South Carolina’s athletic department has plenty of experience with various storms and hurricanes moving games.
Tropical Storm Florence triggered South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster to declare a state of emergency Saturday ahead of possible landfall later in the week. The University of South Carolina hasn’t yet started in on contingency plans if the storm affects next Saturday night’s game against Marshall, but the staff is keeping an eye on it.
“We’ve had internal conversation with some administrative staff earlier,” Gamecocks athletic director Ray Tanner said. “It’s still too early to tell exactly the path. We’ll certainly be monitoring it as the week goes on.”
The storm is projected to make landfall on Thursday, though that leaves plenty of time for it to change its path or work out to sea. Tanner expressed hope it wouldn’t make landfall, and said USC will just have to see what happens.
In the past three seasons, storms have caused a pair of Gamecocks football games to be moved.
In 2015, heavy flooding in Columbia made the logistics of hosting a game impossible, so the game was moved to LSU. A year later, Hurricane Matthew caused enough storming in Columbia to move the Georgia game from Saturday to Sunday.
Although neither of those was ideal, it means South Carolina has gone through moving games before is the situation calls for it.
“Unfortunately we have some experience,” Tanner said. “I was talking with Greg McGarity, the Georgia AD, during the game today. And I’m like, ‘You guys are a week early.’ We’ll be dealing with this, Hurricane Florence, next week.
“Hopefully we won’t have anything to deal with, but we’ll certainly be prepared if we do.”