Butch Davis was fired on Wednesday in the latest development in the ongoing UNC football scandal. Among the major allegations facing the Tarheels are the assertion that John Blake, an assistant coach, was a runner for an agent and the assertion that some degree of academic fraud was being perpetrated to keep football players eligbile. That’s interesting in and of itself, and there is a certain degree of schadenfreude to be indulged, but the real question is “How does this affect South Carolina?”
The short answer is that this is good for the Gamecocks, and the big impact should be felt in recruiting. For every recruit USC lands from Pennsylvannia or New Jersey, there are 10 or more from South Carolina and the neighboring states. For many recruits location matters, and many recruiting battles come down to local teams.
There are 9 BCS schools within ~200 miles of Columbia. Carolina, Clemson, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Tennessee, Wake Forest, Duke, NC State and North Carolina. The better South Carolina is doing relative to the ‘local’ teams, the bigger the advantage they’ll have in recruiting. The loss of Butch Davis throws the Tarheel program into greater chaos. This is good for the Gamecocks and could help with recruits like Jonathan Bullard of Shelby, NC and D.J. Humphries of Charlotte, NC.