It's Time For The Poopster From The Scoopster

What an honor it is for me to be the first columnist to have their work posted since the site redesign. I'll do my best not to disappoint ...

Let me begin with the latest stadium expansion skuttle butt and maybe a few more details from my last reports.

Things are getting serious Gamecock fans. You know how in the past everyone's policy has been to deny, deny, deny. Everyone except us of course. We sort of let the Cock out of the bag if you know what I mean. Well anyway, things are heating up right on time and right on schedule ........ if there were a schedule, which of course there isn't at this point. But you catch my drift.

Recently there was a discussion entered into as far as where/when the initial feasibility funds would be made available. These funds are necessary to actually get the ball rolling. Estimates are that a total of $350,000.00 was needed to start the process which would include several archetectual renderings/drawings of potential designs, funding and financing sources, etc., etc., etc.

According to my sources someone from the AD's office will be in front of the Board of Trustees in the very near future making this all official and the stadium upgrade and expansion effort will officially be underway.

Read back through some of my old columns to understand that while we believe Mike McGee will get the ball rolling ... it is almost sure to be Brad Edwards that will see this project through to completion before the start of the 2005 season.

In other news regarding new facilities of a different source we recently learned that Ray Tanner will have his new facility by the start of the 2005 baseball season one way or another.

It seems that there may have been some resentment building over rumors that funding/revenue was being funneled to the stadium expansion project over the new baseball stadium issue. This couldn't be farther from the truth. No revenue that is being earmarked for the new baseball facility has been transferred to any sort of football stadium expansion and upgrade fund. That's just ridiculous. Our football program is in excellent financial shape led by people with sound fiscal policy minds. They realize that venue improvements, for many reasons and within reason, translates into increased revenue for the program. Facility upgrades are only done when in fact our leaders know that they will pay for themselves within a reasonable amount of time.

The two expansion projects will not overlap where funding is concerned - there will be no borrowing from Peter to pay Paul. That's not how Mike McGee or our Board of Trustees operates. Both facilities will receive the attention they deserve and neither will affect the other in terms of funding.

The beauty of all this is that we may actually see, during the course of one calendar year, the unveiling of both a renovated Williams-Brice Stadium and a new state of the art SEC Baseball Complex - again I say all within about seven or eight months of one another in the year 2005.

On to other news. It is not looking good for Rolondo Howell right now. As of Monday evening we are having serious doubts that Howell will be a member of Dave Odom's 2003/04 basketball team. Of the three different sources we spoke two from late Sunday night until Monday evening, none gave us any positive feedback that Howell might actually be able to survive this second major infraction - a second felony charge at that. The operative word here is that there is a big difference between "charge" and "conviction" but it is definitely not looking good for Ro right now and plans are being made to basically prepare for the upcoming season as if he is not going to be there - because he probably will not.

On a more positive note, our recruiting is moving along at breakneck speed. If we will win eight or more games this year we will sign another class as good or better than last season's.

Which brings me to this season's outlook. This is not just mine mind you, but this is a compilation of those closest to the program. And I mean close. Very close.

We are going to beat La Lafayette, that goes without saying.

We should handle Virginia. Everyone will be very disappointed if we do not. Is it being chalked up as a sure win? Of course not. Is it being looked upon as one that we should win? Yes it is. And if there is one thing this staff has taught us is that we are now a football team that almost always wins the ones were are supposed to win. So do not be confused if the oddsmakers actually call this game close regardless of the rankings difference. The people in the know, those that know the game of college football, have this Virginia game dead even and there is even a possibility that SC will be favored by game time.

The Georgia game in Athens is another one that we should win. It will be a knock down drag out fight. We're going to have to make our breaks and play errorless football. But if we do, we should win this game. Remember, I'm only relaying the general thought consensus here. The Georgia game is very very winnable and we are going to win that game according to those that know us best.

UAB, same thing as the La La game.

So it all comes down to the Tennessee game. That's the game that will tell us about where are program is this season. Tennessee on the road. If both squads come out of the gate winning big, then this game will be a barn burner. This is the one more people are actually pointing to, in a very guarded way, than any other during the first half of the season. The reason I share this with you is because this is how far our program has come in five short years. Me personally, I like having men in charge who are not afraid to plan ahead, especially when they are doing so out of knowledgeable confidence and not bravado.

So far in practice ......... both our offensive and defensive lines appear to be very very good. I'll share this with the Insiders that subscribe to this web site. Forget what you hear from Holtz about his questions and doubts when it comes to either our offensive or defensive lines. You are in for the surprise of your Gamecock lifetime when you see how good our trench personnel are this season. It is just amazing.

That brings you up to date on the things I know about. I know that now that the site redesign is almost finished we can expect new interviews and recruiting updates beginning tomorrow. In the meantime they let me be the guinea pig, I'm the first to upload a columnist's story since the rebuild and I appreciate that. As always, if you have any specific questions you would like answered you can always email me at I get a lot of email there so be patient. I promise to answer all premium subscriber's questions within a reasonable amount of time.

One last thing I almost forgot. Mrs. Beth Holtz goes to the doctor this week. Include her in your prayers if you will.

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