Another SEC team is opting out of its bowl game, ending the program’s season in the process.
South Carolina football announced its withdrawal from the Gasparilla Bowl Tuesday afternoon, per JC Shurburtt of TheBigSpur.com. The 2-8 Gamecocks’ season has come to an end.
— JC Shurburtt (@jcshurburtt) December 22, 2020
South Carolina’s bowl game invite sparked a bit of controversy considering USC went just 2-8 this season while other far more deserving teams were left out of the bowl season. But the Gamecocks’ opt out should open the door for another team to wind up in the Gasparilla Bowl.
The Gamecocks’ withdrawal comes after the team held a players only meeting Tuesday morning. The decision also comes after nearly the entire coaching staff was placed in quarantine.
“A source close to the program told TheBigSpur on Tuesday morning there was a players only meeting before athletics director Ray Tanner met with the team at 12:30,” writes Hale McGranahan of The Big Spur. “After the team meetings began, the source confirmed the Gamecocks are not playing this weekend. JC Shurburtt reported Tuesday morning that a member of South Carolina’ staff has tested positive for Covid-19. Due to contact tracing, most of the coaching staff is currently in quarantine.”
South Carolina football joins Tennessee as two SEC programs to have withdrawn from bowl game invites this week. The Volunteers are dealing with a rise in positive cases.
Obviously this is an unfortunate development, but the Gasparillo Bowl was somewhat a lose-lose situation. A win over UAB wouldn’t garner any praise or respect. A loss would’ve been disastrous for the program.
Instead, the Gamecocks can now get healthy and rested as they look ahead to a new era under Shane Beamer.