Evidently ESPN, would like the Universities of North Carolina and South Carolina to set aside part two of their home-and-home series (the Gamecocks won in Chapel Hill in 2007) to make way for an UNC v. LSU opener in the Georgia Dome next year…
Ouch. While Butch Davis’ Tar Heels are steadily improving who can forget the whoopin’ the Tigers put on the Hokies in a season opener a few years back…
Jump forward to yesterday when South Carolina athletic director Eric Hyman said USC will allow North Carolina out of its 2010 game in Columbia, but only if the Tar Heels agree to make up the game in the "very near future" and a suitable replacement is found for next year's schedule.
ESPN officials contacted Hyman several months ago to see if he would be amenable to letting North Carolina out of the second game to set up the UNC v. LSU season opener.
In exchange, ESPN told Hyman it would televise the Gamecocks' 2010 opener on Thursday night as the first game of the season against a team the network would line up. Hyman would not identify possible opponents but said ESPN has a stake in making it an attractive TV match up. (Show the Gamecocks the money!!!)
Hyman said he was willing to work with ESPN, which is beginning the first year of its unprecedented 15-year deal with the Southeastern Conference worth $2.25 billion. (Ditto.)
Under the terms of the contract, UNC would owe USC a $750,000 buyout if it does not schedule a makeup game. (Talk about win/win for the Cocks.)
The Tar Heels lead the series 34-17-4.