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South Carolina withdraws from Gasparilla Bowl against UAB

The school is blaming Covid-19 officially, but some reports point to interim coach Mike Bobo as the reason the 2-8 Gamecocks won’t play.

Head Coach Mike Bobo of the Colorado State Rams on the sidelines during a game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Razorback Stadium on September 14, 2019 in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

The South Carolina Gamecocks have withdrawn from the 2020 Gasparilla Bowl against the UAB Blazers because of Covid-19 contact tracing says a letter from athletic director Ray Tanner.

When the NCAA announced in October that it was waiving the minimum wins requirement to participate in bowl games, we knew that the SEC had enough bowl tie-ins, that we would likely get to play in a bowl game.

The team was excited to learn Sunday that it would play in the Gasparilla Bowl in Tampa on Saturday. However, between members of the coaching staff and student-athletes, COVID and contact tracing has taken a toll too high for us to overcome.

I have notified the bowl and the SEC office that we are not able to play in the game on Saturday.

I am proud of this team. Their commitment to represent their program and University, themselves, their families, and their coaches, is second to none.

But that might not be the only story: According to local Columbia, South Carolina reporter Mike Uva, some of the issue came from interim coach Mike Bobo as well.

This might not be a surprise considering some of the comments made from Bobo, who stepped in as interim coach when Will Muschamp was fired on November 15th. The Gamecocks finished the season 2-8, and didn’t win a game with Bobo at the helm.

Why would the players be so against Bobo? Comments like these likely don’t help.

And let’s not forget Bobo was hardly the most popular head coach in Colorado State history. Unliked by both players and fans, a potential player insurrection has some credence considering his history.

As for the Blazers, they are currently without an opponent to play in Tampa on Saturday. We’ll see if ESPN can scratch together a last-minute opponent for postseason-deserving Conference USA Champions of 2020.