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Latest Conceptual Renderings of Future Facilities

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Check out a slideshow of the latest conceptual renderings (note: finished product may differ from the rendering) of future facilities for Gamecock Athletics that advanced in the approval process on February 28, 2013. View below or click here to launch slideshow.


Photos: Softball Stadium Progress

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After several rainy days, we took advantage of a gorgeous sunshine and 60-degree day to get some new photos of the Gamecocks' softball stadium as construction continues to progress. Please note a few game location changes to maximize working time on the stadium.
Check out a couple of the photos below. To see more, check out our Facebook photo album for the project! 

Softball: 2.27.13

Thumbnail image for Softball; 2.27.13
Season ticket deposits for the 2013 softball season are available now for just $25 for adults! Click here to purchase online.

Photos: Softball Stadium Progress

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Softball hits the road this weekend to open up the season! We're a little over a month away from the first home game scheduled to be played in the new softball stadium and progress is coming along. Check out some of the latest photos below, including a cool panoramic shot from the outfield
, and for even more photos check out our Facebook photo album for the project!

Softball: 2.6.13

Softball: 2.6.13- 2
The team is excited to start practicing on their new field!


More information to come later on season tickets in the new stadium, but season ticket deposits for the 2013 softball season are available now for just $25 for adults! Click here to purchase online. View the full 2013 schedule here.  

Photos: Softball Stadium Progress Continues

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The first game scheduled to be played in our new softball stadium is set for March 13th and progress is coming along! Check out some of the latest photos below under today's gorgeous Carolina skies
. For more photos check out our Facebook photo album for the project!

Softball Stadium Progree: 1-23-13

Softball Stadium Progree: 1-23-13, 2

More information to come later on season tickets in the new stadium, but season ticket deposits for the 2013 softball season are available now for just $25 for adults! Click here to purchase online. View the full 2013 schedule here.  

Photos: Softball Stadium Progress in 2013

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We're a little over two months away from the first game scheduled to be played in the new softball stadium and progress is coming along! Check out some of the latest photos below, including a cool panoramic shot from the outfield
, and for even more photos check out our Facebook photo album for the project!


Can't wait to be sitting here this spring!

panorama softball January.JPG


More information to come later on season tickets in the new stadium, but season ticket deposits for the 2013 softball season are available now for just $25 for adults! Click here to purchase online. View the full 2013 schedule here.  

Photos: Softball Stadium Taking Shape

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After several rainy days, we took advantage of a gorgeous, sunny, 70-degree day (not bad for December, right?) to get some new photos of the Gamecocks' softball stadium as construction continues to progress.
Check out a couple of the photos below. To see more, including some shots of the locker room, check out our Facebook photo album for the project! 



More information to come later on season tickets in the new stadium, but season ticket deposits for the 2013 softball season are available now for just $25 for adults! Click here to purchase online.

Photos: Softball Stadium Progress Continues

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Today's weather is perfect to see new developments of the softball stadium
! Check out a couple new photos taken recently below. To see more, go here to a Facebook album of the project!



More information to come later on season tickets in the new stadium, but season ticket deposits for the 2013 softball season are available now for just $25 for adults! Click here to purchase online.

Photos: Softball Stadium Progress

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he colder weather lately is brightened by progress on the new softball stadium! Check out a couple new photos taken recently below. To see more, go here to a Facebook album of the project!




More information to come later on season tickets in the new stadium, but season ticket deposits for the 2013 softball season are available now for just $25 for adults! Click here to purchase online.

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: Softball Stadium Progress Continues

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Check out the latest photos of the new South Carolina Softball stadium in the Athletics Village!  You can see the home dugout formation already, and the left side of the stands is starting to take shape. You can also see some of the pillars that support the second level press box area. See a few photos below and more on our Softball Facebook page




More information to come later on season tickets in the new stadium, but season ticket deposits for the 2013 softball season are available now for just $25 for adults! Click here to purchase online.

A Look Inside the New Video Board Control Room

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While we all love to admire the new "beast board" video board at Williams-Brice, few people realize the amount of behind-the-scenes work that goes into producing the images you see on the massive new board each football game and that the new board also came with a brand new control room.  We checked in with David Cockfield, a television engineer and the university's game producer since 1983, to learn more about the new control room for the video board that was constructed this summer.


Check out some the numbers:

9 - wall-mounted monitors in the control room to see what all the cameras and graphics are doing

14 - the number of people in the control room on gameday

7 - cameras delivering multiple views of the action from the roof, sidelines, the porch of the Floyd Building, a wireless camera, and cameras aimed at the video board itself to see what it looks like and pan the stadium

23 - overall production crew for gameday including camera operators, spotters, the control room operators and more

1 - separate audio room for a sound engineer, a new position for 2012 to operate the new audio console.

Among the people in the control room on gameday are graphics operators, a technical director who switches between cameras, a director, ribbon board operator, producer, LED operator for the video board itself, replay operators, and an engineer.

While all those people have vast production and television experience, they all still had to learn a whole new system. All the equipment and cameras in the new control room are brand new and high definition.

With such a tight timeline (equipment is still being delivered!) to be game-ready, a planned two-week training period was condensed to approximately just three days.

The relatively short timeline, creating all the graphics and starting building from scratch have raised some challenges in the process, explained Cockfield.

"Since everything is new, everybody is learning a new system. We're close to where we want to be but we still have some work to do," said Cockfield.

"The new [graphics] system is more computer-friendly but it's a learning curve. These graphics are the first of its kind. AVID folks came to train us and a week before they started training us they were getting trained for it. They took off the "Beta version" label and put on 'release'."

The crew has been making strides in learning all the new tools and equipment to take full advantage of the new capabilities the video board provides, such as showing multiple images and elements on the screen at one time and displaying real-time statistics.

"The old board was only 28 x 20 feet so you couldn't do widescreen but now we can do that. We can put up to four different images at the same time," explained Cockfield. "Hypothetically, if we wanted to show two games that start at 12:00 and 12:20 we can put both of them up there and use the other half of the screen to show stuff going on in our stadium until our game starts. The capability is there but we're not quite sure how to do it yet. But [the new equipment] gives us some options."

One other interesting note about the board is that the ultra-wide screen is high definition but is not formatted the same as an HD screen, meaning it is not a true 16x9 aspect ratio. While the control room operators are learning an entirely new system, even the camera operators have also had to learn to shoot all over again. The new dimensions of the board mean they lose some of the top and bottom of a normal picture and must fit their shot within a template on the viewfinder that matches the true video board display.

Also new this season the SEC has updated their replay policy. Institutions are not limited in the use of replays except when a stoppage occurs for an official review.  During official reviews, stadium video boards will only be able to show replays from the television network that is broadcasting the game.  In the past the control room did not need to have any communication with the TV truck feed.

Although the crew has been putting in long hours (over 2400 hours of work in nine weeks among the group to be ready for the first game) and trying to adapt as quickly as possible to the new system, they can't contain their excitement.

"Everything is new; it's amazing. Every piece of the new equipment is a little bit different than what we used to have. Everyone was excited; it was very much like Christmas. The Vandy game was the first time we really got to see everything," said Cockfield, referring to testing out the board's capabilities during the Gamecocks' opening road game in Nashville.

 "The first game [vs. ECU] was a big concern for us, especially pregame because people are really looking at the board during starting line-ups and what not. Once we made it to the actual game, we worked a lot better and everyone was a lot calmer. I think each week will be a little bit better than the week before."

Stay tuned each game to the BEAST BOARD and keep in mind Cockfield and his crew hard at work to help contribute to the amazing in-game experience at Williams-Brice Stadium!

Check out a slideshow with more photos of the new control room, taken by Juan Blas:

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!

Softball Stadium 9.12


Photos: New Softball Stadium Progress

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Despite the rainy weather so far this week in Columbia, progress is continuing on the new softball stadium! Check out a couple new photos below from this morning and see more photos here in our Facebook photo album of the project.



Pre-Game Stadium Tour Auction Listings Now Available

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If you haven't had the chance to see the Gamecocks' great facility upgrades or want to go behind the scenes on gameday, here's your chance. After a successful debut in 2011, we are once again offering gameday tours of Williams-Brice Stadium on our official online auctions.


Fans get a chance to see the players' daily routines going through the weight room, meeting rooms, locker room, and players lounge. Fans also see the exclusive suite areas, the Hall of Captains, and the view from the press box at the very top of the stadium. The tours end on the field with opportunities for pictures at the Block C and a great view of the new video board. Groups are kept to a limited size for one-on-one attention and a VIP experience. Tours begin four hours prior to kickoff and last about an hour and a half to allow for plenty of tailgating time afterwards and time to get in place for the team's arrival in the Gamecock Walk (new this year the Gamecock Walk will start in the former Farmer's Market facility and cross over to the stadium!)

Tour photo on field.JPG

A 2011 tour group gets their picture taken at midfield

Tour listings are live now for the home opener vs. ECU on September 8 and the night game vs. UAB on September 15. Remaining home games and more auction listings will be added in the coming weeks - stay tuned!

Click here to bid today - there are multiple listings for each tour (two individuals per listing)


Update: Softball Stadium Construction Photos

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Check out the latest photos of the construction of the new softball stadium! You can see more photos of the project as it comes along in our Facebook photo album.




12,000 Lbs. of Lettering to Adorn Video Board Exterior

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Check out some behind the scenes photos of the construction of the lettering and logos for the exterior side of the new video board! Pictures courtesy of SignArt in Charlotte, the company manufacturing the signage.

The total weight of the signs being mounted on the exterior side of the structure are estimated to weigh a total of 12,000 lbs. The two logos are estimated to weigh 1,900 lbs. each and the SOUTH CAROLINA letters will weigh approximately 8,200 lbs. - each letter will weigh between 500 to 650 lbs. each.

Check out our Facebook photo album for more photos of the video board project.





Photo Update: Farmer's Market Renovation

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We're still in the process of deciding on a name for the new project at the old Farmer's Market (thank you everyone for your input on Facebook!), but in the meantime work has continued on site and it's looking better every day! Check out a few photos below and even more new pics added today to our Facebook photo album of the project.

If you have a parking space in the new facility, mark your calendar for August 25. We'll be hosting an open house for fans to come check it out! More information to come soon.


Softball Stadium Construction Photo Update

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Construction has made progress over at the new softball stadium! Check out a couple pictures below and see the full Facebook photo album of the project here.


New Video Board Construction Photos 7-31-12

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The new video board at Williams-Brice has made amazing progress! Check out some photos below and see even more in our Facebook photo album of the construction.



If you've been following along with the construction progress over at the former Farmer's Market, you know it's coming along beautifully and will be a fantastic atmosphere for tailgating and spending time with your favorite Gamecock friends and family before football games. You can check out our on-going photo gallery of the project here.

As amazing as the new facility is going to be, we could use some help from Gamecock Country to come up with the perfect name!

Here are a few ideas that have been discussed: Gamecock Park, Spur Park, The Commons at Williams-Brice. Click here to join the conversation on Facebook about the names or leave your own suggestion!


Not a Facebook user? Feel free to leave us a comment here on the blog as well.

Photo Update: New Softball Stadium Construction

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Construction progress continues on the new softball stadium in the Athletics Village at The Roost! Check out a couple photos below and see more in our Facebook album chronicling the project.

Rebar going in the ground.


A view from the outfield back toward the Athletics Village - Carolina Tennis Center is right beside softball with The Dodie Academic Center and the newly opened Rice Athletics Center in the background.

Keep up with Gamecock Softball on Facebook and Twitter!

New Photos: Farmer's Market Renovation Update

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The new parking facility at the former Farmer's Market next to Williams-Brice Stadium continues to transform every day. Check out a few pictures from today below and see even more photos here on our Facebook page.




2012 football season tickets are available now. Click here for more information

Photo: Softball Stadium Construction Update

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Construction of the Gamecocks' new softball stadium officially began two weeks ago with the demolition of Beckham Field (see photos here). Check out the latest photos below! You can also read a great feature on some of the historic moments at Beckham Field here.


Check out the conceptual renderings of the new stadium below. We look forward to having everyone out to see it in person!

Work on the new stadium for South Carolina Softball began today with demolition of Beckham Field. There are so many great memories here, but we're very excited about the future with the new stadium!

Check out a few photos below and see even more pics of today's demo in our Facebook album. We'll add photos throughout the construction process so stay tuned!




The new softball stadium is set to open for the 2013 season. Check out the conceptual renderings in the slideshow below:

Photos: New Video Board Construction

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Check out photos from late last week as the steel support structures for the new video board were put in place.

The orange and white flag is an aviation requirement. Don't worry, we wouldn't put it there unless we had to.

You can see more photos and keep tabs on the video board progress here on our Facebook album.



Season ticket renewal deadline is this Thursday, May 31, but new season tickets are available throughout the summer.

New Photos: Farmer's Market Renovation Project

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The renovation of the Farmer's Market area is really coming along! Check out some photos today. The Garnet Way is taking shape with brick being laid and roofs going on the restrooms near the main entrance. There are several hundred trees still remaining to be planted.

You can see more photos in our on-going Facebook photo album for the project.


Go Gamecocks! Season ticket renewal deadline is May 31, but new season tickets are available now and throughout the summer leading up to the season!

Celebrating One Million Fans at Carolina Stadium

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As the home of the Gamecocks for four seasons now, Carolina Stadium has seen so many wonderful memories already. At Wednesday night's game vs. Furman, we were set to surpass one million fans in attendance at the state of the art ballpark.

We chose one fan at the game to represent the one millionth fan, rewarding him with some great prizes including a signed Opening Day print of Carolina Stadium and other Carolina Baseball gear. George Lemacks, the winner, went on air with the Gamecock radio crew during the game. He told them he never misses a game and he is even headed to Athens this weekend to cheer on the team against Georgia.

BSB-12 one millionth fan.JPG George showing one of his prizes

Thank you to ALL the fans who have attended games at Carolina Stadium and made it one of the best, if not THE best, atmospheres in all of college baseball! Go Gamecocks!

There are only four regular season home games left, May 15 vs. USC Upstate and May 17-19 three game series vs. LSU. Purchase tickets online here.

Check out what came down at Williams-Brice today!


You can see more photos throughout the video board project here on our Facebook page.

Monday's ribbon cutting ceremony for The Coop, a new practice facility for the men's and women's golf teams, attracted a large range of people - Lexington County Council members, the mayor of Cayce, EPA officials, Athletics Director Eric Hyman and the teams themselves. Joining them was one special men's golf alum currently playing professionally on the PGA TOUR, Kyle Thompson, who came to town for the event.

"I just wanted to be a part of it. Being a part of the golf team is a big part of my history and I really wish we had had something like this when I was in school," Thompson said, smiling. "I think this is going to be huge especially on the recruiting trail. This is going to help put USC up with anybody in the country as far as facilities so I really think this will help us do what we need to do to compete for national championships."

IMG_2698.JPGThompson (pictured left) has remained actively involved with the team, returning last fall for the program's Alumni Weekend and staying in contact with Director of Golf Puggy Blackmon regularly.

"It's important to me [to stay involved]. I try to help the kids out, tell them they can call me anytime with questions and I'm happy to try to share what I've learned in the last 10 years of pro golf. Nobody in the world wants to see them do better more than me...I'm a Gamecock to the core and I do whatever I can to help out."

Thompson's next PGA TOUR event is the Byron Nelson Championship next weekend in Texas after playing in one of his favorite events, the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, last week.

"The Wells Fargo last week in Charlotte is one of my favorites because it's so close to home; I live in Greenville. The support up there is amazing; it's just an incredible tournament."

Good luck to Kyle and we'll be cheering him on just like he cheers on the Gamecocks!

Video Board Construction Update (Photos)

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The support base for the video board is in place and filled in with concrete. The next step will be the steel frame going up on either side of the Floyd Building, followed by the installation of the board itself later on this summer. Check out some recent photos of the work so far and keep tabs on the project as it progresses with the photo album on our Facebook page:


The steel rebar goes 100 feet down underground



Farmer's Market Renovations Update (Photos)

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Check out a few photos taken today of the latest work on the old Farmer's Market lot!

The Scarlet Oaks are in and have been filling out nicely with spring green leaves. The coolest thing about them will be this fall though, when their leaves should turn a beautiful Garnet-like shade. You can also see some of the brick work being done at the entrance to the Garnet Way. The look of this will be similar to the brick and iron gates on campus.

Also of note, the power lines along Bluff Rd. that are visible in these photos are scheduled to be buried underground as part of this project.

A few photos are below and you can see more here on our Facebook page:

Trees line the Garnet Way and throughout the parking quads.


You can see the brick entry way

 Paved VIP parking area. Parking selection times begin in June along with season tickets. Both are available!

New Record Holder Stadium Graphics Going Up

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Crews were working today on applying a new graphic to the Northwest ramp at Williams-Brice Stadium. Alshon Jeffery surpassed Kenny McKinley's career receiving yards record this season, ending his South Carolina career with 3,042 career receiving yards. He also tied Sidney Rice's record for career touchdown receptions at 23.

Check it out in person on Saturday at the Garnet & Black Spring Game at 1 p.m.


Alshon Jeffery, new record holder

New Video Board Construction Photos 4-3-12

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Check out a few construction photos from the video board construction project at Williams-Brice Stadium. You can see more photos of the project here on our Facebook page.


Taken 4-3-12


Each of these holes for the rebar goes 100 feet down


Gives you an idea of how big the new structure will be! Taken 4-3-12  

Sneak Peek at New Baseball Graphics

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With back-to-back National Championships and so many history-making moments in just the past two years, it's understandable we would already have some re-decorating to do around Carolina Stadium!

Check out some photos below of new graphics being installed yesterday in the weight room (the last picture) and lobby at Carolina Stadium.

IMG_5905.JPGIn the hallway lobby entrance



Weight room graphics

Crews Break Ground on Football Videoboard Project

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If you've driven by Williams-Brice the past few days you've probably seen the construction area fencing going up!

Crews have started work on the football videoboard project. There's not much to see yet but we will keep you updated over the next several months with how the project is coming along and regular photos.

If all goes according to plan (who knows what we'll find when we start digging, remember the stadium was originally built in 1934!) the videoboard is still set to be installed and ready for this coming season.

Check out pictures taken today below:




Athletics Holds Carolina Tennis Center Dedication

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Watch the full video of the Carolina Tennis Center dedication here

South Carolina Athletics hosted a dedication ceremony Monday afternoon for the new Carolina Tennis Center at the Athletics Village. Athletics Director Eric Hyman hosted the festivities, leading off the introductions by thanking everyone involved with bring the project to life, including the university Board of Trustees, Executive Associate AD Kevin O'Connell, who oversees facility projects, the engineers, architects, construction team and more. The words used most throughout the day by everyone speaking were "magnificent" and "breathtaking".

Carolina Tennis Center dedication.jpeg
From left to right, Hyman, Machado, Goffi, Elkins and Stojic lead the ceremonial ribbon-cutting. Photo by Allen Sharpe.

"When we started doing our long-range master plan for facilities, we knew that improvement on the tennis courts was part of the equation," said Hyman. "This is a piece of the puzzle and we're really excited to do something for our tennis programs. Our job is to give the facilities, the support and the commitment to our student-athletes...our responsibility is to give the proper resources to our coaches so they can achieve on a high level in the field of competition." 

After Hyman's introduction both teams' head coaches and two student-athletes spoke to the crowd.

"We're so grateful to Eric [Hyman] and Marcy [Girton] and everyone else who was involved," said women's tennis head coach Arlo Elkins. "When you look at just this facility, on its own it stands as one of the best facilities in the country. When you look around at the Dodie, the [Rice Athletics Center]...this area will be second to none."

Senior Dijana Stojic, playing her final season with the Gamecocks, spoke on behalf of the women's team, saying, "After three and a half years of hard work, this came as a reward. There is no better feeling than to tell everyone how proud we are to have a new home. There is no better feeling when you host tournaments and every team is impressed with what they see, and there is no better feeling than to finish my college tennis career and to open up the doors to new Gamecocks. I want to thank everyone for doing an amazing job and making us proud."

Josh Goffi, head coach of the men's tennis team, took the mic next to speak.

"I can't tell you how much it means to us - we are in the center of the Athletic Village and a show piece at that. It's absolutely gorgeous. Our guys love the courts...everything about it. It's absolutely perfect. We hope that we can only do it justice in the future and we're trying to build a program that will do just that."

Goffi handed the mic over to senior Ivan Machado to speak on behalf of his student-athletes.

"It's a gorgeous facility; the courts are perfect. We knew it was going to be good, but not this good," said Machado, smiling. "When they started the project Coach DeMars [retired former coach and Hall of Fame member Kent DeMars, who was in attendance at the dedication] was talking to me about it before Josh even got here. I've been looking forward to it since my freshman year, it's great. We want to say thank you to Mr. Hyman, all the members of the board, everybody that made this possible for us and made this investment in the tennis team. We cannot say thank you enough."

Machado and Stojic then led their teams in presenting Hyman with a framed photo of the facility as a thank you gift and the teams gathered around the five speakers for the ceremonial ribbon cutting to much applause from the crowd.

After the dedication Goffi shared how big an impact the new facility will have on recruiting.

"We didn't even have the facility built yet and we were able to recruit the number three class in the country [in 2011]," said Goffi. "It's looking very promising for the future and this is a facility that these teams deserve to be totally honest. Both programs work as hard, if not harder, than any program in the country. They deserve to play in such a high class facility."

Click here to see video of the dedication and a photo gallery

New Photos of Farmer's Market Project

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We've added new photos of the progress on the Farmer's Market project. It's really starting to take shape!

Here's one and you can see more here on our Facebook page.

The new Farmer's Market project is scheduled to be complete before the upcoming 2012 football season. More information coming soon on a new name for the area and parking options.

Interested in 2012 season tickets? The first step is to join the Gamecock Club. Call 803.777.4276 for more information.

We have the latest updates on several of our facility projects, including two that fans are especially excited about, the Farmer's Market renovation and the new video board at Williams-Brice Stadium.

Over at the former Farmer's Market lot, the sights are changing so rapidly it looks a little different almost every day. You can see a conceptual rendering of the finished product here. They have finished milling the asphalt (where they mix the asphalt with the soil) and are currently grading many places on the site. You can now make out the Garnet Way (the long pathway down the center), the two VIP parking areas and one of the quadrants.

The view of the Farmer's Market from the southwest end of Williams-Brice. Click here to check out more photos in our Farmer's Market Renovation photo album on Facebook.

The landscape architect met with the landscape contractor this afternoon in preparation for the arrival of some of our Scarlet Oaks in mid-March. The Scarlet Oaks will line the Garnet Way and Bluff Road. Now this is my favorite part: the Scarlet Oaks have been handpicked by the landscape architect, Kyle Theodore, from a nursery in South Carolina for the vibrant shade of Garnet their leaves will turn in the fall (so unless something strange happens, there will be NO orange fall leaves around here, folks!)

Another project Gamecock Country is extremely excited about is the new video board. Right now we are in the bidding process. The steel structure and architectural cladding is out to bid and the bids will be opened on February 7. The video board specifications have been finalized by our consultant, Ben Cating, Senior Consultant with Acoustic Dimensions (Dallas, TX) and turned over to the University of South Carolina Purchasing department.  The video board will be competitively bid by Purchasing and those dates are being finalized now. 

We believe the video board will be in place for the 2012 home opener on September 8th.  However, there are a lot of unknowns in construction and if the board is not ready, we will have a rental board in place at the contractor's expense.

Thumbnail image for FB-11 Proposed videoboard.JPG

Click here to check out today's facilities update on the Athletics Village including the Carolina Tennis Center and the Rice Athletics Center.

For another look at the on-going facilities strategy at Carolina, check out this article from the Post & Courier.
We've got the latest updates on several of our current facilities projects at the Athletics Village.

The newest competition facility for the Gamecocks, the Carolina Tennis Center, is officially open and ready for the men's and women's tennis teams to use this spring. With 12 courts (six on each side of the complex), multiple scoreboards (two large master scoreboards as well as individual scoreboards at each court) and a capacity for over 700 fans, the new complex is extremely fan-friendly and will be a great home for both teams. Depending on weather, the facility may hold its first event as early as Wednesday, January 25 (Women's Tennis vs. Furman, 3:30 p.m.) When faced with inclement weather, our tennis programs use their indoor facility at the Field House.

Welcome to the Carolina Tennis Center!

Click here to see more photos of the Carolina Tennis Center including the scoreboards and view of the rest of the Athletics Village.

Also at the Athletics Village, the new Rice Athletics Center is the next project scheduled to be completed. The project is on schedule at 65% finished and is  anticipated to be ready for move-in at the end of May/early June. The three-story, 68,000 square foot building will house several departments including the Business Office, Compliance, Gamecock Club & Development, Administration, Media Relations, Ticket Operations, Marketing, Operations, and Facilities & Event Management as well as the majority of our coaches' offices.

View of the Rice Athletics Center from atop the Carolina Tennis Center

Click here to check out today's facilities update on the Farmer's Market project and the football video board.

For another look at the on-going facilities strategy at Carolina, check out this article from the Post & Courier.

Photos: Work Underway on Farmer's Market Renovations

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The renovation of the Farmer's Market is officially underway! Check out some photos below from earlier today. Right now it's a lot of dirt and concrete being lifted... but by next season it will be a nicely landscaped area with trees, grass, great parking layout for tailgating, restrooms and more.

Click any image to see a larger version.

View from the west side of Williams-Brice. You can see the old entrance to the Farmer's Market on the right


These original trees will be a part of the new Farmer's Market, along with a lot more

Looking south toward the practice fields

View from the back of the press box. Can't wait to see the finished product!

Here's a look at the conceptual design of the new Farmer's Market (subject to change, click to enlarge)
Farmers Market project.jpg

Stay tuned for more updates on the Farmer's Market and other facility improvements at Carolina!
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.

FB-11 Proposed videoboard.JPG

"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.

Construction at the Athletics Village at the Roost continues to make progress. AD Eric Hyman, Executive Associate AD Kevin O'Connell, who oversees facilities, and other staff members recently got a tour of the Coaches Support Building and an update from the architect.

CSB EH with architect.jpg
Marc Warren (center) of JHS Architecture (Jenkins, Hancock & Sides-Architecture) discusses the progress at the Coaches Support Building

The Coaches Support Building will house offices for the majority of our teams' staffs, with the exception of football, men's and women's basketball, volleyball and baseball, whose offices will remain at their facilities. The building is three stories and 68,000 square feet. It will also bring several departments under one roof, including the Business Office, Compliance, Gamecock Club & Development, Administration, Media Relations, Ticket Operations, Marketing, Operations and Facilities & Event Management.

CSB EH on recruiting deck.jpg
From left: Kevin O'Connell, Ann Derrick (Project Manager, Facilities Planning and Construction Department at Carolina), and Eric Hyman on the 3rd floor balcony area of the Coaches Support Building overlooking the Athletics Village with Williams-Brice in the background.

The building is the other cornerstone of the Athletics Village that will complement the already complete Dodie Anderson Academic Enrichment Center. The building is currently projected to be completed this spring. The landscaping around the Athletics Village is projected to begin in January 2012.

Conceptual image of the Coaches Support Building set to be complete in spring 2012. 

The first step of the approval process for an indoor football practice facility at the Farmer's Market is complete, as the Building and Grounds Committee of the University's Board of Trustees gave Phase I approval to the project last week. The next step in the approval process is for the project to go before the full University of South Carolina Board of Trustees in early October. If it is approved by the board, in early November the project will then go before three individual state boards: the Commission on Higher Education, the Joint Bond Review Committee, and the Budget and Control Board for final Phase I approval. Phase I approval is initial approval for the project to be researched further (e.g. hiring an architect to develop plans). After Phase I, should approval be granted, the university would 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 the same sequence for Phase 2 of the approval process.

The new video board for Williams-Brice Stadium is also currently in the approval process. It was approved by the Budget and Control Board on September 20th, and will go back to the Building and Grounds Committee of the Board of Trustees on October 7th.

Early planning indicates that the proposed indoor practice facility would be 86,000 square feet and located in the southwest corner of the Farmers Market lot. The facility would feature a full-size football field made of field turf with approximately 20 feet of additional turf all the way around for safety purposes.

FB indoor practice facility sketch.jpg
FB indoor practice facility sketch2.jpg
FB indoor practice facility sketch3.jpg

Please keep in mind that these images are initial sketches only and are subject to change.

Anyone in Columbia who has driven by the Athletics Village at the Roost lately has seen firsthand the construction progress being made. Summer is hot but it's a great time to get a lot of work done while student-athletes are not competing.

We asked Jeff Davis, Associate Athletics Director for Operations and Facilities, to give fans an update on all the athletics construction and renovation projects happening right now. As many of our coaches have said, including most recently Coach Spurrier at SEC Media Days, the facilities improvements of recent years have had a big impact on our success. Great facilities help attract top student-athletes as well as provide support for them once they're here, so thank you to all the fans and donors who have helped make these improvements possible. Putting funding back into facilities is really paying off for South Carolina Athletics on and off the field.

Watch the video below for footage and updates on the progress of the Athletics Village, Colonial Life Arena basketball locker room renovations, work on Williams-Brice Stadium for the upcoming season, and more. Also, check out a few more tidbits about our projects below the video.

Here are a few additional notes from Jeff about our on-going projects:

Williams-Brice Stadium:
The ADA seating in the lower South End Zone at Williams-Brice for patrons with disabilities is being modified for this fall. Davis explained that ingress and egress to the area will be much easier for those patrons.

The renovations to the assistant coaches locker rooms in Williams-Brice are the final piece of the interior renovations for football (lobby, locker room, players lounge, sports medicine, etc.) first put in motion a few years ago.

Williams-Brice is undergoing a lot of preventive maintenance this summer, including electrical upgrades that will modernize the infrastructure and re-painting of the lower bowl.

Future projects at Williams-Brice including the video board and renovations of the practice fields are currently in the approval process.

Athletics Village:
The tennis complex is set to be complete in late August and will be the home of both our men's and women's tennis teams. You can hear more from men's tennis coaches Josh Goffi and Matt Lucas in this video update on the tennis complex in particular.

The parking garage will serve not only the athletics staff and coaches and student-athletes in the Athletics Village, but also provide additional parking for the general university on this side of campus.

In addition to the current renovation of the playing surface for softball at Beckham Field, a future project for the complete renovation and expansion of Beckham Field has been approved. We are currently in the process of reviewing proposals from architects and construction is planned to start after the 2012 season.

Completed areas of the Athletics Village include the anchor building, the Dodie Anderson Academic Enrichment Center, the Roost Athletic Training Center renovations, and the upgrades and modifications on the South Energy Plant that included a new boiler and chiller to provide heat and air conditioning for the Athletics Village as well as helping the infrastructure of the south side of the university campus.

The Athletics Village's landscaping and hardscaping will be another important aspect of making it a very appealing and attractive area, as well as unifying the look with the rest of campus. The trees, brick pavers, fencing, and brick columns, etc. will all mirror other areas of campus:

Villlage Entrance 11-9-09.JPG

I can't wait to see the finished products!


Special thanks to Jeff Davis, Angela Padgett, Jennifer White, and Kevin O'Connell for their help with this post.

As we prepare for hosting the Super Regional this weekend, I want to take a moment to go back to Sunday night/Monday and share what an undertaking it was to get the stadium ready again for the next day. As you know a severe thunderstorm halted the Regional game Sunday evening. Wind and lightning from the powerful storm blew debris all over and caused damage to the stadium.

The wind pulled the tarp off the infield and pushed vendor carts, tables, trash cans, etc. all over the stadium area as heavy rain blew in almost at a right angle. Fans who hadn't left for their cars huddled in the sheltered areas. From my perch in the press box I couldn't even see the field anymore from the rain just before we saw a giant flash of blue white light as a transformer blew and Carolina Stadium lost power.

Carolina Stadium storm lifts tarp 2011.jpg
View from the press box a few minutes before we lost power of the wind pulling up the tarp.

Once the storm cleared, clean-up began almost immediately. The grounds crew came out quickly to assess the field and get to work under the dim glow of the emergency back-up lighting and facilities staff checked the stadium's condition. Among the damage surrounding the stadium, along the Wheat Street side a tree had fallen onto some power lines. SCE&G crews began the delicate process of cutting the tree to remove it (fortunately it did not break the lines).

SCE&G and university High Voltage Technician Tripp Sightler worked diligently until power was restored to Carolina Stadium around 1:45 a.m. Workers returned around 7:30 a.m. Monday morning and worked continuously until around 11:00 a.m. to get the stadium game-ready for the 1:00 p.m. re-start. It took approximately 140 man hours from athletics grounds and facilities staff, university and sub-contractor personnel to get the stadium back in order.

"Our goal was to clean-up and repair the damaged areas of the stadium as if the storm had never happened," said Jeff Davis, Associate AD for Facilities. "We achieved that through the hard work and commitment from everyone involved."

The hard work did not go unnoticed by Gamecock fans. Athletics received several emails about the clean-up and appreciation of how the stadium staff handled a difficult situation and some fans took to the internet to share their thoughts:

Comment from 'cocky girl' on one online discussion forum:

"Kudos to those who had a hand in the recovery work required to put Carolina Stadium back in business.  Exiting last night, looked a bit like a war zone with all the debris around the stadium.  We had to look close this afternoon entering to find any residual marks on the facility.  Although some of the vending carts still suffered from the ill effects of last night's storm, we didn't go wanting.  The field was pristine, as always thanks to the best ground crew around.  Looking forward to the Super Regional next weekend!  GO COCKS!!!"

From Maria Martin Anderson on our Facebook page:

"Thanks to all the Carolina Stadium staff for making sure the fans were safe! The "behind the scenes" part of the stadium is awesome!"

Thank you to everyone who did such a great job handling the storm's aftermath and getting the stadium back to game-ready on Monday!! The fans who were able to come back to the stadium got to witness a great NCAA Regional win for the Gamecocks.

Looking forward to seeing a packed house this weekend for the Super Regional vs. UConn!



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

Need help on game day?

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There's a lot of logistics work that goes into amassing a crowd of over 80,000 people into one small area in just a matter of hours, all the while keeping everyone safe and ensuring everyone has a good experience. After every football game, the operations staff evaluates all aspects of the event including security, guest services issues, stadium issues, etc. to continue to try to improve fans' game day experience, resolve issues quickly and hopefully prevent some issues from occurring in the first place.
I spoke with Shawn Burke, our Assistant A.D. for Event Management, who shared with me that this past week's game vs. Tennessee saw the lowest number of stadium issues, fan behavior issues, complaints, and calls to the command center and guest services so far this season, which was encouraging to hear from a fan perspective. Before joining the team here with Gamecock Athletics I was a season ticket holder myself and you can't underestimate how much the fan behavior around you and the stadium environment play into the overall enjoyment of the game experience.
If you need help during the game you can report stadium issues, unruly behavior, or any other requests for help by texting: "USC", what the issue is, and your location to 69050 (your standard SMS rates will apply.)  Assistance is available two hours before kickoff and one hour after the game. You can also ask for assistance from any of the event staff you see wearing yellow jackets stationed throughout the stadium.
While the event and operations staffs work diligently to prevent and solve problems, it's also up to us as fans to demonstrate and encourage positive behavior and be mindful of people around us, to help keep Gamecock football games a fun experience for everyone.  I know that sounds corny, but for real, who wants to be "that guy" that ruins the fun for someone else or gives Gamecock fans a bad rep?

More game day and stadium information such as an updated list of prohibited items, a Fan Code of Conduct, first aid locations, parking, etc. can be found here:

Looking forward to a great game on the field against Arkansas and a great game experience in Williams-Brice Stadium! See y'all tomorrow!

- Brittany Lane, Spurs Up Blog

Field maintenance at Williams-Brice explained

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Over the past few weeks while the football team has been playing away from Williams Brice Stadium, we noticed some work being done on the football field. Gamecock Athletics' Sport Turf Manager Clark Cox took the time to explain to me the maintenance his crew was performing. Cox holds a degree in turf management and I think I learned more about grass in a few minutes than I had learned in my lifetime. All our athletic fields at South Carolina are bermuda grass (Tifway 419 hybrid variety, bet you didn't know that one!) which thrives in the heat of South Carolina, but it takes more than a little bermuda to keep our fields in premium condition.

Once the weather starts to cool bermuda grass starts to slow down and doesn't repair itself as well, eventually going dormant and turning brown. To maintain the look and condition of the field throughout the season it must be supplemented with another variety. After the Alabama game, Cox and his crew "overseeded" the field with ryegrass, a grass that can maintain a green cover through the colder months, then covered it with a sand topdressing and watered it for several days. Once the ryegrass has time to take root and start growing, the crew resumes their regular mowing.


Above: Cox shows the ryegrass growth approximately one week after overseeding

Of note, one of the things that takes a significant amount of time on game week is painting the field - the endzones, numbers, hash marks, the Gamecock at mid-field, etc. Cox's crew typically starts on Thursday morning preparing the field for a Saturday game day, painting all day Thursday until about mid-day Friday. 

More from Cox in the video below:

- Brittany Lane, Spurs Up Blog

Restroom Upgrades at WBS

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Good news for Gamecock fans attending football games this fall. Two restrooms at Williams-Brice Stadium have been renovated over the summer.

On the east side lower level, one men's restroom has been upgraded to replace the trough urinal with individual fixtures and screens to increase privacy and improve the overall quality of the restroom.   In addition, 14 of the urinals are waterless, reinforcing the University's sustainability goals.

On the west side Club Level, one women's restroom has been completely removed and replaced with a larger more functional layout.  The capacity has increased from four toilets and two sinks to 12 toilets and six sinks.  The renovation also includes new lighting and new tile flooring.  This restroom expansion will considerably decrease waiting times and overcrowding in this area of the stadium.

It is the Athletics Department's intent to continue restroom renovations each summer.

Coaches Support Building

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The Gamecocks Athletic staff received an e-mail message from Athletics Director Eric Hyman today that Spurs Up will pass along...

We have received some outstanding news. The Budget and Control Board has given us approval to borrow the $19 million needed for the Coaches Support Building. By the summer of 2012 we will have a new home for most of our coaches, support staff and athletics administration! This is another step toward fulfilling our Master Plan, and is another piece to the puzzle in providing the resources and facilities that will allow us to compete for championships and be a nationally prominent program. I look forward to the synergy we'll enjoy by being housed under one roof.


Derek Gruner from JHS will be the architect for the Coaches Support Building. Derek did a fabulous job designing the Dodie, and we look forward to seeing his talents at work again on this project. It will be spectacular!


Athletics Coaches Support Building: Description

The new Athletics Coaches Support Building sits on the corner of Heyward Street and South Marion Street next to the newly completed Dodie Anderson Academic Enrichment Center - "The Dodie."  These two buildings together form the gateway into the University of South Carolina's Athletics Village.  A central courtyard with a grove of trees, pedestrian walkways and wrought-iron fences sets the stage for the village leading visitors down to various sports venues.


The Athletics Coaches Support Building is a three story, 66,000 square foot facility that consolidates several existing athletics facilities into a single home for the Athletics Department, replacing the existing "Roundhouse" and annex.  Visitors will enter the building through several main entrances along the Athletics Village Courtyard into a two story lobby space displaying the heritage of Athletics at the University of South Carolina.  This space acts as the central gathering space for the building and has direct access to the Gamecock Club which will be located on the first floor. 


The main lobby is a beautifully appointed space with illustrative graphics and multi-media displays creating a unique experience for Gamecock fans.  This lobby space leads to a central elevator lobby taking visitors up to the second and third floors.  The second floor of the building is dedicated to the coaches for various sports including Equestrian, Men's and Women's Golf, Men's and Women's Soccer, Softball, Men's and Women's Swimming and Diving, Men's and Women's Tennis, Men's and Women's Track and Field, and Cheerleading.  Each sport occupies an office suite designed around a central open area displaying graphics and memorabilia.  Each suite is anchored at the ends by a multimedia conference room used to conduct team meetings or watch and analyze video.


As visitors come to the third floor of the building they are greeted by a spectacular view of the Athletics Village in the "Gamecock Gallery" and the adjacent 1,350 square foot outdoor deck.  From here "The Dodie", Stone Stadium, Williams-Brice Stadium, Beckham Field, the new Tennis facility, and other sports venues are viewed.  The third floor of the Athletics Coaches Support Building houses the offices of the Athletics Director as well as various other Athletics Administration departments.  This floor is also designed around office suites, but on this level each suite has a large open space with clerestory glass allowing for a larger volume of space and more natural light.


3 stories
66,000 sq. ft. of interior space
Forms gateway to Athletics Village with "The Dodie"

Photos of New Football Lounge

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Thumbnail image for Lounge 6 4-12-10.JPGBelow is an excerpt from an email sent by Athletics Director Eric Hyman concerning the new football recruiting room.


I wanted to share with you some pictures of the football recruiting room and players lounge.  The room is about 95% complete and everyone is tremendously excited about it.  It will not really be in "use" until after the football locker room project is finished this summer.  But in the recruits will be shown the commitment  South Carolina is making toward having a program that battles for championships.
I hope you enjoy the progress being made on our athletics facilities.

Monday Musings from The Editor

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Monday Musings - Bracketolgy style:

No. 1 Seed - SEC play on the horizon for the baseball team

The South Carolina baseball team returned to winning ways last week with five straight wins in series sweeps of Valparaiso and Brown. The Gamecocks travel back to Fluor Field on Tuesday to face Furman. South Carolina is 4-0 all-time at the Greenville ballpark.

After hosting Davidson on Wednesday at Carolina Stadium, South Carolina opens Southeastern Conference action against Tennessee with a three-game series over the weekend at Carolina Stadium. The Vols are picked to finish in sixth in the SEC East and were 11-19 in league play and 26-29 overall in 2009.

Preseason All-Americans Cody Hawn and Blake Forsythe will be the Tennessee hitters to watch out as both players had strong offensive campaigns in 2009. Hawn became just the 10th Vol ever to win the team Triple Crown in 2009, leading the Vols in batting average (.364), home runs (22), RBIs (81), hits (72), doubles (15) and slugging percentage (.773). 

Forsythe started 53 of 55 games behind the plate for the Vols last spring, hitting .347 with 68 hits, 15 home runs and 46 RBIs in addition to leading the team with 40 walks and a .486 on-base percentage and collecting 19 multi-hit games and 13 multi-RBI contests. For more preview info on the Vols, read this pre-season outlook from

No. 2 Seed - Downey racking up postseason awards

Devan Downey continues to pile up the hardware from his impressive senior season with the Gamecocks. After becoming the first Gamecock to win the league's scoring title, Downey was also named to the first-team All-SEC team by the league's coaches and by the media. The honor marks the third-straight season Downey has been a first-team choice by both the coaches and media. His selection marks just the second time a South Carolina player has been named to the AP first team in three seasons (BJ McKie was the last to do so).

Downey was also named to the league's All-Defensive team along with junior Sam Muldrow. The guard departs the program's as the school's all-time leader in steals. In addition, he was named to the USBWA All-District (III) squad, the Sporting News Fourth-Team All-American team and as a Yahoo! Sports Honorable Mention All-American.

You can hear Devan tonight on Inside the Roost with Athletics Director Eric Hyman and Derek Scott at 7 p.m.

No. 3 Seed - Track team finishes well at NCAA Indoor Championships

South Carolina's track & field teams posted strong performances at the NCAA Indoor Championships over the weekend in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The men earned their best placement in five years, placing 8th overall. It was the team's first top 10 finish since 2005. The women's team finished in 19th place - the 13th time in 14 years that the Gamecocks have finished in the top 20.

The Gamecocks transition to the outdoor season this weekend with the Shamrock Invitational at Coastal Carolina.

No. 4 Seed - Gamecocks return to proving grounds

After a brief hiatus for spring break, the football team resumes spring drills Tuesday at 7 p.m. The Gamecocks will practice twice this week (Tuesday and Friday) and are scheduled to scrimmage on Saturday at 10 a.m.  For more on Gamecock spring practice, click here.

The Dedication of the Dodie

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Click here for a photo gallery from Wednesday's dedication ceremony

Student athletes, coaches, and members of the Gamecock Club gathered for the dedication ceremony for The Dodie Academic Enrichment Center today. Dodie Anderson, the donor whose generosity made the building possible with a $6 million donation, was also in attendance with her family. The center is the first building in what will become the Athletics Village and will facilitate the academic needs of student athletes.


Athletics Director Eric Hyman started the event by thanking everyone who made The Dodie possible including donors and those in charge of construction and design. University President Dr. Harris Pastides reflected on the outstanding year the university has had so far in the areas of both athletics and academics. Pastides said that The Dodie "will bring together academics and athletics very literally." The building offers student athletes large study areas, a dining facility, tutor rooms, and computer labs. Several rooms in the building will bear the names of donors who contributed to the project. Pastides said that the facility will serve as "a great recruiting tool." Football head coach Steve Spurrier mentioned that the Dodie was one of the many reasons Gamecock signee Marcus Lattimore chose South Carolina.

Women's soccer All-American and SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year Blakely Mattern represented the student athletes at the dedication. She was extremely excited about the new building and expressed her gratitude to everyone who helped with the project, especially Dodie Anderson. Mattern said that the building would lend to an even greater student athlete community, something she has cherished during her time as a Gamecock. "I would stay [at South Carolina] forever if they would let me," said Mattern.

Men's basketball head coach Darrin Horn said that he knows Dodie Anderson loves to win. "She loves those 'W's,'" he said. When Anderson stood to speak, she was welcomed with a standing ovation. She quickly confirmed Horn's statement by stating that she would "love to see more 34-17's and 68-62's." She spoke of her hopes for the athletic community, and ended her speech with a vibrant "Go Cocks!"


The dedication came to a close with a ribbon cutting ceremony. Hyman and Pastides stood with Anderson as she cut the garnet ribbon. In the eyes of the Gamecock community, the Dodie is a big step for the athletic department and a huge win for the university.


The Dodie by the Numbers

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The Dodie is scheduled to be dedicated later this afternoon (GamecocksOnline will have video and coverage of the event). Here's a look at the new building by the numbers:
  • 40,500 square feet - size of the building
  • 160 feet x 80 feet - overall dimension of the building
  • 2,650 square feet - size of the dining room (seats 200)
  • 2,000 square feet - size of the full service kitchen
  • 2,400 square feet - size of the largest study lounge
  • 500+ - number of student athletes impacted by facility
  • 54 feet - height of the building at tallest point
  • 15 - months of construction work
  • $13 million - total project cost
  • 20 - tutor rooms
  • 21 - offices
  • 12 - seminar rooms
  • 3 - computer labs
  • 3 - number of floors

See the interior of the Dodie

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Feature Story on The Dodie

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The State newspaper ran an in-depth feature story by Bob Gillespie on the new Dodie Anderson Academic Enrichment Center. Click here to read "'Dodie' new heart of USC athletics." The building will be dedicated in a ceremony on Wednesday.

For Hyman, that view is symbolic of the future of USC athletics. One can see three of the school's four most familiar athletics structures - and if The Dodie were taller than three stories, Harrison might catch a glimpse of basketball's Colonial Life Arena, too - but none of those, Hyman said, will be any more crucial than the new building. "This is the heart of the athletics department," said Hyman, who loves to use the term "beehive" to describe the traffic among athletes he expects in the 40,000-square-foot structure. "Academics and athletics at some places are separate, but they're not mutually exclusive. It's so important that we give young people the tools to be successful academically."
Click here to read an article on the primary benefactor for the facility - Dodie Anderson.

A lifelong supporter of community causes in the Upstate, Anderson is an ardent USC fan who shares seats at football games with daughter Randi Berry. When approached several years ago by Hyman about a donation, her first question was, "What does (football coach) Steve (Spurrier) want?" The Dodie is the result. "I was at the (2008) groundbreaking and had my picture made with the (SEC-champion) girls soccer team," she said. "That was fun. I just love the Gamecocks."