As the Eric Hyman era officially comes to a close this month, the search has commenced for someone to follow perhaps the best Athletic Director in South Carolina history. While people with ties to USC like Dan Radakovich (GT), Brad Edwards (Newberry), and Chris Massaro (MTSU) have been mentioned, the primary attention has turned to head baseball coach Ray Tanner.
My question is – why?
Now before you jump me, I’m not saying Tanner couldn’t do a fantastic job. He may very well become an outstanding AD someday. But I think it’s a reasonable question to ask.
What qualifies Ray Tanner to be the next AD at South Carolina? What I’ve heard from the gallery is:
- He has run our baseball program for 16 years and turned it into the best in the country. OK.
- He oversaw every aspect of the building of Carolina Stadium, perhaps the best collegiate baseball facility in the nation. OK.
- He was an Associate AD at North Carolina State before coming to South Carolina. OK.
- He has expressed interest in being an AD someday. Um, not a qualifier, but OK.
- He…um…oversaw every aspect… You already said that.
Honestly, I hope he does get the job, I really do. But the fact most people are speaking of it as a foregone conclusion baffles me. There are people out there with much better resumes as actual Athletic Directors than Ray Tanner that would kill for this job.
Now, Tanner has done an immeasurable amount of good not only for our baseball program, but for our entire athletic department. That certainly counts for a lot. If he really wants this job, he should get serious consideration (which it appears he is).
While some are reporting the deal is imminent, Tanner is playing it close to the vest, saying he feels like he has several more years of coaching left in him. Meanwhile, university president Harris Pastides isn’t tipping his hand either.
This is a hire that cannot be screwed up, people. For whatever faults he may have had, Eric Hyman left us in much better shape than he found us, and we need that momentum to continue.
Will Ray Tanner make a great Athletic Director? I don’t know, but I have a feeling we’re about to find out.
The Yes Man. We’ve given Eric Hyman quite a bit of guff in this blog space before, but the fact is the guy did a heck of a lot to improve our Athletic Department. Sure, he let his alma mater (UNC) off the hook a couple of times on the gridiron. And more than a few old-timer pinchpennies were bent out of shape when they finally had to pay more for their football tickets after 50 years. But the fact is all that was long overdue, and has led to an impressive master building plan that will make all our facilities among the best in the country.
And to that, we say YES.
NKOTB. Texas A&M and Missouri are now officially part of the Southeastern Conference. Welcome, friends.
In other news, Clemson is still in the ACC. And still not relevent.
Texas A&M 1, South Carolina 0. In the burgeoning new rivalry, the Aggies draw first blood.
And the Next Next Herschel Walker is… Keith Marshall! Did anyone NOT see this coming for Isaiah Crowell? Well, maybe you didn’t see scratched off serial numbers on a handgun, that’s pretty serious business. I would’ve put my money on weed, of which the entire car apparently reeked, but there was no evidence and therefore no additional charges. Look for Mr. Crowell to surface at Jacksonville State if he doesn’t get any substantial jail time.
My Favorite Martin. Frank Martin picked up a huge commitment from 2014 PG Marcus Stroman out of Keenan on Monday. I had never heard of the guy, but when I asked Columbia local Gman if Stroman was any good he simply replied “VERY”. Word.
If you’re not already following us on Twitter, please do so, you will be handsomely rewarded – @rubrchickens.
Happy Independence Day everybody. The countdown to SEC Media days starts now.