Saturday, October 31, 2009

Don't Miss Another Game, Get ESPN 360 Today

Now you can see all the games you've been missing.  ESPN offers live internet viewing of games through it's ESPN 360 feature. is available at no charge to fans who receive their high-speed internet connection from an affiliated internet service provider. is also available to fans that access the internet from U.S. college campuses and U.S. military bases.

However Fans you can register for ESPN 360 while visiting any Barnes & Nobles or local McDonald's Restaurant. ESPN 360 is a cool way to view games that are not televised, via the internet.  It is really simple, just take your laptop to any local Barnes & Noble or McDonald's and connect to their open access WiFi.  At that point open Internet Explorer and Go to  Once on the site, register and set up a free ESPN account, then go to ESPN 360 and activate the service under your new account information.  Once activated then Click the tab that is labeled Remote Access, activate the remote access and you are now ready to go home or anywhere to view ESPN 360.  You will then be a member of the ESPN family and will be able to access the ESPN 360 anywhere you have internet access, regardless of provider.  If ever prompted to select Internet Provider, always select AT&T, including during this setup process.  This process can be done at any friend or family's house that has AT&T internet provider service, as well.

Don't miss another game you want to see, because of regional programming decisions, although periodically, blackout may apply, but the game can be viewed after the scheduled programming time through the ESPN 360 archive library.  Enjoy all the games you've been missing in the past, ESPN is making it possible.

Friday, October 30, 2009

South Carolina High School League Announces New Internet TV Site

SCHSL, PlayON! Sports forge partnership to create Digital Sports Network

Atlanta, GA – October 30, 2009 – The South Carolina High School League (SCHSL) and PlayON! Sports (PlayON) jointly announced the launch of the SCHSL Network, a partnership providing multi-platform distribution of South Carolina high school sports content. Unprecedented postseason coverage of all South Carolina sports, beginning in Fall 2009, will be made available to fans in a variety of live and on-demand formats across television, broadband, DVD, and download-to-own.

"The SCHSL is excited to partner with PlayON! Sports to showcase high school sporting events in South Carolina,” said Jerome Singleton, Commissioner of SCHSL. “These productions will allow our fans greater access to these high school events and will create lasting memories for the participants and their families.”

The new internet portal for the SCHSL Network,, will host all events produced through the partnership. Many events will be streamed live, and all events will be archived and available on demand. There will be no charge for fans to view the streamed content. “We are building a library of content that will allow students, families, and communities to have access to their school’s sports programs, plus showcasing student athletes in a manner that was not possible before,” said David Rudolph, CEO of PlayON! Sports.

The initial archived content contains prior-year playoff and championship events in football, basketball, and competitive cheer. Inaugural events for the 2009 season are the Volleyball State Championships on Saturday, November 7; Competitive Cheer State Championships on Saturday, November 21; and the Football State Championships on November 27 and December 4 – 5. All of these events will be available live and on-demand at

Another component of the SCHSL Network is the opportunity for SCHSL member schools to utilize PlayON! Sports’ proprietary software for coverage of their regular season and region tournament events. This content will be featured on the portal as well. Says Rudolph, “Schools can leverage the PlayON platform to create their own content, provide educational opportunities for their students, generate more exposure for their student-athletes, and provide unique digital advertising opportunities for their sponsors. We are rolling this program out immediately and plan to have an initial group of schools producing and broadcasting their games during the winter sports season.” Schools will be able to create links on their respective websites to directly access their own school page on the portal.

Inaugural Events at

2009 Class A Volleyball State Championship – Saturday, November 7, 11:00am

2009 Class AA Volleyball State Championship – Saturday, November 7, 1:30pm

2009 Class AAA Volleyball State Championship – Saturday, November 7, 4:00pm

2009 Class AAAA Volleyball State Championship – Saturday, November 7, 6:30pm
Competitive Cheer

2009 Class A/AA Competitive Cheer State Championship – Saturday, November 21, 11:00 am

2009 Class AAA Competitive Cheer State Championship – Saturday, November 21, 1:15 pm

2009 Class AAAA Competitive Cheer State Championship – Saturday, November 21, 3:30pm

2009 Class A – Division II Football State Championship – Friday, November 27, 12:00pm

2009 Class A – Division I Football State Championship – Friday, November 27, 3:00pm

2009 Class AAAA – Division II Football State Championship – Friday, December 4, 8:00pm

2009 Class AAAA – Division I Football State Championship – Saturday, December 5, 12:00pm

2009 Class AA Football State Championship – Saturday, December 5, 3:00pm

2009 Class AAA Football State Championship – Saturday, December 5, 6:00pm
About PlayON! Sports:

PlayON! Sports is an Atlanta-based digital media company and technology provider specializing in the production, distribution, and monetization of professional-quality, low-cost video content. PlayON! Sports’ proprietary technology platform includes video production capabilities and a multiplatform distribution system. For more information, contact PlayON! Sports at , or visit
About South Carolina High School League (SCHSL):

The South Carolina High School League (SCHSL) is a voluntary organization dedicated to formulating and maintaining policies that safeguard the educational values of interscholastic competition, cultivating high ideals of sportsmanship, developing and directing programs which promote, protect and conserve the health and physical welfare of all participants and promote uniformity of standards in all interscholastic competition. For more information, contact SCHSL at, or visit

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Horn Doing It Right

At a glance for many of us it looks like Darrin Horn is a good young coach, a little arrogant, a little untouchable, a little too secretive, a little too protective and for some a little abrasive.  But in actuality he is running a major college basketball program under contract with a very professional leadership organization supported by thousands of fans expecting to receive a quality product in a winning basketball program.  In 2008 Horn started a season that led to the Eastern Division regular season championship, but just a few (one or two) quality wins short of the first or second goal of a season, to make the "dance", the NCAA tournament.  Instead, the team fizzled down the stretch, mostly due to fatigue and not motivation, game plan or X's and O's.  The lack of depth eventually caught up.

But lets examine what did happen in the 2008-2009 season, a rebuilding and revitalization year under the new young head coach.  Very quickly Horn commenced a steady ticket sale campaign and promised a quality product, and very quickly he did place a very competitive basketball team on the floor, led by the electrifying Devan Downey.  He further allowed Devan to be himself, along with Senior Zam Fredrick and Junior Dominque Archie.  Coach Horn and his staff directed and guided the three leaders and taught and nurtured the remaining roster into very usable roles.  But the real development has been the implementation of a true constant 6th man, the student body.  Horn created the Garnet Army.  No let me correct that he created his Garnet Army, wearing their combat camouflage attire and responding to the coach's every motion to support, cheer and encourage.  The result, a 21-10 season record, 10-6 in the conference, 16-3 (losses to Clemson, Tennessee and Davidson, in the NIT opening round) overall at home, sporting a 7-1 home SEC record.  This connection has Darrin Horn with a team roster far over the standard collection of scholarships and walk-ons, normally equaling 15.  The young coach understands what this is really all about,outside of the money, it's the enthusiasm, the excitement, the energy level and the atmosphere that brings the extra edge, motivates the additional fans, that inspires the extra effort and offers a chance at the miracle finish.

With the second annual student scrimmage and clinic out of the way this year, over 500 members of the 6th man squad known as the "Garnet Army" are now charged and ready to start their season and assist in the advancement of meeting team goals with their fellow court playing teammates, and getting the team to the next level.  They have been given the fundamentals of making the atmosphere electric, and the instructions of how to play a role in making the opponents legally uncomfortable, while letting their playing teammates know they are there in the "fox hole" fight for a win right along side, in most cases displaying just as much sweat.

Horn understand the business, but he also understands the atmosphere and the resources and advantages available.  He also understands students and he has found a way to return the college game back to the most faithful of fans, the ones least likely to quit on you over one loss, the young supporters who also have a vested interest and have a daily connection to the actual players.  Returning the constant enthusiasm, cheering, positive encouragement, electricity and energy is what Horn has done.     " I do what I have to do."  "I enjoy when I'm among my people, and these students, they're everything to the energy in our arena,  We truly consider them an extension and a part of our team.  It's almost like being at practice, " Horn stated.  He proved last year that you can win games on effort, enthusiasm and energy.  Now this season with depth and experience on the court and in the stands, Horn, his staff, his players and the student body have begun to restore the atmosphere of college basketball to the campus and will likely see the rewards played out in the Colonial Center throughout the season.  The un-rostered 6th man may just be the added ingredient to a team picked fourth in the SEC Eastern Division to challenge for the regular season title, but you'll never know unless you come out to see how well the 6th man performs.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Gamecock SEC Basketball Media Day Quotes

South Carolina SEC Media Day Quotes
Men’s Head Coach Darrin Horn

On team expectations…

"We are really excited, returning four-guys from a co-championship team in the eastern division. The league will be very tough and competitive this season. We as a team improved our non-conference schedule to help our resume for the NCAA tournament opportunity."

On the league’s toughness…

"I do not know all the numbers, but we as a league have a lot of players returning. In addition to the new talent that entered this league and it is a very dynamic conference. At the end of the season, we will see if it is worth all the hype based on how many teams get into the NCAA tournament."

Devan Downey, G, Sr.

On the depth of the SEC…

"I think the SEC is the best league in the country, and it is well deserving. Last year we took a beating about how weak the league was, mainly because everyone was so young. I think this year the league is going to get the respect it deserves."

On playing under head coach Darrin Horn…

"This year, the one big change is that instead of everything being new, we are tuning up everything, getting better, coming together as team, understanding the system and reading each other. This year, we know what Coach Horn expects of us and we know more about him. Coach Horn is an up-tempo and high-energy kind of guy and that helps motivate us as a team every practice."

Women’s Head Coach Dawn Staley

On expectations…

"As I begin my second year at South Carolina and in the SEC, I am looking forward to the vigors of playing in the SEC. We had a pretty tough year last year. I thought our team played as hard and well as they could play, and we still found ourselves down by a lot in a lot of our games. We have added some talent to our basketball team that should allow us to close the gap a little bit and help us win some of the games we lost last year."

On the SEC…

"I think you have to favor the team that has the most returning starters. LSU looks pretty good. You can not count out Tennessee or Vanderbilt because they always find themselves at the top of the SEC. I think you will find that probably the bottom of the SEC will move closer to the middle and top. I am looking forward to being one of the teams at the bottom and moving up a bit."

On if there was anything surprising about the league…

"I came from the Atlantic-10 and Temple. I did not think we were the most talented team in our league every year, but I thought we out-worked and out-hustled our way to win a lot of Atlantic-10 championships. Coming into the SEC, you can work as hard as you want to work and out-hustle the people that you face, but at the end of the game, you need talent to win basketball games. We did not have that, and a lot of teams had a lot more talent than we had. We saw ourselves on the losing end of the stick a lot of nights. That is probably the biggest thing I have learned."

La’ Keisha Sutton, G, So.

On last season…

"Last year was tough because we were all new to Coach (Dawn) Staley and her coaching system. It was especially tough when our two seniors got hurt, but we were able to bounce back. I think in most games we were right there, we just lacked the extra energy to get the win."

On the upcoming season…

"I feel without struggle there is no progress, but we will get better with each and every practice, each and every game. I think we are going to shock a lot of people this year.

I feel a little more confident being a sophomore. I believe in Coach Staley just like she believes in us. We are going to do what she asks of us because we want to do well for South Carolina."

For More SEC Information Go To:

Posted by SEC Media Relations: October 22, 2009

Gamecocks Begin Historical Tough Journey

Although a common road for USC, the Gamecock football team must travel a route all too familiar on their 2009 schedule, full of bumps, debris and traffic jams, and they rarely find ways to detour without damage or a severe wreck.  If you are wondering what I'm talking about, lets look at the last five seasons for the Cocks when their bags are packed with a winning record, and even a few goodies like a national ranking, for this annual trip.  Unfortunately, they seemingly fail to properly prepare for the journey, as more often than not they return damaged and destroyed.  Last year after recording a victory in game 7 and sporting a 5-2 record, the Cocks went 2-4 the remainder of the season, winning against Tennessee and Arkansas and losing to LSU, Florida, Clemson and Iowa, in the Outback Bowl.  In 2007, the nationally ranked Gamecocks started the trip loaded with a 6-1 record until the severe wreck (0-5) occurred losing to Vandy, Tennessee, Arkansas, Florida and Clemson and no bowl selection.  In 2006, the 5-2 ranked Gamecocks had just beaten Vandy to begin the treacherous journey taking damage with losses to Tennessee, Arkansas and Florida, while avoiding obstacles with wins over Middle Tennessee State, Clemson and Houston in the Liberty Bowl.  In 2005, the team took off already with a unit in need of repair at 4-3, and were able to minimize the damage by going 3-2 with wins over Tennessee, Arkansas and Florida, losing to Clemson and Missouri in the Independence Bowl.  The 2004 year was much of the same packing the 5-2 for the trip, the Gamecocks stalled in the orange orchard again losing to Tennessee, Florida and Clemson and winning only against Arkansas to finish the trip 1-3.  Over the previous five years the Cocks have set out on a season ending journey that has yet to become a vacation.  At best it has become a dangerous adventure, almost always ending in unit damage and tragedy, as evidenced by the 9-17 record for this annual five game journey which began collectively at 25-10.  In each year, including this year, the Cocks have won game 7.

This year more mirrors 2006 when USC had just defeated the Commodores before starting the yearly scheduled trip, with the Vols, Razorbacks, Gators, Blue Raiders, Tigers and Cougars all in the path of the trip to the end of the season.  Unfortunately, that year only damage avoided were the victories over MTSU and Clemson in the regular season finale and Houston in the Liberty Bowl.  The Gamecocks next three opponents, Tennessee, Arkansas and Florida are scheduled in the same order with similar strengths and obstacles for the Steve Spurrier squad, with only a bye replacing MTSU. 

Coach Spurrier and his staff will have to prepare this team for this journey as if it is a life threatening adventure.  They will need to be armed with extra weapons and use them at every opportunity.  They will need to study the map (playbook) to victory and then allow execution to exceed all other aspects of travel this year that has delivered this years team to the 21st spot in the polls.  Each player will have to be on the look out for the blind side hits of sacks and run losses, the loss of fuel through turnovers and silly penalties, and read the signs and not vacate lanes on special teams and last but not least stay away from friendly distractions and wrap up and tackle on every play to avoid the severe damage that the big plays bring to destroy the unit and make the trip impossible to finish.

The bags are packed, the staff is refining the map and the trip is confirmed.  So my recommendation to make this an enjoyable trip...."Let Stephen Garcia drive, let the Captains navigate and allow the young guns to run wild and just play, so they aren't intimidated too early and make the kinds of mistakes that cause crashes and total loss wrecks."  Good luck USC Coaches, you're on a field trip with no chaperones and who knows where your journey will take you in the end.  Hopefully, the strength of this team has little knowledge and/or memory of the previous trips.

Click To Review Gamecock Football Season History

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Clemson Walking Back On Track

Clemson has been forced to listen to fan criticism, talk of bad coaching, poor players performances and prospects of a "one and done" for first year Head Coach, Dabo Swinney.  Well now following a trouncing of Wake Forest 38-3 and a come Freon behind overtime victory against #10 Miami, 40-37, the Tigers state their claim to the best 4-3 team in the country.  With games against Coastal Carolina, Florida State. NC State, Virginia and South Carolina and three of those games at home, Clemson sees the prospects of a 9-3 regular season finish as a reality and a recovery from the doldrums of mediocrity to a shot at the ACC title.  The victory placed Clemson atop the ACC Atlantic Division, where it is in first place and owns the tiebreaker against Boston College.  The season has been restored and the coaches may have an opportunity to relax from fan and media criticism for at least one week.

C. J. Spiller had another record setting day with 310 total yards, including a 90 yard touchdown kick off return in the late seconds of the first half and a 56 yard touchdown reception, his 18th and 19th career touchdowns of 50 yards or more.  Kyle Parker also impressed viewers with 376 yards passing for the day.  But it was the 26-yard touchdown to Jacoby Ford that became the biggest play on the final play of overtime to win the ball game and support the many upset predictions of faithful Clemson fans that will be most remembered on this day.  Clemson snapped an eight game losing streak against ranked opponents in this "must win" encounter.

Everybody lets leave Coach Swinney alone and allow the season the play itself out, his enthusiasm and player connection is starting to pay dividends, getting this team back on track and able to make a run at the much allusive ACC conference title.

Coach Swinney was very prophetic and inspirational in his post game comments........."I don't think there's any turning back. ... I hope that this win can teach these kids that it ain't ever over till it's over, you have to appreciate the valleys because it's in those valleys that you grow and mature ... and find out who's all-in and who ain't. So that when you get on that mountain top, you know who hung in there with you. Only time will tell, but I will say this is a big shot in the arm."  "We had to overcome a lot tonight - a lot - but I wouldn't take it any other way," Swinney said.

The Ole Ball Coach Gets Some Execution In Win

Yeah, Yeah....I know it wasn't pretty to you as the Gamecocks did not cover the spread, they were home against 2-5 0-4 Vandy and the Gamecocks are ranked 23rd in the country.  On paper the Cocks have more superior athletes and a stronger depth chart.  While the Commodores record is not pretty, many of their player were not highly touted nationally (never really are) and the game was in William Brice Stadium.  I also know the Gamecocks did not cover the spread.  However, let me explain what I have been trying to say often, college sports and football no exception is a very competitive and more evenly matched competitive arena than many either notice or want to admit. 

The Gamecocks pulled off a very solid win that watched a defense hold the struggling Vandy offense to just 3 points the entire game.  Special Teams for the Gamecocks slipped and offered a gift of the only touchdown for the Bobby Johnson coached Commodores.  Understanding that Vanderbilt came into the game with the 3rd best pass defense in the nation, the strength of the Gamecocks, and a top 25 defense overall.  The result for the Cocks, a 14-10 victory, with Stephen Garcia throwing for 312 yds on 22-33 passing, Alshon Jeffery caught 7 balls for 161 yds and Kenny Miles covered 102 yds on the ground on 18 tries to reveal complete weapons available for the Gamecocks that have struggled at times on offense this year. 

With its defense holding ground the Ole Ball Coach called time out in the 4th quarter on third and long and called a pass play that was just added to the play book rotation this week.  The play appeared to have been called earlier in the game but the timing was a little off and the pass was dropped, this time the Ball Coach, that's right, Steve Spurrier, called timeout, began his discussion with the receivers first and intensely, then a short conversation with Garcia.  The end result was a 43 yard touchdown pass completion to Jeffrey capping the end of a 99 yard drive, the lead and with the finishing defensive stand, a solid win over a very well coached Vanderbilt football team that may just be the best 2-6 team in the country.  I know you may not want to do it but lets give the Ole Ball Coach credit, this Gamecock squad is something to be very proud of, with several true freshman playing significant roles for this competitive team, now 6-2, 3-2 that just reeled off 431 total yards on offense, while allowing only 273.  I believe the last time three players had the performance of Garcia, Jeffery and Miles, was 1996 when the three former NFL stars Anthony Wright, Duce Staley and Marcus Robinson did the same in a 14-10 loss to Mississippi State.  You can thank team execution and a good game plan for this Saturday's victory.  Well coached freshman who are not making many mistakes makes the future of this team extremely bright.  And if you don't believe me look at the scores around the top 25 this weekend and then try to complain.