Fans hoping to see the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers and South Carolina Gamecocks meet on the football field will have to keep waiting – but not too much longer.
CCU athletic director Hunter Yurachek and South Carolina athletic director Eric Hyman both said Wednesday that the plan is for the teams to play for the first time sometime between the 2016 and 2020 seasons.
“They group their games into five-year increments with the South Carolina FCS schools,” Yurachek said. “ When those [current contracts] expire, they’re set to work on 2016-2020 and Eric Hyman has assured me we’ll be in that mix.”
Hyman confirmed as much over the phone Wednesday afternoon.
“We plan on playing. I told Hunter that,” he said. “ What we try to do is obviously try to support the schools in the state. Not to be disrespectful to anybody, but sometimes we play teams that are far away and our fans have never heard of them, and my preference has always been to play in-state teams.”
As Yurachek noted, South Carolina schedules its in-state Football Championship Subdivision opponents in five-year cycles and is booked through 2015. The Gamecocks will face The Citadel this season, Wofford in 2012, S.C. State in 2013, Furman in 2014 and The Citadel again in 2015.
“When I got approached about this, I told Hunter it would have to be in the next five-year cycle, and he’d be one of them,” Hyman said.
Not only have Coastal and South Carolina never met in football, but the schools haven’t scheduled a men’s basketball game with each other since December 1993 or a regular-season baseball game since 2002, though the Chants and Gamecocks of course met in the NCAA baseball super regionals two seasons ago.
“We’re playing Clemson in men’s basketball now, we’re playing them in baseball and in football,” Yurachek said “It’s only natural we play South Carolina in those sports as well.
Clemson hosted the Chants in football in 2009 and has a contract to do so again in 2014, the schools recently reached a three-year pact for their men’s basketball teams to meet starting this season and the two baseball programs have consistently scheduled each other during the regular season.
“I know the Coastal Carolina fans are anxious to see us play [South Carolina] in football and men’s basketball and baseball again on a regular-season basis,” Yurachek said. “It’s in-state and I think our fans really want to see that game. I think that would mean a great deal to our fans and to whoever our coaches and student-athletes are when it happens.”