Josh Kendall

South Carolina football ops building faces final hurdle

Late last week, South Carolina’s athletics department put out a news release headlined “Fundraising Momentum Continues For Football Operations Center.”

The release revealed the school had recently received five commitments of more than $1 million for the planned 100,000-square foot, $50 million football operations building.

“The football operations facility represents our most ambitious project to date and we are hopeful of receiving state approval in the near future,” athletics director Ray Tanner said in the release. “With a $50 million price tag, we continue to raise funds to make this a reality. The significant commitments to date represent great momentum for this project and a strong commentary on the Gamecocks’ support for the direction Coach (Will) Muschamp is leading the football program.”

Fundraising press releases are rare in my experience. The business of raising the money needed to keep college football chugging along, and whatever reciprocation comes along with that for the donor, usually happen behind closed doors so I wondered about the timing.

Then I learned this: Tuesday is the meeting of the legislature’s Joint Bond Review Committee. At that 10:30 meeting, the committee is likely to give the final go ahead for the Gamecocks to break ground on the facility. In my time here, I’ve never known of the state to block any expenditure the football team really wanted, and it really wants this one.

Still, it probably never hurts to point out how much money you’ve already raised just in case.