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Lawmakers unanimously shoot down legislating Clemson-USC rivalry

Clemson South Carolina Football AP

Well, that didn’t take long.

On Tuesday, it was reported that a South Carolina legislator had presented a proposal that would ensure the Clemson-South Carolina rivalry continues regardless of conference expansion.  A day later, that attempt at legislation went down to a resounding defeat.

According to The State newspaper, the proposal put forth by Republican state representative Nathan Ballentine was voted down 7-0 by a House subcommittee.  The decision seemed to align with that of USC’s stance on the issue: athletic schedules need to be decided by athletic directors and coaches.

“These matters should be handled by the universities and trustees,” subcommittee chairman Lester Branham told the paper.

Because Clemson’s conference, the ACC, has decided to go to a nine-game conference schedule when Pittsburgh and Syracuse join no later than 2014, there is some concern that out-of-conference games like Clemson-South Carolina could follow Texas-Texas A&M and Pittsburgh-West Virginia on the path to extinction.  The Palmetto State showdown is the second-longest consecutively played game at the Div. 1-A (FBS) level and, while both schools “cannot conceive of a realistic scenario that would prohibit… continuing our football series,” Ballentine said he’ll be ready to see that it continues.

“I still think there’s the possibility in the future that the game could be in jeopardy,” Ballentine said. “If that happens, I stand ready to help if the situation changes.”

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9 Responses to “Lawmakers unanimously shoot down legislating Clemson-USC rivalry”
  1. jlinatl says: Feb 8, 2012 2:39 PM

    Aren’t Republicans supposed to favor less regulation?

    Regardless of party affiliation, the people of the great state of SC can rest easy, State Representative Nathan Ballentine is standing ready.

  2. deadeye says: Feb 8, 2012 2:59 PM

    “Aren’t Republicans supposed to favor less regulation?”

    =======================

    Republicans stand for the same thing Democrats stand for: money, power, and influence accumulation.

    How refreshing (and rare) that a group of politicians didn’t stick their nose where it didn’t belong.

  3. woebegong says: Feb 8, 2012 3:12 PM

    I shouldn’t think that a game to determine bragging rights of SC would ever be in jeopardy in the first place.

  4. southernpatriots says: Feb 8, 2012 3:24 PM

    Thankfully, saner minds and more conservative thought came through from the House committee which voted unanimously 7-0 not to put forward the bill for a vote by the whole House.

    According to reports from Columbia, it was the conservatives (Rs) on the committee who greatly opposed the bill, and pushed toward its unanimous defeat. Several committee members offered a non-binding alternative to encourage both of the schools to seek all means of continuing the rivalry, which reps from both schools immediately committed themselves to doing, so even the alternative legislation was scrapped…for now.

    The amount of attention this matter has garnered in South Carolina has brought the matter of traditional rivalries which are being pushed aside for new conference affiliations and expanded conference schedules. Fans want the rivalries to continue. Fans made their voices heard in South Carolina and plan to continue to voice their support of the USC-Clemson rivalry.

    Though the recent decades has brought a completely one-sided result of the LSU-Ole Miss rivalry, LSU and Ole Miss fans would be aggressively active if any thought was offered to discontinue this rivalry. If fans became more involved, maybe more of these rivalries would be saved and those who have seem to have gone away would be restored…maybe just maybe.

    Congratulations to the House committee members for saner and more conservative minds prevailing to defeat this proposal unanimously. Kudos to the fans of USC and Clemson in making their desires known to all that this rivalry would be protected. This effort may have to be continued time and time again as these rivalries remain at risk due to the growth into Super Conferences.

  5. dkhhuey says: Feb 8, 2012 4:44 PM

    Glad to see some of the Republican state reps are laser focused on the economy and job creation!

  6. thefiesty1 says: Feb 8, 2012 5:50 PM

    With all the conference jumping rivalries will soon be a thing in the past. New rivalries might occur in a few years but it won’t be the same.

  7. floridacock says: Feb 8, 2012 9:32 PM

    Let one of the schools make one little peep about discontinuing the series or skipping one game and you will then see the legislature screaming! It will NEVER happen

  8. goforthanddie says: Feb 8, 2012 9:51 PM

    If Ballentine thinks that is in the best interest of his constituents, if that’s the most important thing he can think of to do with his time, I hope his constituents vote him out unanimously.

  9. mrslay1 says: Feb 9, 2012 12:31 AM

    The right thing happened today. Lets hope that no matter what the reason, politicians stay OUT of college sports. Do something important with your time like creating jobs!

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