Editor's Note: This was written Wednesday morning, before the announcement that the game had been moved to LSU.
South Carolina and LSU are scheduled to play a football game on Saturday afternoon
With everything that has gone on in the state over the last week, there are concerns about whether that game can (or should) be played in Williams-Brice Stadium.
Here's my idea for how to handle this weekend's contest.
Start by announcing that the game will not be played in Columbia. There are too many variables and it's not worth the risk. Contact all ticket holders for South Carolina-LSU and inform them that they will be refunded for their tickets if they wish. However, if they so choose, they can keep their tickets and request that the money spent on them will go to flood relief in Columbia and around the state. Both schools refund the tickets or donate the money. It's one game and South Carolina and LSU can afford to go a week without ticket profits.
Next, find a suitable home for the game somewhere in South Carolina. Charlotte, Atlanta and Jacksonville have all been floated around as possibilities, but symbolically, this game should be played in the Palmetto State. Wofford and Furman are both on the road this weekend. Paladin Stadium sits 16,000, while Gibbs Stadium holds 13,000. It's not ideal, but nothing about this situation is.
Once a location has been determined, inform fans that there will be no ticket sales for the contest. Instead, attendance will be first-come, first-serve, and all that will be required to enter the stadium is a donation of at least $1 to the disaster relief effort. If fans want to donate $5 or $10 or $100, they can. Those who are not lucky enough to get into the stadium are still free to donate.
Obviously, none of this is likely to happen. However, this would keep the game local, raise money for people who desperately need it and bring both fan bases together.
And honestly, isn't that what's important right now?