September 24, 2020
No one could have imagined the challenges we would face while planning for the 2020 football season, which makes this Saturday's opener against Tennessee that much sweeter. I am grateful to our Athletic Director Ray Tanner, our Head Football Coach Will Muschamp and their staffs for the long days and unyielding commitment to health, safety and athletic excellence.
Although we've been able to release more game tickets to students, I know many of you are disappointed that we can't all be together in Williams-Brice stadium. I understand. I share your disappointment, but I hope that you'll join me in cheering on the Gamecocks no matter where you are, in a safe and responsible way.
We are more than a month into the fall semester, and I am proud of all of you who are doing the right thing by getting tested, avoiding large gatherings, physical distancing and wearing a mask. Your efforts have helped our campus remain open and are reflected in the positive rate of cases over the past two weeks. However, we cannot be complacent. Our actions on and off campus matter, especially this weekend and all Game Days this season. If we want to remain on campus and continue to enjoy football games, then all of us must do our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
If you are attending this Saturday's game, please follow all safety guidelines emailed to you by the Office of Student Affairs. If you're not attending in person, I hope you'll take advantage of the watch party at the Carolina Softball Stadium or gather with friends to enjoy the game. Wherever you are, please make responsible choices and encourage your friends to do the same. Wear a mask, practice physical distancing and avoid large gatherings. Remember, there is a local ordinance limiting the size of gatherings to fewer than 25 people and tailgating is discouraged by state and city regulations. If you are unable to avoid a compromising or risky situation this weekend, or at any time, please go get tested. Our testing capacity is back to full strength, and we remain fully committed to the most accurate, rapid and reliable testing strategy possible for our students, faculty and staff.
I know that this semester has been unlike any other, and it has required sacrifices from all of us. We must continue to prioritize the safety, health and wellbeing of our campus community and our greater community. This weekend remember our pledge to keep our community in good health; to be an accountable member of the Gamecock and Columbia communities; and to do our best to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Wear your mask. Practice physical distancing. Avoid large gatherings.
Go Gamecocks! Beat Tennessee!