South Carolina’s blowout loss to No. 1 Georgia wasn’t the only lowlight of the afternoon.
The South Carolina Gamecocks wanted to honor the 50th anniversary of Title IX at the end of the first quarter during their game against the No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday. The athletic department reportedly asked all female student-athletes to go to the end zone as the quarter changed over, where they would be recognized and the crowd would cheer. It’s a wonderful gesture, but unfortunately it was botched because of poor planning and the hot temper of head football coach Shane Beamer.
A viral video captured the moment, and was another lowlight of South Carolina’s 48-7 loss to Georgia.
The Gamecocks — who entered the game as a 24.5 point underdog — were already down 14-0 at the end of the first quarter when the student-athletes lined up in the end zone. South Carolina was lining up to go for it on fourth down, and Beamer was clearly upset as he tried to get the women off the field so his team could resume the game. Here’s video:
This is minor league, South Carolina. Embarrassing, and Beamer knows it.
— Marc Ryan (@MarcRyanOnAir) September 17, 2022
Beamer angrily waving the athletes off the field for what should have been a nice and touching moment was a bad look. That’s especially the case when your squad is getting stomped by the No. 1 team in the country. Beamer would explain himself after the game (more on that later), but the negative reaction came quickly.
Jyllissa Harris, a member of South Carolina’s women’s soccer team, explained that the women were on the field for all of 15 seconds before getting yelled at to get off the field.
All female student athletes were ~asked~ to come to the game to recognize 50 years of Title IX. We were on the field for maybe 15 seconds then screamed at to get off. If you want to honor female student athletes, then do that, not this. https://t.co/WIPaZAAxTx
— Jyllissa Harris (@jyllissa_harris) September 18, 2022
Beamer apologized for yelling at the athletes to get off the field after the game. He said he didn’t know about the ceremony before the game and that officials “told him to have his players lined up as soon as the TV timeout concluded,” per Greenville Online.
“We had a critical, critical fourth down decision to make … the whole time I’m not even paying attention to what’s going on down in the endzone,” Beamer said. “We were so immersed in trying to make a decision on what we were going to do … I was worried about what was going on in our own offensive huddle. I apologize to anyone that I offended. That was just my initial reaction.”
Beamer said he reacted emotionally because the delay allowed Georgia to see the offensive formation for several seconds before the snap
In a follow up tweet, Harris said that Beamer has been “nothing but supportive” of women’s athletics and that he was caught up in the heat of the moment.
Beamer’s reaction is what everyone noticed, but in reality this was poor planning by the athletic department all the way around. Wouldn’t halftime have made more sense? If nothing else, both teams and the officials should have known the ceremony was taking place.
South Carolina is now 1-2 after a tough opening schedule. The Gamecocks will hope this is as bad as their season gets.
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