Gamecocks opt out of 2019 football game at ECU

According to the terms of the contract, South Carolina will have to pay ECU $1 million for the cancellation

Eamon Queeney—The North State Journal
East Carolina fans will have to wait a week to 'Meet the Pirates" at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium (Eamon Queeney/The North State Journal)

South Carolina has opted out of its 2019 football date at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, East Carolina athletic director Jeff Compher said Tuesday. Appearing as a guest on the show Live @ Five on PirateRadio 1250 and 930 AM in Greenville, Compher said that his counterpart with the Gamecocks, former NC State baseball coach Ray Tanner, called and asked him to make the change. According to the terms of the contract, South Carolina will have to pay ECU $1 million for the cancellation.”They have a game in Charlotte and that limited the number of home games they had,” Compher said. “So they elected not to come here.” The Pirates and Gamecocks have played 19 times in football, with South Carolina holding a 14-5 lead in the series. USC won last year’s game 20-15 in Columbia. The teams are still scheduled to play at South Carolina in 2020 and again in Greenville in 2021. According to Compher, those games remain on the schedule. The ECU athletic director, citing his friendship with Tanner, also left open the potential for future meetings beyond those already under contract. “I never want to rule out the possibility for the future,” Compher told Pirate Radio. “We’ll continue to have good conversation around the opportunity for them to come here and for us to continue to play them in the future.”With an unexpected hole to fill in his school’s upcoming schedule, Compher said he’s already working on finding a replacement for the Gamecocks. The rest of the Pirates’ nonconference schedule in 2019 includes road games at NC State and Old Dominion, and a home date with Virginia Tech.”I want to be able to fill it with a good home game,” Compher said of the newly created opening. “It might be a name people are familiar with, but probably not an SEC team.”