not too late. And now, I'm not just at the collegiate level, I'm at the University of South Carolina. I'm a Gamecock and I bleed Garnet and Black."


Check out the full archived video of today's press conference, photo gallery and quotes from several South Carolina head coaches here.

Check out the excitement on social media among our staff and fans here on our Storify post.

Stay tuned to GamecocksOnline.com; we'll have a press conference on Monday at 11 a.m. to officially introduce the new baseball head coach.
 

Check out our Storify below of tweets and Facebook posts after today's official announcement of Ray Tanner as the new Director of Athletics at the University of South Carolina.


Official Best Of is featuring South Carolina's top attractions on The Official
Best Of South Carolina 2012
. The show will air on NBC-WIS TV here in Columbia this Sunday, April 29, at 11:30 a.m. as well as on the popular OfficialBestOf.com travel website.

We wouldn't be named the BEST live sports experience in the Palmetto State if it weren't for the fantastic fans here in Gamecock Country!!! Thank you, fans!!!
 

Awarded as The Official Best this year are:

Kiawah Island Golf Resort - Best Golf Resort - Kiawah Island

Williams-Brice Stadium - Best Live Sports Experience - Columbia

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Myrtle Beach SkyWheel - Best Scenic Experience - Myrtle Beach

Lakewood Camping Resort - Best Campground & RV Park - Myrtle Beach

South of the Border - Best Roadside Attraction - Hamer

Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame & Museum - Best Equestrian Attraction - Aiken

Duke Energy's World of Energy - Best Educational Attraction - Seneca

Holiday Inn & Suites Columbia-Airport - Best Eco-Friendly Hotel

Check out a sneak peek of the Williams-Brice Stadium/Live Sports Experience segment!




From Official Best Of:

The Official Best Of was started in 2004 by Executive Producer, Brett Allen - a TV executive from St. Louis, Missouri. He saw a need for a researched travel resource that also provided TV features online as an additional resource for both in and out of state travelers. As a result, The Official Best Of was born. Each state production showcases outstanding "best" attractions in a variety of categories located throughout each state. A
research staff studies online travel sites, state tourism information, CVB resources and other sources to determine whether an attraction merits the "Official Best" reputability. One distinction that sets Official Best Of apart from many other travel sites is that it doesn't accept advertising on either its television programs or its website. The selection of attractions is entirely by merit, and lesser known but worthy attractions are given the same attention as famous ones. As with each state production, The Official Best of South Carolina for 2012 will offer a great resource for those planning a vacation, day trip or outing for residents within the State of South Carolina as well as out-of-town visitors. Official Best Of is currently working its way through all fifty states. Visit www.OfficialBestOf.com for more information.
Gamecock fans have probably noticed a new style of images coming out of the Athletics Department lately in our posters, billboards and more.

The images are the result of a new partnership with a lifelong Gamecock fan, James Quantz Jr., who runs James Quantz Jr. Photography in West Columbia. His photography and editing work done for the Gamecocks have become several team posters (including women's tennis, baseball and the new 2012 football poster), digital billboards (such as our Michael Roth Opening Day countdown, welcoming Frank Martin and football season tickets), and even cover photos for fans' Facebook Timelines.

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The stylized photos are the result of painstaking composition and masterful work with Photoshop and other photo editing software. Quantz takes several different photos to form a "plate", which basically serves as the background for the final image. He then adds in players or anything else that will be the focus of the image and adds finishing touches. For example, he will shoot a stadium at different times of day, get in-game photos that include fans, hold photo shoots with players in both still and action poses, and more. He then takes parts and pieces of all those shoots and adds them to the plate he's created to produce a final image. For example, the fans in the background of this Michael Roth photo (above) are actually from photos Quantz took at Williams-Brice during the Clemson game that he placed into this image. With the 2012 football poster, the stadium was shot separately and each person featured had an individual photo shoot with special lighting (like Connor Shaw's, pictured below), then all the pieces were put together, color alterations added (such as the Garnet sky) and more finishing details to produce the final image.

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When you combine the photography itself, selecting certain files to use, the editing effects and composition, producing just one image can require several days' worth of work. However, Quantz has also adapted to the flexible and dynamic nature of college athletics. On the day Frank Martin was hired, we not only had a photo of Coach Martin as a Gamecock, we had a cool custom image for digital billboards around town, for a welcome page on GamecocksOnline.com, and for fans to post and share in social media. Quantz worked on a very quick turnaround shooting Colonial Life Arena and Coach Martin separately that Tuesday morning, then pulled the elements together for the final image that was shared throughout Gamecock Country.

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For Quantz, the process is a labor of love beyond just a job, especially when working with his beloved Gamecocks. Growing up in Columbia, his parents had season tickets to South Carolina Football and he said he has been going to games for longer than he can remember. He started dabbling in photography when he was injured during high school football, taking some sideline photos that ended up being used in the school yearbook and the newspaper. While he went to college and started a "regular job" his photography was just a hobby, something fun to do on the side. He shot a lot of landscapes which he said led into shooting fine art landscapes for golf clubs like Augusta National. After awhile he decided to make a career out of photography and shifted into the commercial realm and now, digital. While he has done work for other sports teams, being able to do work with South Carolina has been an added bonus.

"I'm invested in it as a fan," Quantz explained. "I feel like if I think it's the coolest thing I've ever seen, I want the fans to enjoy it as much as I do."

Thumbnail image for SCAR FB Poster - 2012.jpgAs a Columbia native and fan, who better to answer the question of "what will fans like?" than Quantz? He seems to have succeeded as the 2012 football poster featuring his photography has earned rave reviews so far with over 1500 likes on our South Carolina Gamecocks Facebook page and over 120 excited comments on the image.

"I hope it helps with the programs being able to show this stuff for recruiting, marketing and everything else just to give it a different splash," said Quantz. "I want other schools to look at it and say, wow, we need to step it up."

Let us know in the comments what you think and stay tuned for more great stuff from Quantz and the Gamecocks!


The 2012 football poster will be available for the first time at this Saturday's Garnet & Black Spring Game. Fans may get up to five posters each while supplies last from 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. in front of the Gameday store on the north end zone side of Williams-Brice Stadium.

Check out more of Quantz's work on his website and you can also follow him on Twitter at @quantzphoto.


Celebrating National Student-Athlete Day

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Guest post written by Life Skills & Community Outreach Coordinator Erica Nelson

Today we celebrate the 25th Annual "National Student-Athlete Day"!   Co-sponsored by the NCAA and the National Federation of State High School Associations, this special day honors student-athletes who have achieved excellence in academics and athletics, while having made significant contributions to their schools and communities.  Many schools use this day to give back to the community or to organize special ceremonies and presentations to recognize student-athletes.

Alex Holland cotton candy.JPG As our student-athletes have already created deeply rooted relationships with the Columbia community, the Life Skills department decided to use this opportunity to celebrate Gamecock student-athletes for their accomplishments. We created a party-like atmosphere for dinner at training table in the Dodie Anderson Academic Enrichment Center (affectionately known as "The Dodie").  From the D.J. spinning popular music, to cotton candy and BBQ hamburgers, to the distribution of National Student-Athlete Day t-shirts, fun was had by all! Brian Richardson, a sophomore on the men's basketball team commented, "I wish we could do this everyday!" 

The Athletics Department has good reason to celebrate our student-athletes today.  From the five consecutive years they have led the SEC Academic Honor Roll, the nine teams who finished the 2010-11 year ranked in the top 25 nationally and the over 3,700 hours they have contributed in community outreach since July 1st, our student-athletes continue to make us proud! 
 
At today's home women's tennis and baseball competitions, they will also be recognized in honor of National Student-Athlete Day and some of you driving in to campus near the Blossom Street/Huger Street intersection may also notice the kudos being paid to them today on our digital billboard.

"It is with great pride and appreciation that we recognize how admirably they have performed as student-athletes and in connecting with the community," said Athletics Director, Eric Hyman.  


SEC Reigns Supreme With Another National Title

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Info courtesy of Charles Bloom, Associate Commissioner - Media & Public Relations for the Southeastern Conference.

One of the things we talk about a lot in athletics is the strength of your conference and the benefits we see at South Carolina because of our membership in the Southeastern Conference. Check out some of these stats below from the SEC office about the league's competitiveness at the highest level - national championships - following Kentucky winning the Men's Basketball title last night. The Gamecocks have contributed to the cause with three titles in SEC-sponsored sports: women's outdoor track & field (2002) and baseball (2010, 2011).




sec.jpgWith Kentucky winning the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship...

* - So far in 2011-12, the SEC has three national champions - Alabama (football), Florida (men's indoor track and field) and Kentucky (men's basketball).   An SEC team is currently ranked in the top three in the latest national polls in all of its remaining sponsored sports for the year - gymnastics, men's and women's golf, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's outdoor track and field, softball and baseball.

* - In its history, the SEC has won 190 national championships, 113 men's and 77 women's titles.  Since 2000, the SEC has won 74 national crowns, including 41 men's titles and 33 women's titles.

* - The SEC is currently the reigning national champions in the "big three" men's sports - Football (Alabama), Men's Basketball (Kentucky) and Baseball (South Carolina).  In those sports, the SEC has won 11 national championships during the last six academic years.

* - Since 2006, the SEC has had a national champion in 10 of its 20 sponsored sports - football, men's basketball, baseball, men's indoor track and field, women's swimming and diving, gymnastics, women's tennis, men's tennis, men's swimming and diving and women's basketball.

* - Eight of the 12 SEC schools have won national championships in the 20 SEC-sponsored sports since Fall 2006.  They include:  Alabama (football, gymnastics), Auburn (football, men's swimming and diving, women's swimming and diving), Florida (men's indoor track, women's tennis, women's swimming and diving, football, men's basketball), Georgia (gymnastics, men's tennis), Kentucky (men's basketball), LSU (baseball, football, women's outdoor track and field), South Carolina (baseball), Tennessee (women's basketball, women's indoor track  and field)

* - The SEC has now won 11 NCAA men's basketball tournament titles with Kentucky claiming eight (1948, 1949, 1951, 1958, 1978, 1996 and 1998).  Florida has two (2006, 2007) and Arkansas has one (1994).

* - Since 1993, the SEC has won six men's basketball national championships - Arkansas (1994), Kentucky (1996), Kentucky (1998), Florida (2006), Florida (2007) and Kentucky (2012).  Only the ACC (6) has won as many men's basketball titles during this time.

* - The SEC has won 29 national championships during the last six academic years, an average of almost five per year.  

Tips and Features on the New GamecocksOnline.com

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Our new website design has been up for about a week now and we hope you have had a chance to check it out and look around. The website has been made more user-friendly with easier navigation and a cleaner look. We wanted to make the most-visited information easy to find. Check out a few tips below about new features and where to find information.


New Features:

On The Air tab
One of the most common questions we get throughout the year is, "What channel is the game on?" Last fall during football season we posted a series of blogs to answer just that question each week. Now, with the new website layout, we added an "On The Air" tab. This tab includes a seven-day calendar that will update every Monday with upcoming events with TV, radio, live online video and/or audio and live stats information all in one place. This is the one-stop-shop for all things Gamecock that you can watch on TV or listen to on the radio that week. Below the calendar are links to information about the Gamecocks on TV and SEC Network links, our radio affiliates and info on the Gamecock IMG Sports Network, and which sports have live video/audio streams or live stats.  

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Schedule tab
The schedule tab on the front page starts with the current day's date and lists upcoming Gamecock events for the next seven days. There is also a link in the top right corner of the tab for the Master Schedule, which displays every Gamecock event in monthly calendar form.

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Top Videos tab
In the new design we have a designated tab just for video. Videos will still often be in the Top Stories as well, but the latest videos will all be on the Top Videos tab. On individual sport pages, the Top Videos tab shows only videos for that sport. And you can still navigate to the full All-Access page with videos for all sports, including live events and press conferences.


Sports navigation
In the top left corner, under "Sports" there is a drop-down menu with links to pages for each sport here at Carolina. With the new design we've added several quick links here to save fans a step. You can still click the sport name to go to the sport's front page, but now you can also click on "Schedule", "Roster" or "News" right from the drop-down menu and go directly to that section.  

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"Sticky" header and footer:
Don't you hate when you read a story on a website through to the end, only to realize to get back to anything else you want to see you have to scroll alllll the way back up? Our new "sticky" header and footer solve this problem. These sections stay in a fixed position so that even when you scroll down to see more of the page (like in the screen grab below), the top and bottom navigation links stay in place:

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Things that have moved:

Auctions
In our old design, our official auction listings were on the front page underneath the top stories. Now, we've moved them to the right hand column and they are in a Shop box combined with our official online store and photo store. You can still reach the Auction main page at this link

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Ads
There are fewer ads in the new design and they are less intrusive. Don't get us wrong, advertising is important for revenue and we want to reward our great sponsors and make sure Gamecock fans know who our partners are so they can support them, but the new design helps us do that without overwhelming the information on the site. Several of our sponsors have contests and their logos displayed on the front page along with several other helpful links to university, NCAA and SEC websites:

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Spurs Up Blog
Hey, that's us! The list of recent blog posts is now a tab in the main box instead of a separate box off to the right. This tab is on the main page as well as each of the sport pages, making it easier to find since it's in the same spot throughout the website.


Let us know in the comments what you think about the new design or any questions about where something is now if you can't find it. You can also use the Feedback button in the right hand column of the front page.


Scoreboard: South Carolina Leads Clemson in 2011-12

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So far in the 2011-12 school year, South Carolina holds a 9-3 record vs. Clemson, including taking wins in each of the most visible sports: Football, Men's Basketball, Women's Basketball and Baseball.

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Senior right fielder and series MVP Adam Matthews .417 (5-for-12) in the three games including a three-run homer in Saturday's victory.


The most recent wins against our rival came this weekend as the back-to-back National Champion baseball team won the first two games out of three to win the series vs. Clemson. The Gamecocks have now beaten Clemson in 16 of the last 23 baseball contests between the two schools dating back to the 2007 season.

Football has also strung together an impressive streak with three consecutive years of dominating wins over the Tigers. This year's 34-13 victory in Columbia, the 10th of the season for Carolina, is still fresh in every Gamecock's mind:




Men's Basketball collected their second consecutive win over Clemson with a 58-55 victory in December on the road at Littlejohn Coliseum just eight days after the football team's big win. Bruce Ellington was a part of both the football and men's basketball wins having joined his teammates on the hardwood at the end of the football regular season.

Women's Basketball also defeated Clemson in their house in November, led by a 19-point outing from senior Charenee Stephens and shooting 50% in the first half to help deliver a 65-48 victory.


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Women's Soccer seniors hold up four fingers to represent four straight wins over Clemson.


Other wins came in Women's Soccer with a 2-0 victory on the road at Clemson (fourth consecutive win, all shut-outs, making this year's Gamecock senior class the first to go undefeated against the Tigers); Men's and Women's Swimming & Diving (the Gamecocks won 19 of the 32 events to sweep the Tigers in the final meet between the two schools as Clemson is ending their program); and Women's Tennis (a 4-3 upset by #26 Carolina over #17 Clemson at the new Carolina Tennis Center). The Gamecocks' only losses to Clemson this year are in Men's Soccer (first win for the Tigers in the past five meetings), Volleyball, and one game out of the Baseball series. Men's Tennis is the last team to face off with Clemson in the regular season this year as they will go on the road to Clemson on March 14th at 1:00 p.m. 

GO GAMECOCKS!

Beating Clemson...

It's Passion.
It's Pride.
It's Loyalty.

It's the Garnet Way.


Written by student assistant Rebecca Duensing and Brittany Lane


On Monday night's "Inside the Roost" radio show host Derek Scott was joined by Colonel Clayton Sheffield, commanding officer of the 165th Infantry Brigade at Fort Jackson, and Josh Waters, Associate Director of Marketing here in the athletics department, to discuss the Men's Basketball team's recent visit and the strong relationship between Fort Jackson and Gamecock Athletics.

In the past few years, a lot has been done on both sides to grow the Gamecocks' relationship with the military, perhaps most visibly with the Military Appreciation Day during football season. But the bond and partnership goes beyond just that day. Waters mentioned that several coaches have done speaking engagements at the base and that many of the troops enjoy bringing their kids to some of the smaller sporting events at Carolina.

This Saturday's Men's Basketball game (vs. #2 Ohio State, Noon) is our latest partnership. The game will feature a military halftime presentation and COL. Sheffield will be the honorary captain. The men's basketball team's recent day out at Fort Jackson (featured in the "Gamecock Confidential: Men's Basketball Back to Basics" show that aired on ABC Columbia this past weekend) was another example of the relationship.

"The team was looking for a day long team-building event," said Waters. "COL. Sheffield laid out a plan for us and it worked out perfectly for those guys."

COL Sheffield decided on a program that would give the team both a taste of what they do in basic training at Fort Jackson, but also several team-building opportunities.

"We brought them in and introduced them, had them relax a little bit and then we brought the heat," said COL Sheffield.

The entire atmosphere changed as he introduced his drill sergeants as a starting lineup, calling them out by height, weight, where they've been, what they've done, and said that "when they came marching into the room with drill hats on, you could tell they meant business."

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Scott said that he got a bit of a laugh watching the team's reactions during the show, but admitted he wasn't sure what he would've done in the same situation.

"I don't think the reality hits you until you see it firsthand like that, and know this isn't a film, this is what these guys face," said Scott. "They come in for basic training and that's the way they get initiated."

COL Sheffield responded that people get a perception of what the military is either through media, through movies, or through family members who have served, but the number of people who have actually served in the military is a very small segment of the population. They brought the team-building principles they use in the military to the day's exercises.

"We're the ultimate team-building group; that's what we do. Second place is not an option for us," said COL Sheffield. "How do you build a team - you want to talk about the values you have, so you all buy into the values we're going to operate under. You have to have discipline, strict discipline from the beginning."

"If I tell you to do something, you're all going to do it together. If one guy's doing it wrong, you're all doing it wrong. One guy's got his helmet on backwards? You're all going to pay the price and do pushups. It's about learning along the way, are you doing what's right when no one is looking."

The athletics department looks forward to continuing to develop the relationship with Fort Jackson and the thousands of active military, retirees and their families in the area. COL. Sheffield is new to Columbia, having only been in his position for about five months, but says it was his top choice and he specifically asked for Fort Jackson.

"It's the first capital city that I've ever been stationed in with a large university," said COL Sheffield. "Mostly I've been in insulations that have a very good supportive community on the outside, but here it's a unique experience because you have the seat of the government of South Carolina and an SEC school which I'm a big fan of.  I'm a sports fanatic, so I'm in the right spot."

Be sure to give COL. Sheffield a warm welcome on Saturday when he is introduced as honorary captain at the Men's Basketball game vs. Ohio State. Tip-off is at noon. Tickets


Listen to "Inside the Roost" every Monday night from 7:00-8:00 p.m. on 107.5 The Game for insight into Gamecock Athletics with Derek Scott and AD Eric Hyman along with weekly guests.

Gamecocks Return for All-Sports Reunion

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A new part of the Carolina Homecoming festivities this year was our All-Sports Reunion. Student-athletes who graduated in ten year intervals (1961, 1971, 1981, etc) were invited to return for a weekend of events, including a reception, a tour of Williams-Brice, a gameday party and being recognized on the field during halftime of the football game vs. Florida. Gamecock Club Director Patrick McFarland said the department was excited to organize the reunion.

 "The reunions are a fantastic way to reach out to our former student athletes," said McFarland. "The University of South Carolina is a huge part of their lives as they spent a great deal of time here competing and earning an education. We want them to return and continue to feel a part of the successes we have here and know they are a part of the athletics department and will always be a Gamecock."

For some this is their first chance to return since their time here as student-athletes. Martin Small, who played baseball and graduated in 1981, said that he decided to participate in the reunion because he loves the university and has a lot of great memories here. He saw it as a "great opportunity to get back."  Small is familiar with the experience of going to Omaha, he and his brothers all played on teams that made the College World Series. His brothers were members of the runner up teams in 1975 and 1977. He wanted to avoid sounding "corny," but when asked about the Gamecocks' current success, Smalls admitted that it brought tears to his eyes.

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Small with his family and AD Eric Hyman at the reception

Beverly Hawkins-Anderson (Women's Basketball, class of 1981) is now a coach herself. She chose to attend the reunion to see people that she hasn't seen in over 20 years. Hawkins-Anderson praised current coach Dawn Staley on her ability to recruit in-state players and hopes that her daughter, who is eleven, will be able to play under Staley in the future.

Jennifer Wood and several other members of the 2001 Equestrian class were present. Wood said the team had originally picked the same weekend to have an Equestrian team reunion.

"Fortunately it coincided with the [All-Sports] reunion and it was awesome," said Wood.

 The team was amazed to see how far the Equestrian program has come since they graduated. Wood pointed out the new facilities and that the Gamecocks "have some of the most talented riders in the country."

 "I was so excited to get the postcard. I haven't been back in a number of years and I haven't seen a game in quite some time," said former football player Curtis Godwin. Godwin was joined by his wife whom he met while at USC. During the tour of the football stadium, Godwin was surprised by the extent of the changes that have been made since he graduated in 1991. "I got completely turned around and couldn't find my way out," joked Godwin. During his time here, Godwin played under current defensive line coach Brad Lawing, who was then in his first stint coaching at Carolina.

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Alumni line up by class to be recognized at halftime.

 "The reunion was an incredible event that all who attended enjoyed," said Toni Karl, Stewardship Coordinator for the Gamecock Club.  "Many attendees were overwhelmed with all the improvements."

The next reunion for former Gamecock student-athletes will be for the "2's" (classes of 1952, 1962, 1972, 1982, etc.) If you were a student-athlete who graduated in one of these years, please contact Toni Karl at tonik@sc.edu if you would like to be included in next year's reunion.


Written by student assistant Rebecca Duensing
Photos courtesy of Allen Sharpe

Spurrier wine label.jpgWe're hearing that many stores have sold out of the Spurrier Vineyards wine, so we wanted to give you an updated list of stores who still have the wine available. Could go great with your upcoming holiday meals!



The table below lists the remaining stores that still have the Spurrier Vineyards Gamecock Garnet wine in stock:






Bi-Lo 120 Forum Drive Columbia
Bi-Lo 300 Knox Abbott Dr Cayce
Kroger 7467 Woodrow St Irmo
Lowes 867 Stockbridge Dr Fort Mill
Marketplace Spirits 1220 Alice Drive Sumter
Piggly Wiggly 1123 Southlake Dr Lexington
Piggly Wiggly 3040 Charleston Hwy W. Columbia
Piggly Wiggly 4360 Augusta Rd Lexington
Piggly Wiggly 4711-1 Forest Dr Columbia
Piggly Wiggly
Florence Mall - Palmetto St Florence
Piggly Wiggly 131 Pamplico Hwy Florence
Piggly Wiggly 3818 Devine St Columbia
Piggly Wiggly 2000 Clemson Rd Columbia
Piggly Wiggly 7451 Garners Ferry Rd Columbia
Piggly Wiggly 760 Hwy 378 Lexington
Quinby Beverage 9 Quinby Plaza  Quinby
Harris Teeter
1930 W. Palmetto St Florence
Green's Assembly 400 Assembly St Columbia
Green's Piney 4012 B Fernandina Rd Columbia


Proceeds from the wine benefit the Steve Spurrier Foundation and the University of South Carolina Golf programs.
 

"Carolina Calls" Moved to Tuesday for Holiday Week

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Our regular Thursday "Carolina Calls" radio call-in show will move to Tuesday this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday. Head on over to Wild Wing Cafe in the Vista to join the fun and listen in on the Gamecock IMG Sports Network. The show will still air from 7:00-8:00 p.m.

Due to "Carolina Calls" changing days, Tuesday's Men's Basketball game vs. Mississippi Valley State (Colonial Life Arena, 7:00 p.m.) will begin its broadcast on 1320 AM here in Columbia before being joined in progress on 107.5 The Game.

Gamecocks Surpass 200,000 Facebook Fans

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facebook-profile-Cocky200k.jpgGoing undefeated in the SEC East wasn't the only significant landmark the Gamecocks reached over the weekend... Gamecock Nation pushed the number of fans on the official South Carolina Gamecocks Facebook page over 200,000 fans and counting. Our Facebook following ranks 13th among NCAA schools.

We added "200,000!" to our Facebook profile image (left) to express our excitement and asked fans to share with us their favorite things to see/watch/read on the page.

Connor Shaw and Alshon Jeffery both recorded brief "thank you" messages to the fans, watch it here



Thank you for your continued support and love for South Carolina!

All-Sports Reunion Recognition During Football Game

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2011 All Sports Reunion.JPGOver 80 former South Carolina student-athletes will be in town this Homecoming weekend for our All-Sports Reunion. Student-athletes from the classes of the "ones" - 2001, 1991, 1981, 1971, 1961, 1951, etc. were invited to attend.

They'll participate in a reception and get-together on Friday night, then attend the football game Saturday and be recognized on the field by sport at halftime. Be sure to give them a loud round of applause on Saturday!

Once a Gamecock, always a Gamecock!  

Official: Missouri to Join the SEC in 2012

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Official release from the Southeastern Conference:

University of Missouri to Join Southeastern Conference
 
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (November 6, 2011) - The Southeastern Conference Presidents and Chancellors, acting unanimously, announced today that the University of Missouri will join the Southeastern Conference effective July 1, 2012, with competition to begin in all sports for the 2012-13 academic year.
 
The addition of Missouri will increase SEC membership to 14 institutions.  The additions of Texas A&M, announced on September 25, 2011, and Missouri, are the first expansions for the SEC since September of 1991 when the University of South Carolina joined the league.  The University of Arkansas joined the SEC in August of 1991.  With the addition of Arkansas and South Carolina, the SEC was the first conference to split into divisions and add a conference championship game in 1992.
 
"The Presidents and Chancellors of the Southeastern Conference are pleased to welcome the University of Missouri to the SEC," said Dr. Bernie Machen, President of the SEC Presidents and Chancellors and president of the University of Florida.  "The University of Missouri is a prestigious academic institution with a strong athletic tradition and a culture similar to our current institutions."
 
"The Southeastern Conference is a highly successful, stable, premier athletic conference that offers exciting opportunities for the University of Missouri," said Chancellor Brady J. Deaton. "In joining the SEC, MU partners with universities distinguished for their academic programs and their emphasis on student success. The SEC will provide our student-athletes with top flight competition and unparalleled visibility. We came to this decision after careful consideration of the long term best interests of our university.  We believe the Southeastern Conference is an outstanding home for the Mizzou Tigers, and we take great pride in our association with this distinguished league."
 
Missouri, located in Columbia, will also be the fourth institution in the Southeastern Conference to hold membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities, joining University of Florida, Texas A&M University and Vanderbilt University.  Missouri has an enrollment of 33,800 students, which would be the fourth largest institution in the SEC, with Florida, Georgia and Texas A&M having a larger student body.  There are more than 260,000 "Mizzou" alumni around the world.  The State of Missouri borders three SEC states: Tennessee, Kentucky and Arkansas, and they bring an existing rivalry with former conference foe Texas A&M.
 
Missouri athletic teams have excelled recently.  Its men's basketball team has made it to the NCAA Tournament three straight seasons and 24 times overall.  The Tiger football team has been to post-season bowl games for six straight years and 28 times overall.  The softball team has participated in the College World Series each of the last three seasons.  The Tigers have won Big 12 Championships in men's basketball, soccer and softball.
 
"I am pleased to officially welcome the University of Missouri to the SEC family on behalf of our presidents, chancellors, athletics directors, students and fans," said SEC Commissioner Mike Slive.  "Missouri is an outstanding academic institution with a strong athletic program.  We look forward to having the Tigers compete in our league starting in 2012."
 
The Tigers sponsor 20 varsity sports.  Men's sports include baseball, basketball, football, golf, swimming and diving, wrestling, indoor and outdoor track and field and cross country.  Women's sports include basketball, golf, gymnastics, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, indoor and outdoor track and field and cross country and volleyball.  Missouri participates in every sport sponsored by the SEC except men's tennis and the SEC sponsors every sport the Tigers participate in except wrestling.
The latest South Carolina Athletics facilities improvements took a big step forward today! Both the new softball stadium and the football videoboard projects are cleared for construction to begin after they earned final Phase 2 approval from the state Budget & Control Board Thursday.

While a completion date cannot be certain at this point, the department hopes to be able to complete the video board project in time for the 2012 football season.

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"We are extremely appreciative of the support we've gotten for some of our facility initiatives, especially the video board because it means so much to many of our fans," said Athletics Director Eric Hyman. "A lot of people assisted with this process and we're very grateful for their help. It's a great day to be a Gamecock."
 
The new softball stadium will be built in its current location. It's another piece of the overall Athletics Village at the Roost, currently anchored by the Dodie Anderson Academic Center, the Coaches Support Building currently under construction, and the soon to be complete tennis complex.





The indoor football practice facility also advanced in the approval process earning Phase 1 approval. Phase I is initial approval for the project to be researched further (e.g. hiring an architect to develop plans). Now that the project has Phase I approval, the university will move forward with selecting an architect, who will develop a plan and verify the initial estimate before the project is ready to go back through for Phase 2 of the approval process.


All images are conceptual renderings and subject to change.


South Carolina Athletics Hall of Fame member Larry Smith, 82, passed away on October 25.

Larry, a football scholarship recipient, was a 1952 graduate of the University of South Carolina. He was inducted into the University of South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame in 1979. Regarded as one of the finest lineman in the school's history, he was a two-time All-South and All-State selection as center and linebacker. Larry later played for the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers in the NFL and for Montreal and Hamilton in the CFL.

Click here for Smith's full obituary in The State.

South Carolina Athletics sends condolences to the Smith family and his Gamecock friends and family.


Smith's Hall of Fame bio:

LARRY SMITH (1979)
FOOTBALL, 1949-51
Was tabbed All-Southern Conference in 1951 as a center ... played for Coach Rex Enright ... played in the 1951 Blue-Gray Classic ... lettered in 1949-50-51 ... played pro ball with the NFL Chicago Bears (1952), and the NFL Green Bay Packers (1953), and the Canadian Football League Montreal Alouettes (1954) and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (1955).

Gamecocks' Favorite Halloween Costumes, Candy & More!

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Happy Halloween, Gamecock Nation!

Leading up to the spooky day we asked several Gamecock student-athletes about favorite childhood Halloween costumes, fun trick-or-treating memories, favorite candy and more. Power Rangers, football players, and the Scream mask were all popular among this bunch. Check it out!

Bradlee Baladez - Men's Soccer, Sophomore
"My favorite costume was when I was probably about eight I was the red Power Ranger...Another year I was Spiderman for Halloween and I had a silly string web. When my friend opened the door for trick-or-treating I sprayed him in the face with it. It was pretty funny."

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Terrence Campbell - Football, Senior

"I always dressed up as an athlete, I always loved football so I would always want to dress up as a football player... It was fun being in Atlanta and going to Fright Fest at Six Flags with my friends. We'd play pranks sometimes on other schools in high school or egg folks, but just being kids and having fun."

Michael Flach - Swimming, Junior
"Best costume I ever had was one time I dressed up as a really old man. I had the mask and everything. It scared my little sister. She was really little and it scared her every time I wore it so I had a lot of fun with that. I was about 10 and she was about six... I always liked just going to all the houses getting candy then going back again to get the good candy a second time."

Stephon Gilmore - Football, Junior
 "Most of the time I was a football player. One time I was Michael Vick, Jerome Bettis, Deion Sanders, a lot of different football players."

Markeshia Grant - Women's Basketball, Senior
"My favorite costume was definitely being a cheerleader."

DeVonte Holloman - Football, Junior
 "I was either the red or white Power Ranger for about five years in a row."

Alshon Jeffery - Football, Junior
"I loved the Scream costume with the blood running out of it."
"In the neighborhood where we used to go trick-or-treating there was a man who played the chainsaw man. So when kids would go through the neighborhood he'd crank up a blower instead of a real chainsaw and chase everyone. It was funny but scary."

T.J. Johnson - Football, RS Junior
"My favorite costume was being Chipper Jones or some kind of football player."


Angelica-Rugrats.jpgJohnna Letchworth - Equestrian, Sophomore
"My favorite costume was being Angelica from the Rugrats."
"When I was 10 there was one house we trick or treated at that had this rock in front of the house that's 17 feet tall.  It's huge.  A kid jumped off the top of it in a costume and chased me and my friends around.  You couldn't see his face.  It was the scariest night of my life."




Kelcy Quarles - Football, Freshman
"My favorite costume was the "Scream" mask, but what was so good about it was that it had the plastic covering on it and it had food coloring that looked like blood and you could squeeze it and blood would come out on the mask. I loved it; I still have it."
"I was outside one time, it was me, my brother, and his friends and with them being older than me they were trying to joke me around. So I went to the closet and got [the mask], told my daddy what I was about to do, and we set them up. They were walking towards the woods and I climbed up in a tree and they looked up and they just looked at me in the mask and they all took off running."

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And.... The winner for favorite Halloween candy???

Drum roll please....

Reese's peanut butter cups!

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Skittles and Snickers came in 2nd and 3rd, respectively, in our super-scientific poll.









Enjoy and be safe trick-or-treating tonight and send in any photos of a Gamecock-themed costume, jack-o-lantern or decoration to gamecockathletics@gmail.com to be included in our Halloween Facebook album!
Each year South Carolina Athletics produces an annual report evaluating and recapping the past year, including a look back at each team, facilities, development and more. This year that report is available online in digital format. Click here to view the report online.

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It really was an impressive year for the Gamecocks with so many "firsts" that we've talked about several times here on the blog and great academic success as well. Enjoy looking back over the past year and keep cheering for an even better 2011-12 from your Gamecocks.



Remember when a press conference or a news clip was just that .... News? Back in the era of three channels of black and white televisions, times were much simpler.

A simpler time... for television rights at least!
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In today's age of media coverage, those same three or four local channels still battle fiercely for coverage but they are now battling sports talk radio, internet message boards, blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and 24 hour cable sports channels. With the dramatic rise in coverage, so too has been the rise of broadcast and content rights issues.

In today's media world, the media outlet is paying for the right to be the exclusive provider of a particular category of content. For example, the SEC has sold its television game broadcast rights to CBS and ESPN collectively. At South Carolina we have sold our radio game broadcast rights to WNKT 107.5 FM The Game. With the sale of those rights comes the subsequent protection of those rights. However, the policies and agreements put in to place are not intended to diminish editorial coverage but rather protect the commercial value of the asset.

Let's look at a few examples.

Example #1 Football Game on ESPN

South Carolina is playing Team B at 7:15 PM on ESPN. First of all, since CBS has the priority in the SEC pecking order, ESPN can only begin their broadcast once the exclusive CBS window is closed at 7 PM ET. The CBS exclusive window is not only great exposure for the premier SEC game of the week, it also fetches a much higher monetary value. 

Fast forward to the end of the game. Alshon Jeffery caught a game-winning touchdown pass from Connor Shaw after a five minute 4th quarter drive. While local TV stations and websites can post the highlights from footage they captured from the game, they are required to use no more than three minutes of clips and they may not use the broadcast footage. Therefore if the local website wanted to post video he/she recorded from the ESPN broadcast of the entire final five minute drive, they would be in violation of the SEC's and ESPN's rights.

As you can see, within these media agreements the press is able to report and cover the game and sport, but there is a fine line between reporting the news and capitalizing on content owned by someone else.


Example #2 Coach Appearance on Local Radio

At the University of South Carolina, we have sold our radio broadcast rights to WNKT 107.5 The Game. Not only does The Game have the exclusive rights to broadcast our games on the radio, but they also carry our coach's call-in shows. Protecting the call-in shows can sometimes become problematic.
For example, if a local radio show requests a head coach to come on their show and discuss his/her recent success, the coach can agree but he/she can only be on for five minutes. Due to our contractual arrangement a coach may not regularly participate in another radio show as the primary feature of that show for a period longer than five minutes.

The contract exists to protect the rightsholder. If a competitor to the Flagship station were to be able to have a particular coach on their show regularly for an extended period of time, the value of the coach's call-in show would be significantly reduced.



These examples are intended to shed a little light on the complicated world of managing media and broadcast rights. As the pressure to compete increases around the nation, all schools must maximize the value of their assets and make wise business decisions.

Crowd Raves for Dodie Anderson at Williams-Brice

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Dodie Anderson.JPGThis week's special guest to lead off the GAAME...COCCKSS cheer at Williams-Brice was none other than Dodie Anderson, one of South Carolina Athletics' largest benefactors and the namesake of the Dodie Anderson Academic Enrichment Center (nicknamed "The Dodie"). The Dodie is the cornerstone of the new Athletics Village at the Roost and is a major component of the huge facility improvements the department has been able to make.

The huge Gamecock fan from Greer, South Carolina, received a great round of applause from the crowd on hand as she was introduced. Anderson quickly showed that even in her 80's she is still as spirited a Gamecock fan as any other. She told the crowd it was "a dream come true," - she was finally a Carolina cheerleader.







Great job, Dodie, and thank you!

"Inside the Roost" Tonight: Dawn Staley, Vance Benson

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1075 the game logo.jpgJoining AD Eric Hyman on tonight's "Inside the Roost" radio show are Women's Basketball Head Coach Dawn Staley and Men's Soccer senior midfielder Vance Benson.

With one week of practice in the books Staley will be discussing the upcoming Women's Basketball season. Benson will talk about the Men's Soccer team, which is currently undefeated in conference play (3-0) with two more home matches this week (Wednesday vs. SMU at 7:00 p.m. and Saturday vs. Marshall at 7:00 p.m.)

Tune in to "Inside the Roost" tonight and every  Monday night from 7:00-8:00 p.m. on 107.5 FM The Game (you can tune in online if you aren't in the Columbia area) for the inside look from Gamecock Athletics.


By South Carolina Athletics intern Rebecca Duensing

On Monday night's "Inside the Roost" radio show Athletics Director Eric Hyman, Director of Athletic Bands Dr. Rebecca Phillips, and Gamecock Radio's Andy Demetra discussed the new direction of South Carolina's marching band.

"We couldn't be more pleased with what Rebecca Phillips has done with our band in such a short period of time," said Hyman. "I have gotten compliment after compliment, and I want her to know that for years I got criticism after criticism...we're so excited about this point going forward, as far as our band is concerned."

Originally from the Washington, D.C. area, Dr. Phillips has been at Carolina for five years and is in her first year serving as the Director of Athletic Bands.  She has a rich musical background, from her military band family, her time directing high school bands, and her involvement with the upstart of the University of South Florida's marching band program. Before moving into her current position, she taught other subjects in the University of South Carolina School of Music, but said she attended every home game and is a big fan of football and basketball.

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Phillips leading the pep band at Volleyball


When asked by Hyman how she felt about her "team," Phillips gushed about how enthusiastic the band is about supporting sports, what good musicians they are, and that they're "pretty smart individuals."  And once you hear what they do in preparation for half-time shows, you're bound to agree.

The band begins preparation for a show two weeks prior. They rehearse Tuesday through Friday for an hour and a half, with members of the Coquettes, Color Guard, and Drum Line putting in additional hours for their extra roles. The first week, they work on the musical aspect and then the week of, Assistant Director of Athletic Bands Jamie Taylor takes the reins to work on the field formations. Taylor is the "man who puts the dots on the page...he makes it so the crowd can actually see the picture," Phillips explained. They aim to have the show together, weather permitting, the Friday before the game, but if not, they finish up Saturday. On gameday, the band arrives six and a half hours prior to kick-off to polish their performance and attend various functions around the stadium area, including the Gamecock Walk.

Dr. Phillips said that a big challenge is retention of students. The band lost about 30 graduating seniors last year, but was able to bring in enough new students to still have an overall increase in numbers. The band is up to 280 members from last year's 248. Phillips shared that, [the band's] goal is to be somewhere between 325 and 350 in the next three years, that's the goal that the President has set up for the band" and agrees that it's a good number to aim for. In terms of recruiting Phillips said that "we're really fortunate...we have some wonderful band directors at both the high school and middle school levels who have developed some wonderful programs, so there is plenty we can do within the state." There are also some out-of-state band members, most coming from Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia but also as far as California. Overall about 30 states are represented in the band.

Phillips and Hyman are both looking forward to next year with the completion of the Farmer's Market renovations. Phillips feels that it is "going to be an incredible opportunity for our fans and give us an on-campus feel," Hyman is most excited for the "sense of tradition."

In regards to the new arrangement of the Fight Song, Phillips felt like moving the C-A-R-O-L-I-N-A spell out cheer to the middle is a natural change that increases fan involvement and has been waiting to have the opportunity to make the move since she arrived here at Carolina.

Dr. Phillips thinks that with the creation of new half-time shows for each home game, the rearranged Fight Song, and the members' enthusiasm, the band can "support what is going on, and hopefully add to the environment of the game."

Make sure to catch "Inside the Roost" every Monday night from 7:00-8:00 p.m. on 107.5 The Game for weekly insight into Gamecock Athletics with Derek Scott and AD Eric Hyman along with weekly guests.


1075 the game logo.jpgWe've got a full slate for tonight's "Inside the Roost" radio show on 107.5 FM The Game! Three special guests will join AD Eric Hyman and host Andy Demetra this week. Rebecca Phillips, Director of Athletics Bands, will be on to talk about the Mighty Sound of the Southeast and some of the new things they've added this season. Director of the Gamecock Club Patrick McFarland will be on to talk about this Saturday's upcoming Gamecock Club Appreciation Day. Head Coach Shelley Smith will round out the show discussing her Women's Soccer team and their upcoming schedule, including two home games this weekend.

Tune in at 7:00 p.m. to 107.5 FM The Game every Monday for "Inside the Roost"!
1075 the game logo.jpgTune in Monday at 7:00 p.m. for the weekly "Inside the Roost" radio show hosted by Derek Scott and AD Eric Hyman. Guests scheduled for tonight's show will be Judy Van Horn, Senior Associate AD, discussing NCAA procedures, and Scott Swanson, Head Volleyball Coach, discussing the volleyball season so far.

The show airs live from the Hilton in the Vista from 7:00-8:00 p.m. on 107.5 FM The Game here in Columbia. Fans outside of Columbia can listen online.

2011 Hall of Fame Class Q&A: Jeff Kefalos, Men's Tennis

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Seven new Gamecocks were inducted into the University of South Carolina Athletics Hall of Fame Thursday at the annual banquet held by the Association of Lettermen in The Zone at Williams-Brice Stadium. Since the University of South Carolina Athletics Hall of Fame was created in 1967, only 131 members have been selected to the elite group by the University of South Carolina Association of Lettermen. We'll catch up with each of the new inductees here on Spurs Up Blog. Be sure to give a loud round of applause when they are recognized on the football field between the 1st and 2nd quarters of the game vs. Navy.

Jeff Kefalos (1973-76)
Stood out in both men's tennis singles and doubles from 1973-76, earning Team MVP honors all four years and was a finalist for the Rafael Osuna Award for outstanding sportsmanship in 1976... holds the school record for career singles winning percentage, coming out on top in 88.1 percent of his matches (104-14) and owns three of the top five season singles winning percentages in school history, including the record .929 (26-2), which he set in 1972-73... his 81 career doubles victories is the second-highest mark in school history, as is his career doubles winning percentage (.844; 81-15)... the combination of singles and doubles prowess makes him the program record-holder in combined career winning percentage as he lost just 29 of the 214 matches he played in his four-year career for a .864 winning percentage.

Jeff Kefalos.jpg

Jeff currently works at the Columbia Tennis Center, where he has been for 34 years. He came to school here in 1972 and has been in Columbia ever since and comes to Gamecock Athletics events all the time.

Brittany Lane: What are some of your favorite memories from your time at Carolina?

JK:  As far as playing, probably my freshman year, beating Clemson. Clemson at that time was 2nd in the ACC, and we hadn't beaten them in 4 years and we upset them. That was a really important match and the football coach/athletic director Paul Dietzel was there. It was important to beat Clemson; that was probably one of my better memories.

BL: How did you react when you heard you being inducted into the Hall of Fame?

JK: Obviously I was really excited. One of the first things I did was look up who was in the Hall of Fame and there are only a couple of tennis players, and really there aren't that many athletes. And that's what surprised me, since I've been here so long. I've seen so many good athletes come through that aren't in the Hall of Fame yet, and that made it even more special. It's a pretty small group, and there's a real deserving group of people that aren't in it yet, it really is an elite group.

BL: With still being here in Columbia, what do you think of the current program and the new facility?

JK: I think the new facility will help with recruiting and the conference is clearly the best conference in men's tennis. I think that it's going to take a few more years of recruiting and then they should be fine.

BL: What are some of the biggest changes you've seen at Carolina between then and now?

JK:  I think that the one thing that is to the university's advantage now is that we're in a conference, the best conference to be in in the country. When I was in school we weren't in a conference. We were already out of the ACC and I think that makes a really big difference, because you have the opportunity to go for a conference championship.

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*Photos courtesy of Allen Sharpe.*

2011 Hall of Fame Class Q&A: Siew Ai Lim, Women's Golf

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Seven new Gamecocks were inducted into the University of South Carolina Athletics Hall of Fame Thursday at the annual banquet held by the Association of Lettermen in The Zone at Williams-Brice Stadium. Since the University of South Carolina Athletics Hall of Fame was created in 1967, only 131 members have been selected to the elite group by the University of South Carolina Association of Lettermen. We'll catch up with each of the new inductees here on Spurs Up Blog. Be sure to give a loud round of applause when they are recognized on the football field between the 1st and 2nd quarters of the game vs. Navy.

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Siew Ai Lim (1992-96)
Originally from Malaysia... earned first-team All-America honors in 1995 and second-team honors in 1994... was the SEC Player of the Year in 1995 when she recorded a 74.35 stroke average... tied for fifth at the 1995 NCAA Championships, helping the team to a tie for ninth place in the team competition... earned second-team All-SEC honors in 1993, then was a first-team member for her final three campaigns... was a medalist at the 1995 NCAA East Regionals as well as at the Carolyne Cudone Intercollegiate... played on the Duramed FUTURES Tour from 1997-2000 and on the LPGA Tour from 1999-2008.

Brittany Lane: Where are you now?

SAL: I'm in Birmingham, Alabama, teaching golf at the Greystone Golf and Country Club you for the Hank Johnson Golf School.

BL: What are some of your favorite memories from your time at Carolina?

SAL: My best memories of Columbia was really just the people. I had a great team, I loved golfing. It was a great mix of ladies and we just had a great time, traveling, practicing together. That's what really made the entire experience special.

BL: How did you react to the news that you were being inducted into the Hall of Fame?

SAL:  It was unexpected! I was surprised but I was honored obviously to have been recognized by the university, I've been out of college for a while so it was unexpected. I came into town Wednesday and stayed with [former coach] Kim Abbott. She was the coach that recruited me when I came to Carolina, so I hung out with her and her family. I'm headed down to the Roost area, I'm going to meet up with Dr. [Ron] Kasper. We worked together some while I was in college, so I'm just catching up with people while I'm here. I was excited because this is a nice time for me to wander around campus and see what changes have been made. It's nice to come back and touch base.

BL: Are you excited about the football game?

SAL: I am, I'm staying for the weekend. I took the week off from work. My boss said, "you don't get inducted into the hall of fame every day!" so I left!

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*Photos courtesy of Allen Sharpe.*


2011 Hall of Fame Class Q&A: Kent DeMars, Men's Tennis

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Seven new Gamecocks were inducted into the University of South Carolina Athletics Hall of Fame Thursday at the annual banquet held by the Association of Lettermen in The Zone at Williams-Brice Stadium. Since the University of South Carolina Athletics Hall of Fame was created in 1967, only 131 members have been selected to the elite group by the University of South Carolina Association of Lettermen. We'll catch up with each of the new inductees here on Spurs Up Blog. Be sure to give a loud round of applause when they are recognized on the football field between the 1st and 2nd quarters of the game vs. Navy.

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Kent DeMars: spent 26 of his 37 years at Carolina as the men's tennis head coach, ending his tenure in Spring 2010... led the Gamecocks to 18 NCAA Tournaments, including a stretch of 13-straight appearances (1994-2006)... his Gamecock teams appeared in the NCAA Tournament's round of 16 six times, including an appearance in the national semifinals in 1989... is the program's all-time winningest coach with 390 career victories... guided the team to six conference championships in his first seven seasons... coached seven Gamecocks who accumulated nine All-America selections and saw at least one Gamecock on an all-conference team in 18 of his 26 seasons at the helm... was inducted into the ITA Collegiate Men's Tennis Hall of Fame in 2010 and was a 1996 inductee into the South Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame.

Brittany Lane: How is retired life?

DeMars: I've been doing a fair amount of travelling, actually just got back from Reno [Tuesday], spent a few days out there; mainly visiting family. I joined a club and so my wife, Dawn, and I are doing some golf and tennis in some different leagues that we've enjoyed. The house that we moved into was just finished a little over a year ago, so there are a lot of things to go shopping for. We went to a furniture place in North Carolina a few times, trying to get the house in order. It's actually been more of a whirlwind. I made a little bucket list of things I'd like to do. I've got a grandchild who's a little over two years old so I enjoy taking her to the zoo and different places and spending time with her. It's easier to spend family time than it was before, now that I've got time. I feel like sometimes you don't spend as much time with your family as you should have with your job, now you can make up for it a little bit and do some things for the kids. I've enjoyed the retirement time. I also feel like being in my late sixties I don't know how long these legs will be good for [laughs], and I'm going to try and do some things in my life that I want to do while I'm still capable. I think it worked out perfectly, staying as long as I did, 26 years at South Carolina, and now trying to do something a little different.


BL: Where are some of the places you've been traveling? Any dream places?

DeMars: I've never taken a cruise, Alaska or a couple places, a little bit more abroad traveling. I have several that I'd like to go to that I haven't yet I'd like to go to Prague I think that would be really interesting, and places that I've already been and want to get back to like Hawaii, I'd like to go to the Australian Open tennis and New Zealand. I've been to Paris and it wouldn't take very much to convince me to go back.


BL: Are you still involved with tennis?

I wanted to do some things locally to give back a bit, I've joined a couple boards that have taken some time and require me to do some things with tennis, one is the South Carolina Tennis Association board, the other is the ITA, which is the Intercollegiate Tennis Association board of directors. So each of those I've picked up some duties and responsibilities. It's almost like a mentoring program, we get hold of several young coaches and talk to them about our experiences and things we did, try to answer questions for coaches just getting into the business. We're working here locally with kids 10 and under. The whole long tennis court isn't made for kids so we've taken the court in half and we've done a few things to make it a lot more fun for young kids because it's harder for them to pick up the sport at a young age. It's much easier for them to kick a ball around like soccer or do a little softball, its much harder for them to hit a tennis ball 78 feet over the net. We're trying to develop a system, some of the things which I think are good for the game, giving back a little bit I think is fun.


BL: You had a long career at Carolina, any favorite memories?


DeMars: Well, the furthest we went was the semi-finals of the NCAA tournament back in 1989, and our team then finished tied for third in the country so we got one of the national championship trophies for third place, and that's a real nice trophy and in that same year, I got National Coach of the Year, so 1989 other than Hugo coming in here and setting us back a bit, those were probably the highlights for the team. There are certainly many others, we had a player make it to the semi-finals of the NCAA in singles as well, a French player.... And we're excited about the new facilities coming together, the new tennis complex is beautiful. Pretty anxious to get over and watch a match in there, it's going to be really outstanding, so that will be fun.


BL: What's it feel like to learn you're going to be inducted into the Hall of Fame? How did you react to the phone call?

DeMars: Well, it's really, really nice needless to say. I know Tommy Moody and he's the one who called. I guess the reaction is surprise initially and then when it's your peers deciding it makes it extra special. Columbia, USC...this  is home and being put in the same group as football, basketball, baseball, etc. it's nice that they include us in this group as well. I think overall it's really gratifying to be chosen.

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*Photos courtesy of Allen Sharpe.*

"Inside the Roost" Radio Show Debuts for 2011-12 Season

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1075 the game logo.jpgWith the 2011-12 season underway, our weekly "Inside the Roost" radio show with AD Eric Hyman returns.

In addition to updates and discussion from Hyman and host Derek Scott, tonight's first show of the season will feature Men's Soccer Head Coach Mark Berson talking about the start of the season and Steve Fink, Director of Media Relations, discussing our various student-athletes (football players in particular) who are up for national awards and how we go about promoting their accomplishments.

Tune in from 7:00-8:00 p.m. on 107.5 FM The Game!



Fans Flock to Wild Wing Street Party [Photos]

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Gamecock fans came out to Wild Wing Cafe in the Vista last night for the annual Street Party & Pep Rally and the "Carolina Calls" radio show.

Kids played in the bounce house, took their photos with our championship trophies, enjoyed the marching band and the cheerleaders and more leading up to hearing from our men's and women's soccer head coaches, Mark Berson and Shelley Smith, as well as Steve Spurrier on the "Carolina Calls" show.

Check out the full gallery of photos on our Facebook page.


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*Photos courtesy of Allen Sharpe
College Colors Day South Carolina.JPGFriday, September 2nd, 2011 is the seventh annual College Colors Day, which is the national celebration of the kick-off of college football and the back-to-school season. It seeks to celebrate and promote the traditions and spirit that make college great by encouraging fans, alumni, and students to wear Gamecock apparel throughout the day Friday.  College Colors Day is a national platform that allows individual organizations to have a fun day at work, play and school.

To celebrate the kickoff of the 2011 college football season, join the University of South Carolina and thousands of other organizations across the United States by encouraging fans everywhere to wear apparel representing the South Carolina Gamecocks on College Colors Day this Friday!

Let's make sure there is Garnet & Black everywhere this Friday!

Go Gamecocks!

Join the Facebook Event here!





With the 2011-12 season right around the corner, we wanted to take a look back at the past year. Over the next few weeks I'll be counting down the Top 15 Gamecock moments from 2010-11 across several sports from the Spurs Up perspective. It was a good year for the Gamecocks, so I hope you enjoy reminiscing with me!

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#13 - Cocky's 30th Birthday Party

Everyone's favorite Gamecock turned 30 on October 16, 2010, and we turned the event into a week of celebration, making for our #13 top moment of 2010-11. Coach Spurrier kicked off the festivities at his Tuesday press conference, presenting Cocky with a special cake, and the party continued to Men's Soccer, Women's Soccer, and Volleyball games over the weekend.

Cocky_Spurrier bday.JPGCocky got "interviewed" on the news and here on the blog I wrote about the busy life of Cocky and talked to John Routh, the first Cocky. Fans sent in dozens of great pictures of themselves with Cocky over the years. The photos were shown on the videoboard during the weekend's games. Crowds at the games serenaded Cocky with Happy Birthday and each team presented the bird with a signed ball. The birthday wishes for Cocky poured in from fans on Facebook and Twitter.

Check out photos from the week's events as well as the fan-submitted photos with Cocky:





Stay caught on the Top Moments countdown. I'll post the next moment every weekday and Saturday until we get to #1!

#14:
Women's Basketball Upsets LSU, 63-61, at Colonial Life Arena

#15: Alshon Jeffery's season-long 70-yard touchdown vs. Tennessee

South Carolina Athletics hosted our annual media golf tournament Thursday morning at Cobblestone Park in Blythewood (also home of the Gamecocks' men's and women's golf teams). This year twelve foursomes comprised of various South Carolina coaches, staff members, and media who cover the Gamecocks took to the links while several more joined the festivities after golf for lunch, mingling with several coaches, and a press conference with Coach Spurrier. The goal of the event is to express thanks to the media for their coverage of all our programs as well as continue to build relationships with them for the upcoming year.

"This is a great opportunity for me since I rarely get to get out to school-specific SEC events," said ESPN's Cara Capuano, who is based out of Charlotte's ESPN Regional Television headquarters and covers a wide variety of sporting events for ESPN, primarily in the SEC.

The outing used "Captain's Choice" scoring, meaning that all four players play their first shot and whichever is the best shot, all four players play their second shot from there and so on. The teams played on Cobblestone's Garnet and Black courses, two different nine-hole courses with a par of 71.

While several foursomes came in with a 63, Coach Spurrier's foursome snuck away with the win with a score of 62. This year Coach Spurrier played with Capuano, Gamecock Radio's play-by-play man and legendary Gamecock Todd Ellis, and WOLO/ABC Columbia's Tim Hill. Ever the coach, Capuano said Spurrier practically caddied for them as well.

 "I was the first putter, I'd get up there, read his line and show the way for the rest of the group," said Capuano. "He dropped five putts for us from the anchor position including eagling out on hole 18 - his drive, his approach, his 40-foot putt."

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The winning foursome with Cocky: Spurrier, Capuano, Hill, Ellis. Check out more photos here.

Spurrier and his teammates weren't the only ones with strong performances. Robbie Liles (Director of High School Relations for football) and Rick Millians (sports editor of The State) both won closest to the pin awards while Gamecock Ambassador Pete Stokes and softball Assistant Coach Janelle Breneman each took home a title for the longest drive on selected holes.

After golf the foursomes gathered for lunch from Doc's Barbecue and conversation along with several coaches and media members who didn't golf. Men's soccer head coach Mark Berson and women's soccer head coach Shelley Smith each spoke with media about their upcoming seasons as did Cross Country head coach Stan Rosenthal. Football assistant coaches, softball assistant coaches, and other Gamecock Athletics staff members joined the group as well.

"I had the best time today, it was just really fun," said Capuano. "We had a great group. I got to know Todd Ellis for the first time and played with Tim [Hill] who is with our new ABC SEC Network affiliate here in Columbia. It was just a great opportunity to enjoy a beautiful golf course and great company and talk a little football as the season draws near."

-Brittany

Thank you to all the staff members and media members who participated and attended this year's golf outing! Special thanks to Cobblestone Park and Doc's Barbecue for their help as well.


New Additions to the Gamecock Family!

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We've had several new additions to the Gamecock Athletics Family lately and wanted to share a couple of these cuties with you.

DJ and Katherine Brown in our Office of Compliance Services welcomed a new baby on June 3rd. Harrison Floyd Brown weighed 6 lbs, 8 oz. and was 18 3/4 inches long.

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New Volleyball head coach Scott Swanson and his wife, Erin, welcomed a baby girl, Rylee Sue Swanson, to the world on June 13th. Rylee weighed in at 7 lbs, 11 oz, and was 20 inches long. Check her out in her custom Gamecock gear! I'm sure Rylee will be one of the biggest fans to cheer on the Volleyball squad this fall.

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Assistant men's basketball coach Neill Berry and his wife, Ashly, are the proud new parents of Ty Miller Berry, born May 10th weighing 7 lbs and 20 inches long. Might we see him on the court one day too?

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Welcome to Gamecock Nation, Harrison, Rylee and Ty! Once a Gamecock, always a Gamecock!

-Brittany

Earlier this week I joined the Gamecock Productions crew in Atlanta for the College Sports Video Summit held by the Sports Video Group. Professionals from video production, media relations/sports information, marketing and more attended the two-day conference to discuss current trends, share success stories, and interact with colleagues.

The first day included a great keynote address from Chris Plonsky, Senior Associate AD at Texas, who discussed the upcoming Longhorn Network, followed by several general discussion sessions and the College Sports Media Awards.

You may have seen my post a few weeks ago about Gamecock Productions' nomination for a CSMA award for
Gamecock Confidential, the six-episode behind-the-scenes series featuring the softball team leading up to the 2011 season. The "Special Feature" award ended up going to Oregon for one of their football videos, but the old saying rings true - it really is an honor just to be nominated (you can watch the nominated episode at the bottom of this post). I'm proud to note that South Carolina's entry was the only one of the six videos in their category that centered on a sport other than football. We all love football of course, but it is great to see such fantastic work and effort for other sports as well.

Gamecock Productions' work was also on display at one of the sponsor booths. The staff recently had a 3-D camera to use on loan from Panasonic and they shot a lot of 3-D footage at basketball, baseball, and spring football that was showcased in HD at Panasonic's booth at the conference.

On Day 2 we presented a case study on the Gamecock Confidential series as part of the conference's breakout sessions. Gamecock Productions staff members Paul Danna, Kyle Lewis, and Justin Stoll were joined by student assistants Courtney Krebs, Steven Heyward, Angela Padgett, and Chelsea Parler for the presentation. The students were an integral part of the project and did much of the editing and logging of video footage, among other work.

While Danna, Lewis, and Stoll discussed the logistics and goals of the project, the students discussed what they learned the most from it and shared what a great experience it was for them. Throughout the project, the students' individual skills and areas of interest emerged. For example, while Chelsea found that she had a flair for editing, Angela discovered a love for story-telling and writing the voice-overs.

For my part of the presentation, I shared how we spread the series via GamecocksOnline.com, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and email. On the marketing side of things, we felt like the series really helped our fans get to know the new coaching staff led by Beverly Smith and feel engaged with the team. Showing them on and off the field helped showcase their dedication to their sport but also their personalities and character. Of note, season ticket sales for Gamecock softball increased by 311% and overall attendance increased by 204% this year compared to last year. 

The presentation and the Gamecock Confidential project as a whole got a lot of praise from conference attendees (and I promise I'm being objective!) A panelist from CBSsports.com who listened to our presentation even mentioned the outstanding production quality and great in-house work in a separate session later that afternoon.

While many schools hire outside production companies to produce their videos, we've been able to produce some top notch video right here in-house, which really speaks to the talent of the staff. For example, a lot of fans have been buzzing about the "It's Great to be a Gamecock" series of videos we've been releasing over the past four weeks, with a few people even asking what company we hired to do them. Those are just another example of the work Gamecock Productions is doing.

It was great to see firsthand my co-workers and the students get some well-deserved praise and recognition from their colleagues in the video world.

Congratulations to them on  job well done! Go Gamecocks!

-Brittany  



Congratulations to the Gamecock Productions staff - Director Paul Danna and Assistant Directors Kyle Lewis and Justin Stoll - and their student assistants on being nominated for a 2011 College Sports Media Award!

South Carolina's nomination is in the "College Athletics: Special Feature" category for the Gamecock Confidential series that took fans behind the scenes with the Gamecock Softball team and new head coach Beverly Smith as they prepared for their new season. The six-episode series was something new here at South Carolina and it garnered thousands of views on YouTube and GamecocksOnline.com. Other nominees include features by Michigan, Oregon, Dayton, Stanford, and the ACC.

The CSMA winners will be announced at the College Sports Video Summit on June 7th in Atlanta. Danna and his crew will also be presenting a case study on the Gamecock Confidential series to their peers at the College Sports Video Summit.

Check out Episode 4 below (the episode specifically nominated) and the rest of the series on YouTube or GamecocksOnline.com.

 
Justin Stoll, Assistant Gamecock Productions Director, is just 23 years old, but he already has two Emmy awards to his name. Stoll added the second piece of hardware to his shelf after last week's annual Sports Emmy awards were announced. He was among the winners for the HBO "Hard Knocks" series, which he worked on while working for NFL Films. The "Hard Knocks" series follows an NFL team throughout their preseason training camp. Stoll earned his first Emmy for the series focusing on the Cincinnati Bengals and most recently for the series on the New York Jets. Stoll has been named in nine nominations over the past three years as part of the crew working on "Hard Knocks".

This year "Hard Knocks" won for Outstanding Camera Work, Outstanding Post-Produced Audio/Sound, and the award Stoll was a part of, Outstanding Edited Sports Series/Anthology.

"I was a producer for the show so I'm a part of the 'series' win," Stoll explained. "I logged clips, edited segments, and put together pieces for the overall show."

Most primetime TV watchers are familiar with the Emmy awards show televised every year, but there are several divisions of the awards. This is the 32nd year the Sports Emmys have been awarded. This year's class of winners was heavily dominated by NFL-related content, including the highly regarded "Hard Knocks" series.

Stoll found out about winning his second Emmy from friends with NFL Films attending the Emmys ceremony in New York City. He was getting text message updates throughout the evening, then all of a sudden six text messages popped up from everyone there relaying the word that they had won for Outstanding Series, one of the biggest awards of the night. Stoll quickly texted his fiancée, his parents, and one of his best friends who had also won the Emmy but is out working in Los Angeles.

"The people who had the largest impact on the show - the senior producers, the coordinating producers, (NFL Films president) Steve Sabol, and a few others get their Emmy, but I'm seasonal so I got to buy mine," said Stoll. "There was no hesitation. I feel like it's a privilege to have been able to work for the show and to be able to have my name associated with it, so I will gladly take my option to buy it [laughing]."

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Stoll with his first Emmy award for the 2009 "Hard Knocks" series focusing on
the Cincinnati Bengals


Stoll joined the Gamecocks this past fall and has been able to bring the skills and techniques he learned while working for NFL Films to South Carolina and the Gamecock Productions crew led by Director Paul Danna.

"Going through four hours of footage every single day for seven weeks [on Hard Knocks] will help you see what good shots are and what good shots aren't, what works and what doesn't work," said Stoll. "Being able to apply that back to South Carolina has been a privilege and a changer in the way we're starting to do things."

One example is the Gamecock Confidential series leading up to Softball season that took viewers behind the scenes with the team as they prepared for their first season under new head coach Beverly Smith and her staff. Under the supervision of Danna, Stoll and Kyle Lewis, Assistant Gamecock Productions Director, several student-assistants did much of the work to produce the six-episode series.

"The production mentality he brought from [NFL Films] helped us with Gamecock Confidential. The cinematography, helping the students develop the storyline, everything he learned from NFL production-wise, etc.," said Danna. "He's been able to teach our students shooting techniques, cinematography techniques, and editing techniques that we've seen carry over and it's helped raise the level of our productions here. We've raised the bar."

Stoll has brought a "nothing but the best" mentality from NFL Films to his work at South Carolina.

"They only accept the best at NFL Films and having that mentality going into every production that I do now only helps me get better and I think helps everyone around me get better because I expect the best out of everything that I do. I don't settle for anything less." 

Congratulations to Justin on his second Emmy award and we look forward to seeing more great work from him and Gamecock Productions!

- Brittany

Another example of work from Stoll and Gamecock Productions:


 

Our beloved Cocky is one of five finalists fans are voting on to appear in the next ESPN College GameDay commercial!!

Voting began at 7:00 PM ET today and ends tomorrow, Friday, May 5th at 5:00 PM ET. That gives us less than 24 hours to spread the word to Gamecocks everywhere to VOTE!!!

Go to the ESPN College GameDay page on Facebook to cast your vote!

Let's get our bird to the #1 spot!

Check out the script here:

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VOTE FOR COCKY!!!

Congratulations to our 2011 Graduates!!

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Sixty-seven Gamecock student-athletes are set to participate in graduation ceremonies this weekend at Colonial Life Arena here at South Carolina. We gathered a large portion of them for some group photos this afternoon in the beautiful 70-degree weather. 

Congratulations to all our 2011 graduates! (see the full list by sport here)

We'll be rooting for you in all that you do. Go Gamecocks!

- Brittany


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Lined up at Colonial life Arena

IMG_2087.JPGCan't be TOO serious! It's a celebration!!
A lot of former athletes think they might want to be an Athletics Director or administrator some day, but what does that really entail? Two former Gamecock football players recently decided to find out, each shadowing our AD, Eric Hyman, for a day to get a glimpse of life in his shoes.

Garrett Chisolm, who just played his senior season in 2010 and is set to graduate in May with a degree in Sport & Entertainment Management, shadowed Hyman as part of his semester-long internship within the athletics department. (I posted a great article from Yahoo! Sports about Chisolm's journey yesterday, definitely a good read for any Gamecock fan).

Travelle Wharton, former Gamecocks offensive lineman who is preparing to start his eighth season in the NFL with the Carolina Panthers, came to campus during spring practice to spend the day with the coaches, then made another trip to spend the day with Hyman and get a taste of the administrative side of athletics. Wharton said although he plans on continuing his playing career for at least a few more years, he is starting to think about plans for life after football.
 
"I didn't really know what to expect coming in," said Wharton. "It was very informative and I appreciate the opportunity to come down and learn more about the administrative side."

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From left to right: Travelle Wharton, Raymond Harrison, Associate AD for Academics/Life Skills, and Eric Hyman meet


Wharton attended the Management Team meeting (a group of all the senior administrators and department heads), our monthly All-Staff meeting with all athletics department staff, and met with Hyman and other administrators and sat in on other meetings throughout the day.

"Everything was so well-structured and organized," said Wharton of the meetings he attended. "Everyone has their part and they can get through a lot of information in a short amount of time."

Chisolm has been interning with the athletics department all semester as part of graduation requirements for his degree in Sport & Entertainment Management (SPTE). He is on track to graduate this May after completing his internship. He has worked with several departments this semester, including the ticket office, compliance, academic services, and development. Chisolm attended the NFL Combine in February but was limited in the testing he could perform due to recovering from ACL surgery. He hopes to continue playing football professionally in the NFL but he is also interested in a career in athletics administration. He said what really piqued his interest originally was taking an introductory SPTE course in which Associate AD Charles Waddell visited as a guest speaker and talked about his job.

"Mr. Hyman thought shadowing him would benefit me and show me what it's like to be an AD," said Chisolm. "It was interesting to see all the meetings and communication. He [Hyman] has to know every single thing going on with South Carolina Athletics. I have been surprised by how quickly things can change from day to day or even hour to hour and all the financial aspects of the department and all the work that goes into development and facilities."

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Garrett Chisolm and Eric Hyman

Chisolm attended the management team meeting, a luncheon, and sat in on various meetings with Hyman throughout the day.

"We're really seeing Garrett come out of his shell this semester and it's great to see him getting a sense for athletics administration," said Hyman. "I really enjoyed getting to know him more today; he's a wonderful young man."

From my standpoint, it was interesting to see both a current student in Chisolm, still starting out and finding his way, and a more removed graduate in Wharton, both contemplating their next steps and learning more about the athletics department. I witness it firsthand around the department every day, but it was just another example of the way the athletics department embraces and supports both current and former student-athletes in what they want to accomplish.

- Brittany
 


This Week's Home Events: Softball Hosts Five Games

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THIS WEEK IN GAMECOCK COUNTRY...

South Carolina Softball leads the way in Columbia this week with five home games. The Gamecocks will host two non-conference opponents from North Carolina this week, facing N.C. State on Tuesday at 5:00 PM and Charlotte on Wednesday at 6:00 PM. Wednesday's game vs. Charlotte will be our "Strike Out Cancer" day. Fans are encouraged to wear pink to the game and the first 250 fans in attendance will receive a Strike Out Cancer rally towel. The week concludes with a three-game SEC series vs. Kentucky, highlighted by $1 admission to Friday's game and an Easter egg hunt on Sunday.


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Tuesday, April 19th


Softball vs. N.C. State - 5:00 PM
*Inflatable Bounce House*


Wednesday, April 20th

Softball vs. Charlotte -6:00 PM
*Strike Out Cancer*
*First 250 Fans receive a Strike Out Cancer Rally Towel*
*Inflatable Bounce House*



Friday, April 22nd

Softball vs. Kentucky - 7:00 PM
*$1 Admission!*
*Inflatable Bounce House*



Saturday, April 23rd

Softball vs. Kentucky - 4:00 PM
*Inflatable Bounce House*


Sunday, April 24th

Softball vs. Kentucky - 1:00 PM
*Easter Egg Hunt*
*Kid's Run the Bases after the game*
*Inflatable Bounce House*


Interested in the t-shirts the Softball team wears? Click here.


Gamecocks on the road this week:

Baseball plays at College of Charleston on Tuesday (6:00 PM) and at Mississippi State in a three-game series this weekend:
Friday - 8:00 PM - ESPNU
Saturday -  7:00 PM - SportSouth
Sunday - 2:30 PM - No TV


Men's and Women's Tennis travel to Gainesville, FL, and Knoxville, TN, respectively for their SEC Tournaments.


Go Gamecocks!

This Week's Home Events: Baseball Faces Another #1

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THIS WEEK IN GAMECOCK COUNTRY...

With two consecutive SEC series sweeps against Kentucky and Tennessee the past two weeks, No. 3-ranked Baseball will host a big match-up with No. 1-ranked Vanderbilt this weekend in another three-game series. Carolina has won all eight three-game series it has played this year, including a 2-1 series win over then-No. 1 Florida, and sits at a tie in first place in the SEC with Vanderbilt.  "Standing room only" general admission tickets are the only remaining tickets for the Friday (7:00 PM) and Saturday (7:00 PM) games. For the Sunday (1:00 PM) game there are outfield bleachers and standing room only tickets available. Click here for ticket information.

Softball has one home game this week, hosting in-state foe Coastal Carolina today at 4:00 PM. Men's Tennis will have Senior Day at their final home match of the season on Saturday vs. Florida at 1:00 PM.

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Monday, April 11th

Softball vs. Coastal Carolina - 4:00 PM
*Inflatable Bounce House*


Friday, April 15th

Baseball vs. Vanderbilt - 7:00 PM
*Inflatable Bounce House*


Saturday, April 16th

Men's Tennis vs. Florida - 1:00 PM
*Posters*
*Senior Day*


Baseball vs. Vanderbilt - 7:00 PM
*Inflatable Bounce House*
Check out our Auctions page to bid on an experience at Saturday's Baseball game including a pre-game facility tour and the chance to watch batting practice from the field.


Sunday, April 17th

Baseball vs. Vanderbilt - 1:00 PM
*Inflatable Bounce House*

1075 the game logo.jpgTonight's guests joining AD Eric Hyman and host Derek Scott on our "Inside the Roost" radio show will be football Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator Ellis Johnson (via phone) and Gamecock Club Director Patrick McFarland. Johnson will discuss spring football and Saturday's Garnet & Black Spring Game while McFarland will talk about the Gamecock Fan Fest presented by the Gamecock Club that followed Saturday's spring game.

"Inside the Roost" airs from 7:00-8:00 PM on 107.5 FM The Game.

This Week's Home Events: 4/4 - 4/10

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THIS WEEK IN GAMECOCK COUNTRY

Baseball and Softball both host midweek games this week before hitting the road this weekend. Baseball will take on USC Upstate at 7:00 PM on Tuesday. Softball will also play an in-state foe on Tuesday, taking on Charleston Southern at 5:00 PM. Softball will take to Beckham Field again on Wednesday at 4:00 PM to take on Head Coach Beverly Smith's former squad, North Carolina. The first 100 students at the game will receive free pizza. Next door at Weems Baskin Track, South Carolina will host the Gamecock Open Meet on Wednesday afternoon.

Miljana Jocic2.jpegWomen's Tennis hosts its final two home matches this week vs. Tennessee at 2:00 PM on Friday and then vs. Georgia at 1:00 PM on Sunday. The Sunday match with the Dawgs is Senior Day, so come cheer on your Gamecocks in their final home appearance. Miljana Jocic (left) is the lone senior for the Gamecocks. The first 50 fans will receive free pizza. Admission to tennis events is free.




Gamecock Football will wrap up spring practice on Saturday with the Garnet and Black Spring Game at 1:00 PM. Admission is free and the first ever Gamecock Fan Fest will kick off 30 minutes after the end of the game. Fan Fest will include various activities on the field: skills challenges, photo opportunities with trophies, Cocky and the cheerleaders, live music and more. Click here for more info. The spring game will also be aired on ESPN3.com.


Tuesday, April 5th

Softball vs. Charleston Southern - 5:00 PM
*Team Picture Day - The first 100 fans can have their picture taken with the team after the game*

Baseball  vs. USC Upstate - 7:00 PM


Wednesday, April 6th

Softball vs. North Carolina - 4:00 PM
*Pizza for the first 100 students*

Track - Gamecock Open Meet (schedule of events)


Friday, April 8th

Women's Tennis vs. Tennessee - 2:00 PM
*First 50 fans receive free pizza*


Saturday, April 9th

Football - Garnet & Black Spring Game - 1:00 PM
*Fan Fest*


Sunday, April 10th

Women's Tennis vs. Georgia - 1:00 PM
*Senior Day*
*First 50 fans receive free pizza*
*Kid's Day - coloring, pictures with Cocky and autographs!*


1075 the game logo.jpgThree coaches will join AD Eric Hyman and host Derek Scott on tonight's "Inside the Roost" radio show, airing live from 7:00-8:00 PM from the Hilton downtown.

Baseball Associate Head Coach Chad Holbrook and Men's Soccer Assistant Coach Bert Molinary will be on to discuss their respective sports as well as being nationally recognized for their recruiting efforts. Football Assistant Coach Brad Lawing (Defensive Line) will join the show to discuss spring football practice, set to wrap up this Saturday with the Garnet and Black Spring Game at 1:00 PM.

Tune in live to "Inside the Roost" from 7:00-8:00 PM on 107.5 FM The Game.

"Inside the Roost": Michael Roth, Steve Spurrier Jr.

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1075 the game logo.jpgTonight's guests joining AD Eric Hyman and host Derek Scott on "Inside the Roost" are junior pitcher Michael Roth and assistant football coach Steve Spurrier Jr.

Roth helped lead the Baseball team to a 9-2 win over #1 Florida on Friday in Gainesville, pitching a season high 8.1 innings and allowing just two runs on 10 hits while striking out six and walking two. For the season, Roth is 5-1 with a 1.50 ERA and has pitched a team-high 42.0 innings.

Spurrier Jr. coaches the wide receivers and recently took over duties as Recruiting Coordinator. The Gamecocks are about midway through spring practice with the Garnet and Black Spring Game scheduled for April 9th at 1:00 PM with the first ever Fan Fest to follow.

Tune in tonight from 7:00-8:00 PM on 107.5 FM The Game for "Inside the Roost"!
THIS WEEK IN GAMECOCK COUNTRY...

After SEC road trips this past weekend both Baseball and Softball return to Columbia this week with one in-state nonconference match-up each on Wednesday and a three-game SEC series each this weekend. Baseball will take on The Citadel at Carolina Stadium on Wednesday at 7:00 PM and will face Kentucky on Friday (7:00 PM), Saturday (4:30 PM) and Sunday (1:30 PM). Over at Beckham Field Softball will face USC Upstate at 5:00 PM on Wednesday and host a weekend series vs. Alabama with something special for fans for each game. Friday's game (6:00 PM) is $1 Hot Dog Day, Saturday (2:00 PM) is Girl Scout Day (all Girl Scouts receive $1 admission and can participate in a Gamecock Softball banner competition), and Sunday (12:00 PM) we'll wrap up the weekend with Little League Day - all youth softball teams will receive $1 admission and kids can run the bases after the game.

Men's Tennis hosts two SEC matches this weekend, facing Vanderbilt on Friday at 2:00 PM and Kentucky on Sunday at 1:00 PM. Weather permitting those two matches will be played at the Maxcy Gregg Tennis Center. The indoor tennis facility at the Field House is the alternate location. Admission is free to tennis events.

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Softball at Beckham Field (Photo by Travis Bell - Sideline Carolina)



Wednesday, March 30th


Softball vs. USC Upstate - 5:00 PM
*Inflatable Bounce House*

Baseball vs. The Citadel - 7:00 PM
*Team Posters*


Friday, April 1st

Men's Tennis vs. Vanderbilt - 2:00 PM
*Team Posters*

Softball vs. Alabama - 6:00 PM
*Inflatable Bounce House*
*$1 Hot Dog Day!*


Baseball vs. Kentucky - 7:00 PM
*Team Posters*


Saturday, April 2nd

Softball vs. Alabama - 2:00 PM
*Girl Scout Day - All Girl Scouts and their families receive $1 Admission and can participate in a Gamecock Softball banner competition. The troop with the winning banner will receive a prize!*
*Team Posters*


Baseball vs. Kentucky - 4:30 PM
*Team Posters*
* Point West give away - Koozies, Plastic Water bottles, hand sanitizers



Sunday, April 3rd

Softball vs. Alabama - 12:00 PM
*Little League Day - All youth teams will receive $1 Admission*
*Kids can run the bases after the game!*


Men's Tennis vs. Kentucky - 1:00 PM
*Team Posters*

Baseball vs. Kentucky - 1:30 PM
*Team Posters*

Click here for Baseball and Softball ticket information.

THIS WEEK IN GAMECOCK COUNTRY

This week Baseball hosts two mid-week nonconference games after winning their opening SEC series vs. Georgia last weekend. They will face College of Charleston tonight at 7:00 PM (TV: SportSouth) and Rhode Island Wednesday night at 7:00 PM before hitting the road to Gainesville this weekend for a big match-up at No. 1-ranked Florida.

Men's Tennis is the next Gamecock squad to take on Clemson with a match Wednesday at 2:00 PM at the Maxcy Gregg Tennis Center. We are currently 9-3 vs. the Tigers in head to head competition in the 2010-11 school year. Admission is free for all attendees and the first 50 students will receive free pizza.

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Eighth-ranked Equestrian is winding down their season following a Senior Day win over New Mexico State last Saturday. This weekend they will host Georgia and Auburn at One Wood Farm in Blythewood for the Southern Equestrian Championships before moving on to the Varsity Equestrian National Championships in Waco, TX. Admission is free and fans can tour the barn and decorate horse shoes while they cheer on the team. Track & Field hosts their only home outdoor meet of the season with the Weems Baskin Invitational all day Saturday. Admission is free so don't miss your only opportunity to watch these elite athletes compete at home. Women's Tennis will wrap up the home action this weekend hosting Ole Miss on Sunday at 1:00 PM at the Maxcy Gregg Tennis Center.

Tuesday, March 22

Baseball vs. College of Charleston - 7:00 PM
TV: SportSouth
Game Notes

Wednesday, March 23

Men's Tennis vs. Clemson - 2:00 PM
*First 50 students receive free pizza*

Baseball vs. Rhode Island - 7:00 PM

Friday, March 25

Equestrian - Southern Equestrian Championships - 2:00 PM
South Carolina vs. Georgia
*Tour the Barn & Decorate Horse Shoes*

Saturday, March 26

Equestrian - Southern Equestrian Championships - 10:00 AM
South Carolina/Georgia winner vs. Auburn
*Tour the Barn & Decorate Horse Shoes*

Track & Field - Weems Baskin Invitational - Events begin at 10:00 AM and run throughout the day - click here for the full meet schedule

Sunday, March 27

Women's Tennis vs. Ole Miss - 1:00 PM
*Team Posters*

"Inside the Roost" guests: Kalen Anderson, Jay Graham

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Joining AD Eric Hyman and host Derek Scott on the "Inside the Roost" radio show tonight will be Women's Golf head coach Kalen Anderson and assistant football coach Jay Graham.

Anderson has led Gamecocks to the NCAA Championship tournament twice in her first three seasons; the team had not made it past the regional since 2003 prior to her arrival. She led the Gamecocks to the 2010 NCAA East Regional title, the first in school history.

Graham, who coaches running backs and tight ends, is preparing for his third season with the Gamecocks currently in the midst of spring practice. After this past season Graham was nominated for the 2010 Frank Broyles Assistant Coach of the Year Award and was one of four finalists for National Running Backs Coach of the Year by FootballScoop.com. Graham spent six seasons in the NFL before beginning his coaching career.

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You can listen live to "Inside the Roost" tonight from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM on 107.5 FM The Game.




- Brittany Lane

Gatorade Visits Carolina for Product Feedback

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Recently Gatorade representatives visited Columbia to meet with South Carolina student-athletes, Athletic Trainers, Strength & Conditioning coaches, and sports nutritionist. The meeting was a part of a series of meetings with a select group of schools and professional teams to get product feedback and discuss future product ideas and launches. One of the more interesting aspects of the meeting was the different needs and priorities of different sports. The hydration and nutrition needs and desires are going to be different for a football player and a cross country runner, for example.

When Director of Sports Medicine John Kasik told me about the visit I was intrigued because as an alum and current staff member, anything that positions South Carolina as a leader in the athletics world gives me pride. Gatorade has a LOT of team partners, so it speaks to South Carolina's prominence to be consulted with for product feedback.

"Gatorade has a 40-year history of studying the best athletes in the world in order to know what is needed before, during and after activity to maximize performance," said Gatorade rep Molly Carter. " We value the relationships that we have with institutions such as the University of South Carolina as it allows us to determine specific athletic nutrition and fueling needs.  As we transition into a leader in sports nutrition innovation, we need the insights from elite athletes such as the Gamecocks.  These valuable insights allow us to drive our future product innovation and development."

THIS WEEK IN GAMECOCK COUNTRY...

Women's Basketball is in the postseason and will host their first round game in the WNIT vs. Appalachian State this Wednesday at 7:00 PM. Tickets go on sale Tuesday morning and are $8 for adults and $5 for youth (17 & under), students, and faculty/staff. All seats are general admission.

Baseball and Softball both take on Georgia this week. Softball leads things off with a doubleheader vs. the Dawgs on Wednesday with games at 4:00 PM and 6:15 PM. Students in attendance will earn double student rewards points and youth softball players who wear their team uniform or t-shirt will receive admission for just $1. This will be the first SEC match-up for Baseball with games on Friday (7:00 PM, less than 100 bleacher seats available), Saturday (4:00 PM, standing room only available), and Sunday (1:30 PM, bleachers and standing room tickets available).

Women's Tennis and Men's Tennis both take on VCU this week at 2:00 PM at the Maxcy Gregg Tennis Center (Women on Wednesday, Men on Thursday). The men's team will then take on Mississippi State on Saturday at 1:00 PM. Equestrian will host their final meet on Saturday at 10:00 AM vs. New Mexico State before hosting next week's Southern Equestrian Championships. Admission is free to tennis and equestrian events.

Wednesday, March 16th

Women's Tennis vs. VCU - 2:00 PM
*South Carolina Faculty and Staff day*

Softball vs. Georgia (Doubleheader) - 4:00 & 6:15 PM
*Softball Little League Day* - if youth players wear their team uniform or t-shirt they will receive admission for just $1
*Inflatable Bounce House*
*Double Student Rewards Points*

Women's Soccer Fan Appreciation Clinic - 5:30 PM
More info

Baseball vs. Wofford - 7:00 PM
*Posters*

Women's Basketball vs. Appalachian State - 7:00 PM
*First Round WNIT Game*


Thursday, March 17th

Men's  Tennis vs. VCU - 2:00 PM
*Posters*


Friday, March 18th

Baseball vs. Georgia - 7:00 PM
*Posters*


Saturday, March 19th

Equestrian vs. New Mexico State - 10:00 AM
*Posters*
*Coloring for Kids*


Men's Tennis vs. Mississippi State - 1:00 PM
*Posters*

Baseball vs. Georgia - 4:00 PM
*Posters*


Sunday, March 20th

Baseball vs. Georgia - 1:30 PM
*Posters*

Joining AD Eric Hyman on our "Inside the Roost" radio show this evening will be Men's Golf Head Coach Bill McDonald, former Mississippi State AD and current SEC Television Consultant Larry Templeton, and Track & Field student-athlete LaKya Brookins.

Brookins won her second National Championship in the 60-meter dash at this past weekend's NCAA Indoor Championships. Her time of 7.09 seconds is a collegiate record and is also the fastest time ran in the world so far in 2011.

"Inside the Roost" airs on 107.5 FM The Game from 7:00 PM-8:00 PM.
Last week four Gamecock student-athletes joined Cocky to head out to Pickney Elementary School on base at Fort Jackson. All children in school at Pickney have at least one parent on Active duty with the U.S. Military. Chris Duzan, Danny Cates, and Daniel Lynch from Men's Soccer and Brandi Byers from Volleyball worked with 5th and 6th graders from P.E. classes to practice various soccer drills, play games, and spend time with the kids afterward signing autographs and talking. As you can see in the photo slideshow below, Cocky was also a big hit as always. The athletics department worked with Colonel Craig Currey, Deputy Commander of Fort Jackson to put the event together. Jeff Nichols, the P.E. teacher at Pickney, is a South Carolina alumnus, class of 1977.




THIS WEEK IN GAMECOCK COUNTRY...

Softball hosts a big series this weekend as they open home SEC play vs. Ole Miss after going 13-5 in nonconference play. They'll play Friday at 6:00 PM, Saturday at 2:00 PM, and Sunday at 12:00 PM. The first 250 fans on Friday will receive Gamecock Softball Rally Towels to celebrate the opening of SEC play and the team will sign autographs after the last game of the series on Sunday.  Baseball also hosts a three-game series this weekend vs. Cal State Bakersfield, an opponent who is generating some buzz after beating powerhouse Arizona State as well as Kansas and Washington among others. The 11-2 Roadrunners are ranked No. 30 in the Collegiate Baseball poll (in which SC is ranked No. 6). Baseball also hosts Davidson in a midweek game on Wednesday at 7:00 PM after facing archrival Clemson in Greenville tonight at Fluor Field in a make-up game from Saturday's postponement.  Women's Tennis opens up home SEC play as well this weekend, facing Auburn on Friday at 2:00 PM and Alabama on Sunday at 1:00 PM. Both of those matches are scheduled to be played outdoors at the Maxcy-Gregg Tennis Center on Blossom St. Should there be any inclement weather, those matches would be played indoors at the Field House.


Wednesday, March 9

Baseball vs. Davidson - 7:00 PM


Friday, March 11

Women's Tennis vs. Auburn - 2:00 PM
*Team Posters*

Softball vs. Ole Miss - 6:00 PM
*Inflatable Bounce House*
*First 250 fans receive Gamecock Softball Rally Towels*


Baseball vs. Cal State Bakersfield - 7:00 PM


Saturday, March 12

Softball vs. Ole Miss - 2:00 PM
*Inflatable Bounce House*
*One fan will be picked as the Jr. PA announcer for an inning!*


Baseball vs. Cal State Bakersfield - 4:00 PM


Sunday, March 13

Softball vs. Ole Miss - 12:00 PM
*Inflatable Bounce House*
* Post-Game Autographs *


Women's Tennis vs. Alabama - 1:00 PM
*Team Posters*

Baseball vs. Cal State Bakersfield - 1:30 PM
*Jewel May (Women's Basketball) to throw out first pitch*




Perfect 4.0 GPAs recognized at halftime

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This past fall, 52 of our student-athletes posted a perfect 4.0 GPA for their classes. We recognized many of them for their accomplishment on the court during halftime of last week's Men's Basketball game.

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Here is the full list of student-athletes who had all A's last semester. Keep up the great work, Gamecocks!


Baseball
Richard Royal

Equestrian
Alison Ceresani
Paige Dekko
Maggie Fortune
Ansley Hedgepeth
Mary Kraybill
Melody Malbin
Kimberly McCormack

Football
Addison Williams
Dalton Wilson

Men's Soccer
Stephen Anderson
David Benson
Chris Duzan

Men's Swimming & Diving
James Crawford
Dan Jackson
Garrett Snipes

Men's Tennis
Jake Bowling

Men's Track & Field
Corey Benson
Robert Razick
Frederick Suhrstedt

Women's Golf
Corinne Carr
Katie Higgins
Samantha Swinehart

Softball
Sam Arbaugh
Julie Sarratt

Women's Soccer
Kelsey Barr
Gabby Gilbert
Blakely Mattern
Elizabeth Sinclair

Women's Swimming & Diving
Maryn Bieganski
Courtney Callahan
Cassandra Cregar
Jordan Gibbs
Alyssa Hand
Chay Malvasio
Lindsey Olson
Claire Shannon
Megan Sparks

Women's Tennis
Katerina Popova

Women's Track & Field
Laura Beggs
Ashley Evens
Erin Fedewa
Chelsea Leroux
Tara Lindeman
Kayla Parker
Ellen Quigg
Stacee Roberts
Tara Tae

Volleyball
Jordan Bradosky
Lindsey Craft
Cara Howley
Olivia Ryder

Life Skills program hosts Dress for Success event

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As part of our Life Skills program, junior student-athletes attend "Dress for Success", an educational event designed to help our student-athletes with dressing professionally in various situations, including job interviews, awards banquets, and the like.

Students break up into male and female groups for gender-specific tips on appropriate fit, color, care, and use of suits and professional clothing. Female student-athletes modeled professional looks for their peers and the men broke into groups to learn and/or practice how to correctly tie and wear their ties. 

Check out the photo slideshow and watch the video feature below for more on this event and to hear from the student-athletes themselves:






- Brittany Lane


This Week's Home Events: 3/1 - 3/6

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THIS WEEK IN GAMECOCK COUNTRY...

The young Baseball season continues with two more home games this week against in-state opponents, first vs. Furman tonight at 7:00 PM then vs. rival Clemson this Friday at 7:00 PM.  The Gamecocks are 6-0 so far with two weekend sweeps of Santa Clara and Southern Illinois and ranked No. 4 in the nation in the Baseball America Top 25 and the USA Today/ESPN coaches' poll. The three-game series with Clemson continues on the road with a neutral site game at Fluor Field in Greenville on Saturday and at Clemson on Sunday.

Men's Basketball hosts Senior Night this week at the final regular season home game vs. Tennessee on Thursday. Tip-off is set for 7:00 PM and Senior Night festivities for Sam Muldrow and Johndre Jefferson will take place before the game so get there early to help honor our seniors and give a great atmosphere for this nationally televised game (ESPN). The first 250 SC students at the game will receive free pizza.

Men's Tennis opens up SEC play this week with home matches vs. Arkansas on Friday at 2:00 PM and vs. LSU on Sunday at 1:00 PM. To kick off SEC play the first match vs. Arkansas will have free pizza for Carolina students and a Facebook coupon fans can redeem for a prize. Admission to tennis matches is free.


Tuesday, March 1st

Baseball vs. Furman - 7:00 PM


Thursday, March 3rd

Men's Basketball vs. Tennessee - 7:00 PM
-*Senior Night* - Sam Muldrow and Johndre Jefferson
- Firehouse Subs cards (bring in your card to participating Firehouse Subs locations and receive free chips and drink with the purchase of a sub)
- Free pizza for first 250 Carolina students


Friday, March 4th

Men's Tennis vs. Arkansas - 2:00 PM
- Free pizza for first 100 Carolina students
- *Facebook Friday* - print off the coupon from the Facebook page and redeem it for a prize at the match

Baseball vs. Clemson - 7:00 PM


Sunday, March 6th

Men's Tennis vs. LSU - 1:00 PM

Successful intersection of academics and athletics at SC

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A blog post on InsideHigherEd.com inspired some discussion around the athletics department last week about the relationship and balance between academic and athletic success for our student-athletes. Here is an excerpt from the post, written by Dr. Herman A. Berliner, Hofstra University's Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs:

"When I started in higher education, athletics and scholarship were often viewed as the oil and vinegar. They simply didn't mix; there was no intersection. There were very few conversations. And no scholar athlete recognition event. Many faculty viewed athletes in a less than positive light; and a significant number of coaches viewed academic s as a distraction to their top talent. Thankfully, for the most part, the world has changed and continues to change.

Thanks to the efforts of the NCAA, thanks to a more student centered philosophy of education, thanks to a new breed of coaches, thanks to a world where stereotyping is less the norm, we now find much greater collaboration and cooperation between academics and athletics. And nothing could be better for the students involved. Being on a team is a great experience but at the end of the day, very few college athletes enter the pros. It is therefore especially important that they succeed as students so that they graduate and have more options available to them. As faculty, administrators, and staff, we get great pleasure from our athletes and as faculty, administrators, and staff we have an obligation to our athletes and all our students, to see that they succeed and graduate."

In a year full of "firsts" in competition for various Gamecock teams and student-athletes, we've also been breaking new ground in the classroom. South Carolina student-athletes completed the fall semester by not only achieving their eighth consecutive semester of a departmental grade point average above 3.0, but also recording the highest departmental GPA on record at 3.146. Thirteen out of 17 teams achieved a 3.0 or better for the semester, with eight teams earning above a 3.3 GPA. The football team set its highest GPA on record for the third consecutive year with a 2.779. In addition to winning the National Championship on the field, the Baseball team also had the highest average GPA of the eight teams who made it to the College World Series last summer.

"An extremely important component of what we do is the education of our young people," says Athletics Director Eric Hyman. "Our jobs are not complete unless we put our student athletes in a position to graduate when their eligibility has been exhausted."

South Carolina led the SEC for the fifth consecutive fall semester atop the Fall SEC Academic Honor Roll with 79 student-athletes making the list. The Gamecock also led the conference with the highest number of football players making the list at 31.

"There is no secret why our teams are experiencing high levels of success on the field of play," says Raymond Harrison, Associate AD for Academics and Student Support Services. "The commitment level and work ethic of the student-athletes are transferring into all areas- athletics, academics and community outreach."

Congratulations to all our student-athletes on their accomplishments and here's to many more, both in athletics and in academics, as we continue to strive toward helping our student-athletes be successful in all areas.

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The 40,000 square foot Dodie Anderson Academic Enrichment Center has now been in operation for a little over a year.


Tonight's guests joining AD Eric Hyman on the "Inside the Roost" radio show are SEC Champion diver Taryn Zack and Director of Football Strength & Conditioning Craig Fitzgerald (aka Coach Fitz).

Senior diver Taryn Zack set the SEC Championship record in 1-meter diving with a score of 336.55 and won her second SEC title on February 11th.

Coach Fitz leads the strength and conditioning program for Gamecock Football and is currently overseeing offseason workouts as the team prepares for spring practice to begin on March 15th.

Listen to "Inside the Roost" tonight from 7:00-8:00 PM on 107.5 FM The Game

Some Gamecocks love in Darius Rucker's new video

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Check out Gamecock fan and music star Darius Rucker's new video for his song, "This". Keep an eye out for the sweatshirt... Go Gamecocks!!!


This Week's Home Events

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THIS WEEK IN GAMECOCK COUNTRY...

After a great opening weekend sweep of Santa Clara, Baseball remains home with a three-game series vs. Southern Illinois this weekend, with 3:00 PM games on Friday and Saturday and 1:30 PM on Sunday. Softball returns home after winning the FGCU Tournament title this past weekend to host a doubleheader with Elon on Saturday. As part of our Garnet, Black & Green event, the first 50 fans who bring a recyclable item to Softball will receive a free team autographed poster. Our popular Kid's Day program will be at Women's Tennis on Thursday vs. Winthrop at 2:00 PM.

The Basketball season is winding down as Men's Basketball hosts their next to last home game vs. Ole Miss tonight at 7:00 PM. The first 400 fans will receive free t-shirts courtesy of Safe Federal Credit Union. Women's Basketball hosts their final home game of the regular season this Sunday at 2:00 PM vs. Vanderbilt. Two seniors, Jewel May and Valerie Nainima, will be honored before the game for Senior Day. The first 500 fans will receive a rally towel and the first 750 fans will receive a Firehouse Subs three point card good for free chips and a drink with the purchase of a sub. 107.5 FM will also hold their free throw contest at halftime. With a couple more wins, the Women's Basketball team is within reach of an NCAA Tournament berth, so come out and support the team in their final home game. Gamecock Club members and Carolina Alumni Association members can get special discount tickets for just $4 online.


Tuesday, February 22nd

Men's Basketball vs. Ole Miss, 7:00 PM
Free T-shirts to first 400 fans courtesy of Safe Federal Credit Union
TV: ESPNU
Radio: Gamecock IMG Sports Network or GamecocksOnline.com All-Access

Pre-Game Notes


Thursday, February 24th


Women's Tennis vs. Winthrop, 2:00 PM
*Kid's Day* - Silly Band give away
Free admission


Friday, February 25th

Baseball vs. Southern Illinois, 3:00 PM


Saturday, February 26th

Softball vs. Elon, 2:00 PM and 4:15 PM (Doubleheader)
*Garnet, Black & Green -First 50 fans to bring in a recyclable item, receive a free team autographed poster.

Baseball vs. Southern Illinois, 3:00 PM


Sunday, February 27th

Baseball vs. Southern Illinois, 1:30 PM

Women's Basketball vs. Vanderbilt, 2:00 PM
*Senior Day*         
First 500 fans receive a rally towel
107.5 free throw shoot contest at half-time
Firehouse Subs three point cards to first 750 fans (bring in your card to participating Firehouse Subs locations and receive free chips and drink with the purchase of a sub!)
TV: FSN
Radio: WISW 1320 AM or GamecocksOnline.com All-Access

Get ticket information for all Gamecock home events here.


Gamecocks in the Postseason:


Indoor Track & Field will be competing all weekend at the SEC Championships in Arkansas. Click here for more info.


Tonight's guests on our "Inside the Roost" radio show will be new Senior Associate AD/Senior Woman Administrator Judy Van Horn and Women's Tennis associate head coach Katarina Petrovic. Tennis Freshman Katerina Popova will also join the show. Van Horn recently joined the Gamecocks after a nine year tenure at Michigan. Coach Petrovic is in her seventh season coaching here after being a four-year letterwinner for the Gamecocks from 1998-2002. Women's Tennis hosts Winthrop at home on Thursday at 2:00 PM.

Tune in live to Inside the Roost from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM on 107.5 FM The Game.

We have had a wide range of guests join AD Eric Hyman on Inside the Roost. We often have coaches and student-athletes on the show as well as administrators or athletics department staff and former student-athletes. We often go with sports or departments that are timely, such as having our Assistant AD for Compliance, Jennifer Stiles, on before National Signing Day, and in-season coaches discussing their teams before big match-ups.

Fans, who would you like to hear from? Any departments or teams in the athletics program at South Carolina you would like to hear more about? Could be anything from a specific team/coach/player to a certain program/department or service we have, such as strength and conditioning, academics, compliance, sports medicine, etc. Leave any suggestions or recommendations for guests on the Inside the Roost show in the comments here or on our Facebook page. We'd love to hear your ideas!

Thanks!

- Brittany Lane
THIS WEEK IN GAMECOCK COUNTRY...

We've been counting down and it's finally here... this weekend is the opening series for our 2010 National Champion Baseball team. Opening Day is this Friday at 3:00 PM vs. Santa Clara. The series will continue vs. Santa Clara on Saturday at 3:00 PM and Sunday at 1:30 PM. As of yesterday we were just 60 tickets away from our 5,000 season tickets goal set by Coach Tanner when we opened Carolina Stadium. Get your season tickets here.

We have several pre-game festivities planned for Opening Day on Friday, many featuring the Military. Technical Sergeant Steve David, a Recruiter in the South Carolina Air National Guard, will perform the National Anthem. Military representatives will also present the colors and the United States flag. We'll be displaying selected Gamecock-themed Military photos on the videoboard throughout the game, so fans are encouraged to submit their photos to GamecockAthletics@gmail.com. To recognize the 2010 National Championship, we'll have a brief video introducing the raising of the National Championship flag. The ceremonial first pitch will be thrown out by Blake Cooper from last year's team. He will be accompanied by National Championship teammates Bobby Haney, Jeff Jones, Whit Merrifield, Parker Bangs, Jordan Propst, and Kyle Enders.

Women's Basketball hosts a big game vs. Auburn on Sunday at 2:00 PM. The game is our "Pink Zone" game for Breast Cancer Awareness. The coaches will be dressed in pink, the team will be sporting pink accessories and the first 750 fans will receive a rally towel. This is a crucial SEC match-up for the Gamecocks who are now 15-10 overall and 7-5 in the SEC. With just four regular season games left to play and then the SEC Tournament, our women have a great opportunity to finish the season very strong. Sunday is also another "Read with the Gamecocks" Game. Over 5,000 students from 37 schools participated in this segment of the "Read with the Gamecocks" program, reading 1,721,781 pages overall.

Softball went 3-1 in the Palmetto State Showdown this weekend including a no-hitter from SEC Freshman of the Week Julie Sarratt in her collegiate debut vs. Coastal Carolina. They continue the New Chapter under head coach Beverly Smith this week on Wednesday at 3:00 PM vs. Winthrop at Beckham Field. Men's Tennis also has a new head coach this season, Josh Goffi, and they take on USC Upstate Sunday at 2:00 PM in the Field House. Track & Field will host the Gamecock Invitational, their final Indoor regular season event before the SEC Championships, on Saturday in the Field House.

Wednesday, February 16th

Softball vs. Winthrop, 3:00 PM, Beckham Field
*Inflatable Bounce House*


Friday, February 18th

Baseball vs. Santa Clara, 3:00 PM, Carolina Stadium - Opening Day Ceremonies


Saturday, February 19th

Baseball vs. Santa Clara, 3:00 PM, Carolina Stadium

Indoor Track & Field - Gamecock Invitational - All day, Field House


Sunday, February 20th

Baseball vs. Santa Clara, 1:30 PM, Carolina Stadium

Women's Basketball vs. Auburn, 2:00 PM, Colonial Life Arena
-    Read With The Gamecocks
-    Pink Zone Game - First 750 fans receive a Rally Towel

Men's Tennis vs. USC Upstate, 2:00 PM, Field House


*Watch your Gamecocks on the road on TV...*

Wednesday, February 16th
Men's Basketball @ Tennessee, 7:00 PM
TV: CSS/ESPN3.com/Time Warner Cable Digital Ch. 506
Radio: Gamecock Radio Network

Thursday, February 17th
Women's Basketball @ Tennessee, 7:00 PM
TV: CSS/Time Warner Cable Digital Ch. 506
Radio: WISW 1320 AM

Saturday, February 19th
Men's Basketball @ Kentucky, 4:00 PM
TV: SEC Network/ESPN3.com
Radio: Gamecock Radio Network


*Gamecocks in the post-season...*
The Divers competed this past weekend and now the Swimmers are at the SEC Swimming Championships this week in Gainesville, FL, February 16th-19th.

Go Gamecocks!

On tonight's "Inside the Roost" radio show, AD Eric Hyman will be joined by assistant baseball coach Jerry Meyers and track student-athlete LaKya Brookins.

Brookins has "gone auto" in the 60-meter dash every indoor meet she's run so far this season, meaning that her time each race she has run has been fast enough to automatically qualify her for the NCAA Championships. She is the only 60-meter runner in the nation to hit an NCAA automatic qualifying time in every meet of her team's 2011 season. She is also on the 10-person watch list for The Bowerman Award, the top individual award in track & field.

Listen in live on 107.5 FM The Game on the Gamecock Radio Network.

- Brittany Lane


THIS WEEK IN GAMECOCK COUNTRY...

It's an exciting time of year as both Basketball teams are at .500 in SEC play and in a crucial stretch of their seasons and Baseball and Softball are about to get started. Both basketball teams also face Top 25-ranked opponents this week. Men's Basketball (13-8, 4-4 SEC) faces two critical SEC East match-ups. First we're looking for a season sweep of the Gators vs. #17/19 Florida Wednesday night at 8:00 PM, followed by a Saturday afternoon game vs. Georgia at 4:00 PM. Both of these games will be televised on the SEC Network and ESPN3.com. Women's Basketball (13-10, 5-5 SEC) will take on #15/18 Kentucky on Thursday night at 7:00 PM then travel to Mississippi State for a Sunday SEC Network game at 4:00 PM.  Click here to vote on our Facebook page for the Fans' Choice song to be played during the Men's game vs. Georgia!

Softball opens up their New Chapter under new head coach Beverly Smith this weekend with the Palmetto State Showdown. The Gamecocks will face four in-state opponents starting with their opening game vs. Charleston Southern at 3:00 PM on Friday afternoon. Single game admission is $5 for adults and $3 for youth. Season tickets are just $25 for adults and $10 for youth. A season ticket almost pays for itself with just this weekend's games. 

On the road in Gainesville, FL, the Diving contingent of our Swimming & Diving squad will begin post-season competition with the SEC Diving Championships. Good luck to all our divers this weekend!


Come out and cheer on your Gamecocks!  

This Week's Home Events:

Wednesday, February 9th

Men's Basketball vs. #17/19 Florida, 8:00 PM, Colonial Life Arena
-    I Love College Hoops Headbands/Foam Fingers to students
-    Firehouse 3 point cards (bring in your card to participating Firehouse Subs locations and receive free chips and drink with the purchase of a sub!)
-    Half time performance by Southern Strutt dance
-    TV: SEC Network (affiliates list), ESPN3.com
-    Radio: Gamecock Radio Network from IMG College


Thursday, February 10th

Women's Basketball vs. #15/18 Kentucky, 7:00 PM, Colonial Life Arena
-    First 750 fans receive Firehouse 3 point card
-    Radio: WISW 1320 AM


Friday, February 11th

*Palmetto State Showdown begins, new 2011 Gamecock Softball posters will be available at all games*

Softball vs. Charleston Southern, 3:00 PM, Beckham Field
 *Bounce House


Saturday, February 12th

Softball vs. Furman, 10:30 AM, Beckham Field

Softball vs. Coastal Carolina, 12:30 PM, Beckham Field


Men's Basketball vs. Georgia, 4:00 PM, Colonial Life Arena
-    Gamecock Club Appreciation Day
-    Firehouse 3 point cards


Sunday, February 13th

Softball vs. USC Upstate, 5:00 PM, Beckham Field
*Bounce House


See y'all there! Go Gamecocks!

- Brittany Lane

USC Hall of Fame member Harold White to speak tonight

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Tonight, February 8, 7:30 p.m., Russell House Theater

"Perspectives from a USC Legend," Harold White, former USC athletic administrator and member of the USC Hall of Fame

White, a former football coach and academic adviser, coached and counseled thousands of Gamecock athletes in his 36 years with the university. Over this time, he witnessed many changes at the university, including transitions in the years following the university's integration in 1963. Come out to hear this South Carolina legend share his experiences!

This event is free and open to the public.  

Tonight's guests on the "Inside the Roost" radio show will be assistant football coach and recruiting coordinator Shane Beamer and Softball senior Laura Mendes. Softball opens up the 2011 season this weekend with the Palmetto State Showdown against all in-state opponents. The first game is Friday afternoon at 3:00 PM vs. Charleston Southern at Beckham Field. Season tickets are just $25 for adults and $10 for youth.

You can listen to the show live from 7-8 PM on 107.5 FM The Game.

Go Gamecocks!

- Brittany Lane

Gamecocks on the SEC Network

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With the SEC having arguably the best television arrangement in all of college sports, we sometimes forget how only two years ago South Carolina had several basketball games that were not televised at all.  

With the new television deal, every SEC game is televised. Unfortunately for some of us there are a few instances where part of our market is not able to watch the game on TV. However in most cases when the game is not being shown in your market the game is available online at ESPN3.com.

The SEC Network is not one specific channel but rather a collection of affiliates around the Southeast. The local affiliate for Columbia is WIS and the complete list of affiliates can be found here . For most weekday games on the SEC Network, WIS will move the South Carolina game to its digital channel 10.2 (Time Warner channel 121) in order to not preempt primetime NBC programming. Unfortunately only those with Time Warner or a digital antenna will be able to watch the game on television.

Occasionally South Carolina will have baseball or basketball games placed on CSS (Comcast Sports Southeast) which of course excludes other cable and satellite providers unless alternative arrangements are made. We sincerely appreciate Time Warner's efforts to assist in finding a solution to air Gamecock games that are being televised on CSS on one of their channels (Digital channel 506).

For tonight's Men's Basketball game against LSU at 8:00 PM ET, Gamecock fans have the following options:
-    Time Warner customers - Channel 121 - WIS D2
-    DirecTV/Dish - Not available
-    AT&T Uverse - Not available
-    ESPN3.com - an online network located at ESPN3.com, offered for free dependent upon your internet provider

*May be available on ESPN Full Court packages, subject to blackout

We will continue to assist you in finding the Gamecocks when they are on TV by updating the following page: http://gamecocksonline.cstv.com/sectv.html

THIS WEEK IN GAMECOCK COUNTRY...

Swimming & Diving wrapped up their regular season last weekend and both Men's and Women's Basketball hit the road this week. With a lull in home action during the week, two sports will host home events this weekend.

Sixth-ranked Equestrian will take on No. 3 Georgia this Saturday at 1:00 PM at One Wood Farm in Blythewood (click here to get directions). We'll also be hosting our "Equifest" Kid's Day as part of the event. The first 50 kids will receive autographed posters. Other Equifest activities available include pony rides, decorating horseshoes, and making stick horses while cheering on the Gamecocks over Georgia.

Men's Tennis hosts two matches on Saturday as they take on Charlotte at 10:00 AM and Appalachian State at 4:00 PM. Both events will be held in the Carolina Field House indoor tennis facility.

Admission is free for both the Equestrian and Men's Tennis events.

You can catch your basketball teams in action on the road on TV. Both of this week's Men's Basketball games (at LSU, Wednesday at 8:00 PM and at Vanderbilt, Saturday at 1:30 PM) will air on the SEC Network and ESPN3.com. The Women's Basketball game at Arkansas on Sunday will air on ESPNU at 4:00 PM.

Go Gamecocks!

Tonight's guests on "Inside the Roost" at 7:00 PM

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Tonight's guests joining Athletics Director Eric Hyman on "Inside the Roost" will be Women's Basketball head coach Dawn Staley and Assistant AD for Compliance, Jennifer Stiles.

Coach Staley will be talking Women's Basketball, naturally, and Stiles will speak about National Signing Day coming up this Wednesday and related rules.

You can listen to "Inside the Roost" on 107.5 FM The Game on the Gamecock Radio Network from IMG College.

Life Skills program hosts Fall Sports Etiquette Dinner

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This week the Academics/Life Skills department hosted an Etiquette Dinner for all sophomore student-athletes playing fall sports. Sophomores playing spring sports participated in the same event last September as part of the Life Skills program's commitment to personal and career development for our student-athletes.

"The goal of the Etiquette Dinner is to prepare student-athletes for internships and job hunting by emphasizing table manners and other etiquette appropriate for interviewing situations in an interactive, formal dinner setting," said Erica Nelson, who helped coordinate the event for the Life Skills department. In addition to a presentation by expert Rick Gant, the event featured an interactive component where selected student-athletes participated in real-life scenarios where their fellow student-athletes in the audience commented on their dining behavior (correct or incorrect).

IMG_1202.JPG
From my observer standpoint, the student-athletes seemed to enjoy the lesson, as well as keeping score on their peers. Tips included things such as your drink always being on your right, always pass items to your right, not to put your elbows or napkin on the table, how to hold utensils correctly, etc. I must admit I got a couple good reminders myself. I asked a few students what they thought and what they learned after the event:

"It was really beneficial because when I do end up meeting with a future boss or employer I think if it's between someone else and me, I'll have the upper hand because I'll know the right things. You never know what might be someone's pet peeve." - Christina Glover, Volleyball

"It was beneficial, something new. I didn't know a lot of this stuff. I never knew which fork, spoon, or knife to use, I just picked one up." - Matt Coffee, Football

"It was a good reminder of where everything should go. At my parents' house when we set the table at home I never set it right so it's nice to know for hosting parties, not just ones you go to but hosting yourself. It sets a good example." - Emma Borowicz, Track

 "I didn't know I should stand up when a woman gets to the table or leaves." - Aldrick Fordham, Football (We'll be watching you, Aldrick. Ha!)


- Brittany Lane

This Week in Gamecock Country:

Swimming & Diving hosts its final home meet of the season this Saturday in a big SEC match-up with Georgia and Alabama. This is a rare opportunity to see our swim team in action at home and will serve as somewhat of a preview of the SEC Championships. As the last home meet it will also be Senior Day, so come on out to bid farewell to our graduating swimmers and divers. The Swimming & Diving teams will be introduced at halftime of the Women's Basketball game vs. #20 Georgia on Thursday night. Georgia is the fifth Top 25-ranked opponent Women's Basketball has faced this season and the Gamecocks can pull to .500 in conference play with a win. After checking out the events at the pool on Saturday, head on over to Colonial Life Arena to cheer on your Gamecock Men's Basketball team vs. Auburn as we look to continue our winning record in the SEC. There was a great atmosphere spurred on by the Garnet Army in particular the last two games; looking forward to keeping that going this Saturday with double Student Rewards Points. The first of just three opportunities to see our Gamecock Track & Field program compete at home is also this week as they host the Gamecock Indoor Open at the Field House on Wednesday.  

See y'all there!


Wednesday, January 26

Track & Field: Gamecock Indoor Open
Field House
Click here for Schedule of Events
Free admission
*First of just three opportunities to see the Track & Field team at home in 2011!


Thursday, January 27

Women's Basketball vs. #20 Georgia, 7:00 PM
Colonial Life Arena
Radio: WISW 1320 AM, GamecocksOnline.com
Tickets: $7 general admission, $4 youth (under 18)
*Swimming & Diving will be introduced at halftime


Saturday, January 29

Swimming & Diving vs. Georgia and Alabama, 12:00 PM
Carolina Natatorium at Blatt P.E. Center
Free admission
*Senior Day, last home meet of the season

Men's Basketball vs. Auburn, 1:30 PM
Colonial Life Arena
TV: SEC Network/ESPN3.com
Radio: Gamecock Radio Network from IMG College, GamecocksOnline.com
Tickets: $18 lower level, $15 upper level
*First 400 Fans receive a free t-shirt courtesy of Safe Federal Credit Union
*Double Student Rewards points for all students


Sunday, January 29

We're taking Gamecock Country on the road! Join the fan bus heading to Auburn with Women's Basketball for their 3:00 PM game Sunday. More info here


How to get tickets for Gamecock Athletics events:
Online at GamecocksOnline.com
By phone: 800-4SC-FANS
In person at the Colonial Life Arena Box Office

Go Gamecocks!

- Brittany Lane

directors cup.jpegAfter the fall sports season, South Carolina is currently ranked 31st in the Learfield Sports Directors' Cup standings. Football, Men's Soccer, and Women's Soccer all generated points for the Gamecocks with their strong performances. All three teams competed in the Championship Game for their sport, with Men's Soccer winning the Conference USA Championship with their tournament win.

At 31st, we are third-highest in the SEC, just behind Auburn and Florida who are tied at 27th.  Clemson is currently 131st. Last year at this point we were 58th to Clemson's 85th.

In last year's final official standings released at the end of the spring season, we finished 41st with Clemson trailing at 48th.

Unofficial standings are published throughout the seasons. Official final standings will be published upon the completion of the spring season. Complete standings and the scoring structure can be found on NACDA's website at www.directorscup.org.

Congratulations to our fall sports teams, now let's keep it going through the winter and spring seasons! Go Gamecocks!

- Brittany Lane

"Inside the Roost" tonight at 7:00 PM on 107.5 FM

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Tune in tonight to "Inside the Roost" at 7:00 PM on the 107.5 FM in Columbia on the Gamecock Radio Network from IMG College.

Tonight's guests are Men's Tennis head coach Josh Goffi, Gamecock Productions Director Paul Danna, and Patrick DiMarco from the football team. Danna will be talking about our new web series, "Gamecock Confidential", taking you behind the scenes with Softball under new head coach Beverly Smith. Catch up on the first and second episodes. DiMarco will talk about his experience at the East-West Shrine Game.

Athletic Facilities Improvements & Construction Update

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If you've driven anywhere around the southern end of campus you've likely seen a lot of the construction going on around the Roost and the new Athletics Village area. We wanted to give everyone an update on all of the current projects we have going on. Improving and renovating current facilities and building new facilities when necessary is a priority for Athletics as we grow and continue to see success. Our competition venues and support facilities such as academics, sports medicine, offices and meeting areas all factor in to recruiting top-notch student-athletes to represent our university and providing an environment where they can be successful.

We have several facilities projects either currently under construction or planned to begin at the end of the team's season, totaling over $53 million in upcoming facilities projects:


- Beckham Field renovation (Softball) - We are renovating the field to install better turf and a drainage system, similar to our Baseball and Soccer facilities - Summer 2011 after Softball season wraps up

- Colonial Life Arena Men's and Women's Basketball locker room renovations - will begin after this season and be completed prior to next season


- Farmers Market development - I wrote previously about the plans for the Farmers Market. For next football season it will be flattened and available for parking. The full development of the area will be complete for the 2012 football season.


- Athletics Village

- Tennis Complex - to be completed this fall.
- Coaches Support Building - an office building for most sports and support services to be completed in the summer of 2012
- Parking Garage - a multi-use facility that will be completed this May
- Infrastructure - upgrades to the South Energy Plant to support the new and existing buildings, laying pipes for steam and chill water, an underground water storage tank for irrigation and landscaping.  
- To see the full master plan for the Athletics Village, click here.


We've already completed several other important projects not included in that $53 million. The $12.6 million Dodie Anderson Academic Enrichment Center was the first piece of the Athletics Village and has been open for almost one year now. Another piece of the Athletics Village, the Roost Athletic Training Center, is a renovated building that now houses a new athletic training room for our spring sports and new locker rooms for softball, men's and women's track and men's and women's tennis. In addition to the opening of "the Dodie" and the new Athletic Training facility, we recently saw over $5 million in improvements to the football areas of Williams-Brice Stadium (locker rooms, lobby, recruiting room, etc.) and renovations of restrooms and suites. We also made improvement to the Swimming & Diving facility in conjunction with Student Affairs. Carolina Natatorium in the Blatt P.E. Center received approximately $1 million to renovate the pool deck and lighting. The Frank McGuire Club in Colonial Life Arena has been refurbished and the Carolina Field House received electrical and fan upgrades. The department spent $15 million to acquire the Farmers Market land to eventually develop the planned state of the art, multi-use tailgating and parking area for fans.  Another $15.5 million will be spent developing the property for the 2012 football season as mentioned above.

It's important to note that South Carolina Athletics is self-supporting. We rely on private donations and our athletics revenue to run the department, including making these facility improvements to continue to grow as a nationally prominent program. We do not rely on state tax money for our athletics expenses and in fact Athletics has donated money to the university's academic budget.

It's being a national leader.
It's recruiting and supporting our student-athletes.
It's seeing success in all venues of competition.
It's the Garnet Way.


Brittany Lane, Spurs Up Blog

Tonight's "Inside the Roost" radio show with Athletics Director Eric Hyman will feature several great guests. From Men's Basketball, assistant coach Neill Berry and freshman guard Bruce Ellington will be on the show. Former Gamecock kicker now in the NFL kicking for the Kansas City Chiefs, Ryan Succop will join the show by phone.

Be sure to tune in tonight at 7:00 PM on 107.5 FM for this great line-up!

Go Gamecocks!

Brittany Lane, Spurs Up Blog
Several new student-athletes recently joined the Gamecocks family for the spring semester. Part of their first few days as students at South Carolina included an orientation session held at the Dodie Anderson Academic Enrichment Center, a.k.a. "The Dodie".

The program included sessions covering academic advisors and attendance policies, classroom etiquette, a panel discussion with current student-athletes, sports medicine, the "Consequences For Your Actions" program, and smart use of social media (given by yours truly). The main focus of the social media segment was reminding our newcomers about maintaining a positive image when using social media.

Raymond Harrison, Associate Athletics Director for Academics/Life Skills, said, "the goal of the orientation is to acclimate every incoming student-athlete to the available resources the university and athletics department has to offer. It is also important that we clearly communicate to them the expectations and blueprint to success. Every session is capped by the 'Consequences For Your Actions' program which discusses their high visibility as student-athletes and the importance of sound decision making."

Student-athletes are often reminded of the importance of and responsibility that comes with representing the University of South Carolina - not just the buildings and campus, but its people, the alumni, faculty, staff, students, and fans who take great pride in their university. I present a personal example. The words and logos of South Carolina are on my diploma and my business card, so I, like many others, take a lot of personal pride in our athletics department and university and want it to be represented well. The thorough orientation hosted by Harrison and his staff gets our new members of the Gamecock family started on the right path to do just that.

Brittany Lane, Spurs Up Blog

Former Athletic Trainer Dave Huffstettler passes away

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Dave Huffstettler, former football athletic trainer, passed away on Sunday at his home surrounded by his wife, Anna, and children. Dave was the football athletic trainer at South Carolina from about 1970 to 1983.

Funeral services will be held in Toledo, though details are not certain at this time and there are tentative plans for a memorial service in Columbia for those in the Gamecock family who cannot attend the service in Toledo.

Please keep Dave's family and loved ones in your thoughts as they cope with their loss.

Brittany Lane, Spurs Up Blog 


SEC Academic Special, tonight at 7:00 PM on ESPNU

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Gamecock fans, tune in or set your DVR's for ESPNU tonight at 7:00 PM. The SEC Academic Special will be taking a look at a great story from each of its 12 member institutions.

For SC's segment, they'll examine the legacy of South Carolina's legendary basketball coach Frank McGuire, and
see how his contributions to society, more than 40 years ago, are paving the way for Gamecock students today.

Tune in tonight!

Go Gamecocks!

Brittany Lane, Spurs Up Blog

Merry Christmas!

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Merry Christmas to everyone from Spurs Up Blog and South Carolina Athletics!

Hope everyone has a joyous holiday season with family and loved ones. Send us your pictures of any Gamecock gifts you give or receive to GamecockAthletics@gmail.com.

Go Gamecocks!

Brittany Lane
There has been a lot of talk lately about the upgrades and improvements we've made in our facilities the past few years and how that has been a big contributor to some of the on-field successes we've seen over the past year. The Dodie Anderson Academic Enrichment Center was the first piece of the Athletics Village at the Roost to be completed and work is continuing on the other projects for the area including a parking garage, coaches support building, and tennis complex. Now is a great time for us to build because interest rates are low and bids are coming back roughly 20% less than expected. The department can save money to reinvest in other areas. For example, the bid for the tennis complex came back $1 million lower than expected and renegotiating Colonial Life Arena bonds saved $75,000 annually. Some priorities moving forward include a new football video board and improvements to the football practice fields and softball stadium. I got to wondering about the work behind the scenes that goes into making these projects happen.

I sat down with Executive Associate Athletics Director Kevin O'Connell who oversees all of our building projects to find out more about how the process works and how the athletics department goes about building new facilities. All of our proposed building projects have to go through an extensive approval process. O'Connell explained the process to me step by step using the Farmers Market renovation project as an example.

There are two Phases in the approval process. Phase 1 is initial approval for the project to be investigated further (e.g. hiring an architect, verifying the estimated cost, etc.) The proposal first goes to the Building and Grounds Committee of the university Board of Trustees. The general concept of the proposal at that point is, "we want to develop the Farmers Market and here is what we think it will cost." After the Building and Grounds Committee approves it, the project goes to the full Board of Trustees for approval. Next, the project must go before three individual state boards in the following order: the Council on Higher Education, the Joint Bond Review Committee, and the Budget and Control Board. Again, Phase 1 of the approval process is all to approve just the initial stages of the project. After Phase 1 approval was granted for the Farmers Market project, we began a selection process where we advertise for conceptual plans from architectural and engineering firms.   A selection committee, including representatives from the Board of Trustees, campus construction, and the athletics department among others, select the winning firm.  In the case of the Farmers Market, that was Cox and Dinkins, a company located here in Columbia. Their architects and engineers develop a conceptual plan and verify the initial estimate, then the project must go back through the entire approval sequence again, which is Phase 2.
 
Phase 2 goes in the exact same order as Phase 1, only now it is a schematic plan from the architect as well as a verified estimated cost. In October 2010, the Farmers Market project was approved by the Building and Grounds Committee and then the full Board of Trustees of the university. It was then sent to the Council on Higher Education, then to Joint Bond Review Committee in early December. The final step in the approval process came on December 14th as the Budget and Control Board approved the project and the funding.

Now that the project has received final approval we can move forward with the work on the Farmers Market renovation and development. O'Connell explained how the plan has been laid out so the work can be completed without impacting football parking accommodations. Prior to the 2011 football season, the current buildings on the Farmers Market lot will be demolished or sold as surplus. It's a careful process as the buildings and lots are tested for asbestos and other hazardous materials, which impact how they can be removed. For the 2011 football season, the area will be flattened out into basically a 53 acre parking lot. After the 2011 football season the area will be developed and be ready for the 2012 football season as a state of the art football parking and tailgating area.
 
From the fan perspective, the plans for the lot look amazing. O'Connell explained how the athletics department and the Gamecock Club consulted with members when developing the plans. The university's Moore School of Business helped out by conducting an online survey that garnered over 500 responses from Gamecock Club members from a variety of levels and parking areas. The survey helped identify several priority areas (e.g. ample trash receptacles, permanent restrooms, landscaping/shaded areas) that were addressed in the plans. O'Connell says the new Farmers Market lot will have 661 trees, one every 40 feet, and provide 3,009 parking spaces (comprised of VIP, permanent, and temporary parking areas), approximately the same as the current number of available spaces. Most  spaces are 10'x18' with a 10'x10' tent area. The Farmers Market will also have several additional uses beyond just football parking, including possibly being used for hosting other outdoors events, an indoor football facility, commercial development, intramural fields, and more in the future.

Farmers Market project.jpg 


Brittany Lane, Spurs Up Blog

Several Gamecock student-athletes graduate today

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Congratulations to several Gamecock student-athletes who graduated today!

Austin Steed - Men's Basketball
Blake Baxley - Football
Brandan Davis - Football
Hutch Eckerson - Football
Jarriel King - Football
Spencer Lanning - Football
Brian Maddox - Football
Charles Turner - Football
Nick Prochak - Football
Addison Williams - Football
Jimmy Maurer - Men's Soccer
Schuyler Reardon - Men's Soccer
Chelsea Leroux - Women's Track & Field
Sallie Gurganus - Women's Track & Field
Kayla Parker - Women's Track & Field
Krystle Robinson - Softball
Blakely Mattern - Women's Soccer
Meridith McKee - Women's Swimming & Diving

And an additional kudos to Corey Jenkins who played football for Carolina in 2001 and 2002, returned this year to finish his degree, and who joins the graduates on the stage today!

Congratulations again to all of our Gamecock student-athletes graduating today on all your accomplishments.

Brittany Lane, Spurs Up Blog

"Inside the Roost", tonight at 7:00 PM on 107.5 FM

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Interesting line-up for tonight's "Inside the Roost" show at 7:00 PM. The show broadcasts live from the Hilton Columbia Center in the Vista on 107.5 FM The Game.

We will get an update on the Chick-fil-A Bowl ticket situation from Lance Grantham, Director of Ticket Operations. Charles Waddell, the Associate AD who oversees football, will discuss coordination of travel for the bowl game, and offensive lineman Garrett Chisolm will be on to talk about his All-SEC senior season and all of the things he has gotten through to make it to this point. Reminder that this is the last day for online fan voting for Garrett for The Rudy Award. Get your votes in!

Listen to "Inside the Roost" tonight at 7:00 and go Gamecocks!

Brittany Lane, Spurs Up Blog

Gamecocks 7-1 vs. Clemson so far

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For the 2010-11 school year so far, South Carolina holds a 7-1 record vs. archrival Clemson, with wins in Football, Men's Basketball, Women's Basketball, Men's Soccer, Women's Soccer, and Men's and Women's Swimming & Diving. The Gamecocks' only loss to the Tigers this season was in Women's Volleyball on the road in Rock Hill early in the season.

For the 2010 calendar year, the Gamecocks are 11-4 vs. Clemson, including two big College World Series wins in Baseball over the Tigers en route to our first National Championship.

This is the first year since 1994 that Carolina has beaten Clemson in Football, Men's Basketball, Women's Basketball, and Baseball all in the same calendar year. Let's keep the winning going heading into 2011!

Go Gamecocks! Beat Clemson!



Brittany Lane, Spurs Up Blog

Happy Thanksgiving from Spurs Up!

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Happy Thanksgiving to Gamecocks everywhere! Have a wonderful day celebrating with family and friends. We have a lot to be thankful for, this year and always.


Brittany Lane, Spurs Up Blog

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The right shade of Garnet

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I'm guessing all of your closets look a lot like mine... full of Gamecock gear. But when you pull out different items of apparel you might see several different shades of "Garnet". In past years, with different teams' gear being manufactured by a variety of apparel companies, it has been difficult to maintain our exact shade of Garnet established by the university. We're fortunate to now be working with Under Armour for all of our teams to achieve a consistent color, a challenge faced by many other universities as well.
 
I've seen discussion on Facebook, Twitter, and other sites the past couple days with concerns about the new Men's Basketball uniforms appearing very "red" on TV vs. Michigan State. The color used for those uniforms is the same as the baseball uniforms the past few years. However, it's important to note that this color is not going to be our standard color moving forward now that the color development process is complete.
 
The athletics department and Under Armour worked closely together throughout the color development process. We have pinpointed a shade that best matches our Garnet that will be consistently used for all of our uniforms starting next fall. It is a custom-made color by Under Armour for South Carolina. The appearance of some items may still differ occasionally depending on the material or fabric on which it's printed or manufactured, but the new custom color is a big step forward in establishing consistency for Gamecock gear.
 
For more background information on the new Under Armour basketball uniforms, check out this past Spurs Up Blog post, "Inside the Design: Basketball debuts new Under Armour uniforms"

Brittany Lane, Spurs Up Blog
 
As part of Military Appreciation Day at Saturday's football game vs. Troy we'll be honoring several members of the United States Military during a special presentation and featuring their stories on Spurs Up Blog this week.

Peter  Lara - First Sergeant, 3rd Battalion, 13th Infantry, Fort Jackson

peter lara (small).jpgFirst Sergeant (1SG) Peter Lara's 18 year Army career includes several honors, including 2009 "Soldier of the Year", a Silver Star, Bronze Star, and Purple Heart, arising from his high level of dedication and service.

Over the past five years 1SG Peter Lara has gone through over 40 operations and countless hours of rehabilitation to recover from severe injuries suffered in November 2005 during a tour in Iraq. 1SG Lara, as platoon leader, was on patrol with his platoon when they responded to an attack at a nearby house. They would come under heavy fire in close combat with seven insurgents.

As the platoon suffered casualties, they quickly became combat ineffective.  Only two members were not wounded. Lara was shot in the face (but cleared his shattered jaw bone and teeth from obstructing his throat) as well as in his right arm, which shattered his scapula into 15 pieces. Lara would later need surgery to remove the bullet that was lodged in his head. Gravely wounded, Lara still managed to pull himself and another soldier into cover. As a reserve squad arrived to aid in evacuation from the house, Lara extracted himself from the house and got back to their vehicle under his own power before losing consciousness. Members of the platoon's survival was accredited to Lara's "exemplary leadership, courage and tenacity."

By the time they redeployed from Iraq, Lara's Infantry Stryker Platoon had received 1 Distinguished Service Cross, 6 Silver Stars, 7 Bronze Stars with "V" for valor,  5 Army Commendation Medals with V's and 16 Purple Hearts.

While going through his surgeries and rehabilitation Lara continued to serve as a mentor and leader at Fort Jackson to soldiers in training as well as other wounded men. We thank and salute First Sergeant Peter Lara for his brave service to our country and look forward to honoring him on Saturday.

Brittany Lane, Spurs Up Blog

SAAC celebrates Halloween in style

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In preparation for Halloween, the Student Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) hosted a "Monster's Ball" Halloween party for student-athletes including food, dancing, and a costume contest. The Monster's Ball is an annual event for student-athletes put on by SAAC. Women's Basketball player and president of SAAC Courtney Newton explained that SAAC serves to enhance and protect the overall student-athlete experience as well as act as a conduit between student-athletes and administrators. SAAC also coordinates several community service events throughout the year with their Gamecocks Giving Back program.

Being no strangers to team efforts, several people opted for group costumes - Thing 1 and Thing 2 of Dr. Seuss fame, a duo of football referees, ancient warriors, Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren, Harry Potter characters, and more.


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- Brittany Lane. Spurs Up Blog

Cocky's 30th Birthday Weekend Celebration Wrap-Up

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Thank you to all the fans who participated in our celebration of Cocky's 30th Birthday this weekend, by singing at the games, sending in your photos, and sending your birthday wishes to the bird on Facebook and Twitter. 

Cocky had a great time with the fans and getting his presents - signed balls from Women's Soccer, Men's Soccer, and Volleyball - and we all loved going through all the great pictures submitted by fans. The slideshow below contains those pictures with Cocky submitted by fans as well as pictures from the festivities this weekend. 

I talked to the first person to ever be "Cocky", John Routh (class of 1982), last week about the birthday celebration and it makes him very proud that now, 30 years later, Cocky has become so loved and nationally recognized. As Cocky, Routh paved the way for this, performing at Carolina's games in the 1981 College World Series after winning over the NCAA at the Regional, then returning to the 1982 College World Series as the official mascot who performed throughout the tournament. Cocky was the first mascot to ever go to the College World Series. National Championships from the UCA and NCA would follow and numerous appearances in the Capital One Bowl Mascot Challenge, including a win in 2004.

Many longtime Gamecock fans remember the first time Cocky appeared on the field as well as
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some of the creative skits Cocky performed. Routh detailed one such skit in the 1981 game vs. Clemson. He borrowed Sarge Frye's tractor, attached a tiger tail and a "ClemPson Drivers' Ed" sign, and drove around the field, apparently running over a stuffed tiger thrown from the stands in the process.  

Once again, Happy 30th Birthday to our favorite bird, Cocky!!!





A week in the busy life of Cocky

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We all love Cocky and it's hard to imagine there were ever a time without him. Over the past 30 years since he first appeared in 1980, Cocky has become one of the most treasured parts of South Carolina Athletics and the University as a whole. Cocky is one of the most recognized and honored mascots in the nation, including winning the Capital One Bowl National Mascot of the Year in 2003, appearing in commercials, and winning several UCA and NCA National Championships.

Being such a popular bird means Cocky often has to "fly" in a lot of directions. His primary responsibilities are athletic contests where he is always a crowd favorite. Don't be shy to approach him, Cocky will never refuse a picture or an autograph! Next priority are other athletics department events or activities such as coaches' call-in shows appearances. Cocky is then on hand for Gamecock Club appearances around the state and MyCarolina Alumni Association events. Cocky often participates in other university events as well, such as recent appearances for Russell House fire safety and Carolina Dining.

While athletics and university functions get first priority at all times, Cocky is also available for outside appearances, though you often have to put in a request at least six to eight weeks in advance to get on this bird's calendar. Weddings are one of the most popular requests Cocky receives but there is a wide range as long as it meets the University's provisions (e.g. businesses have to be sponsors to request a Cocky appearance). As Cocky is always filled by a South Carolina student, who obviously has his own class responsibilities, he is a natural fit at many youth events to promote education such as Cocky's Reading Express.

Just in the coming week Cocky will be appearing at: several Gamecock athletic events (and celebrating his birthday!!); a fall festival at the children's center; Cocky's Reading Express; the Ray Tanner Foundation Walk; and a child's birthday party in Greenwood. Cocky was also on hand for an interview with WLTX about his birthday and to receive a birthday cake from Coach Spurrier on Tuesday. Whew!!!

Happy 30th Birthday to our beloved Cocky and thank you for all you do!




- Brittany Lane, Spurs Up Blog