USC Gamecocks Football

Pastides weighs in on scholarships, scheduling

University of South Carolina president Harris Pastides, a member of the NCAA board of directors, expressed his support for a stalled NCAA proposal that would allow schools to choose to add $2,000 annually to the value of a college scholarship but acknowledged “there is a lot of animosity toward that recommendation” among the vast majority of NCAA schools, which already lose money on athletics.

“I believe in the next year and certainly in the next two years there will be an increase, on a voluntary basis, given to scholarship student-athletes,” Pastides said.

On other issues:

-- The SEC hopes to have at least two teams each year in the four-team College Football Playoff, which will begin in 2014, Pastides said.

“That’s the goal of the SEC,” he said.

-- While SEC teams don’t expect to see any money from the creation of the SEC Network until 2015, South Carolina already is planning on how to spend the money. After a USC board member suggested the new money should be used to pay down the school’s debt, Pastides revealed he has established a group that will discuss several ideas of how to spend the money before presenting ideas to the board.

“We are putting a lot of things on the table now,” Pastides said. “We are going to reach some level of consensus and then come to the board.”

-- Pastides reiterated South Carolina’s opposition to the current SEC scheduling format that requires every team to have one permanent cross-division rival each year. The Gamecocks have played Arkansas each year since joining the SEC in 1992 and are scheduled to begin playing Texas A&M as a permanent rival beginning in 2014.

“We would enjoy visiting that colorful stadium and beating Eric Hyman’s team but other than that,” Pastides said.

Hyman, the Gamecocks former athletic director, leads the Aggies athletics department. The SEC is not expected to announce the future of permanent cross-division rivalry games for another year.