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WOW Headlines – 5/27/13

The SEC spring meetings get under way this week in Destin, Florida…
Permanent cross-division rivals and a nine-game football schedule are expected to be hot topics
LSU athletic director Joe Alleva on dumping permanent rivals: “I think there’s a chance but I wouldn’t put very good odds on it.”
South Carolina athletic director Ray Tanner of Steve Spurrier’s popularity with Gamecock fans: “He didn’t have to come here and his intentions are to remain here.”
Former Memphis point guard Antonio Barton will transfer to Tennessee and be eligible to play immediately
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Sources: Tanner To Be New USC Athletic Director

According to multiple sources and reports from the Palmetto State, South Carolina baseball coach Ray Tanner will be hired as the school’s athletic director on Friday.  At 54, Tanner has made it clear that his future lies in administration.  Now the Gamecocks will give him that chance, but it comes at a price.

Tanner — who came within a whisker of leading Carolina to a third-straight national title this season — will step down immediately as the Cocks’ coach.  He will not double-dip as both coach and AD.

Earlier this week, the man Tanner will replace said that anyone moving from the coaching ranks to the ranks of administrator might have a tough early transition.  According to Eric Hyman (who’s heading to Texas A&M at the end of the month):


“(The board of trustees) needs to decide what they think is in best interest of the school and if Ray’s it, he is certainty capable.  He is a very,very talented baseball coach and he’s got talent and it is going to be a learning curve for him, and so what he needs to do, is have a strong staff to be able to support him and assist.”


Well, according to folks in Columbia, the board and USC president Harris Pastides have indeed made their decision.  And it’s Tanner.

While the day of the ex-coach as AD has for the most part died away, there are still a few exes running big time programs — Barry Alvarez at Wisconsin and Tom Osborne at Nebraska come to mind.  Still, Hyman is right.  There will be a transition involved.  Carolina could have gone out and grabbed an experienced AD.  The program’s coffers, fan support, and excellent stable of coaches would have made the job very enticing to anyone.

Instead, the powers-that-be felt more comfortable with the man they knew.  If Tanner is as successful in the boardroom as he’s been on the baseball diamond, Carolina fans will be happy with that decision for years to come.

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SEC Headlines – 7/2/12

1.  Missouri and Texas A&M know what they’re getting into with the SEC.

2.  Offseason workouts make a difference for the LSU football team.

3.  Mississippi State quarterback signee Nick Scheussler has decided to go to Clemson instead.

4.  Ole Miss would like to soften their schedule like their cross-state rival, but for now they’ve got home-and-home series with Texas, Clemson and Georgia Tech on the horizon.

5.  New Texas A&M (and old South Carolina) AD Eric Hyman has the potential to unify the Aggies.

6.  Hyman admits that he doesn’t know a soul in the A&M athletic department.

7.  This paper says Florida linebacker Jelani Jenkins is the SEC’s 15th-best player.

8.  South Carolina president Harris Pastides says there’s no rush to find a new AD and talks about Cocks baseball coach Ray Tanner’s potential candidacy for the job.

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USC Board Meeting To Get Under Way, Martin Presser To Follow

The University of South Carolina’s board of trustees are scheduled to hold a conference-call meeting at 10am ET this morning to talk about a “contractual matter.”  That matter is believed to be the near-$2 million contract that’s bringing Frank Martin from Kansas State to South Carolina.  According to WIS-TV in Columbia, the hoops coach will ink a six-year pact worth $12 million.

One Martin’s deal is rubber stamped by the board, a press conference to “discuss the men’s coaching situation” will be held at the Colonial Life Arena.

The Martin era at Carolina is about to get underway.  You can watch the presser right here.

(Sidenote — Speaking yesterday to a radio audience, Carolina AD Eric Hyman said his new coach told him during the interview process: “You know, you’ve got Steve Spurrier, you’ve got Dawn Staley and you’ve got Ray Tanner.  Something must be going right at South Carolina.“)

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