COLUMBIA, S.C. -- In light of the tragedy that has beset our community and the ongoing recovery effort, and in consultation with state and local officials, law enforcement, the SEC and LSU, the University of South Carolina will not host the USC v. LSU football game in Columbia this weekend. The game will take place in Baton Rouge.
"Yesterday, we made the extremely difficult decision to cancel classes for the week due to the stress 34,000 students would place on the region's recovering infrastructure, there is no doubt 85,000 fans would exact the same toll," said USC President Harris Pastides. "In the spirit of supporting our South Carolina community that is so supportive of Gamecock Nation, we have decided to move the game to Baton Rouge. The stress on law enforcement and first responders is too great. Moreover, we've had many in the Carolina family directly impacted by the flooding."
Details for the game, including kickoff time, are being finalized with officials from LSU and the SEC.
"On behalf of the University of South Carolina Athletics Department, our thoughts and prayers are with those who have suffered the loss of life and property during this tragic flood," said Athletics Director Ray Tanner. "After much thought and consideration, and in conjunction with local and state authorities and with our own University administration, we have made the decision to move Saturday's football game to Baton Rouge. Changing venues on such short notice is no easy task, and I would like to thank LSU President F. King Alexander and Athletics Director Joe Alleva for their cooperation and flexibility in working with us to change the site for Saturday's football game," added Tanner.
Practice will continue and the team is expected to leave for Baton Rouge on Friday.
"On behalf of the South Carolina football team we want to do the right thing and do what is best for all concerned," said Gamecock football coach Steve Spurrier. "It appears the best thing is to travel to LSU. We look forward to the challenge and competing against the Tigers in Baton Rouge on Saturday."
Information on refunds/credits for tickets purchased for the contest at Williams-Brice Stadium will be forthcoming.