What happened with the title IX at the South Carolina football game?

South Carolina's female athletes acknowledge the crowd while being recognized at Williams-Brice Stadium on Saturday, September 18, 2022.

South Carolina’s female athletes acknowledge the crowd while being recognized at Williams-Brice Stadium on Saturday, September 18, 2022.

Special to the State

An in-game acknowledgment of something good on Saturday at the Williams-Brice Stadium drew attention for the wrong reasons this weekend.

USC paid tribute to its 275 female athletes on the field between the first and second quarters in the soccer team’s 48-7 loss to No. 1 Georgia. It was part of the school’s ongoing celebration of the 50th anniversary of the passage of Title IX legislation.

However, getting those 275 women off the pitch so the match could resume took time and delayed the restart of action on the pitch.

The ESPN broadcast camera turned to South Carolina head coach Shane Beamer, who looked agitated and shouted “Get off the field!” while heading towards the end zone where the student-athletes had just been honored.

Beamer apologized on Sunday, saying he was unaware of the ceremony taking place and meant no disrespect to USC’s female athletes. Match officials told coaches to be ready to play as soon as the television timeouts were over, Beamer said. These TV breaks usually last three to four minutes.

The Gamecocks were lined up to break the ball up, but play could not resume until the pitch was clear. Beamer’s reaction which was caught on camera came in the heat of the moment with a crucial fourth game coming up for the Gamecocks, he said.

“My first reaction was to scream, get off the pitch,” he told reporters on Sunday. “I had no idea who was there.”

The ensuing play was an ill-fated attempt by South Carolina that saw quarterback Spencer Rattler hit Jalen Brooks for a four-yard gain but resulted in a turnover on the downs.

The on-air Title IX moment garnered more attention on Sunday when South Carolina women’s soccer player Jyllisa Harris tweeted a response to a video of the exchange.

“All the student-athletes were asked come to the game to recognize 50 years of Title IX,” Harris wrote. “We were on the ground for maybe 15 seconds and then we screamed to get off. If you want to honor student athletes, do this, not that. »

Harris’ tweet had 15,000 impressions as of 7 p.m. Sunday. The video has had half a million views.

“I apologize to everyone I’ve offended,” Beamer said. “Certainly I know game management has a tough job and a lot of moving parts. I’m sure they think they could be better at this in terms of when and how we honored those student-athletes and, more importantly, how to get them off the field much faster than what we were able to do at the ceremony.

“I hope people know me well enough to know what an advocate for women’s sports I am. I myself have two daughters who play sports. I attend as many women’s sporting events in Carolina as I can because I believe in them and support them, and anyone who thinks otherwise probably doesn’t know me.

South Carolina added commemorative logos to contest rally towels for the Title IX celebration on Saturday.

USC’s Jyllisa Harris said Sunday night via Twitter, “There’s still work to be done! However, Coach Beamer was coaching in the heat of the moment and just supporting the women’s sport.

Here’s more from Beamer from his Sunday comments:

“The officials said, ‘We’re going to try to speed up the game as much as possible after the TV timeouts, so we’ll ask when the TV timeout is over that you’re on the line of scrimmage ready to go. ‘

“We had a critical decision to make in fourth position on what we were going to do in this case, if we were going to kick or go. We decided to go there. All the while, I don’t even pay attention to what’s going on in the end zone.

“We send our attack there to go. They are on the line of scrimmage. Georgia is able to see the formation we are in. We did what we were asked to do and we couldn’t break the ball. I look in the end zone and I see why.

“My first initial reaction was to shout, get off the pitch. I had no idea who was there. I don’t meet with the game management before games and they tell me who is honored between time outs. television and ceremonies and things like that.

“We were so immersed in trying to make a decision on what we were going to do that I didn’t even look over there in the end zone. I was worried about what was going on in our attacking group.

This story was originally published September 18, 2022 7:47 p.m.

Ben Portnoy is the football beat writer for the in-state South Carolina Gamecocks. He is a five-time winner of the Associated Press Sports Editors Award and has been recognized by the Mississippi Press Association and the National Sports Media Association. Portnoy previously covered Mississippi State for the Columbus Commercial Dispatch and Indiana football for the Journal Gazette in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.

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