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South Carolina is opting out of its bowl game, per published reports, with some players not wanting to suit up for Mike Bobo.

REPORT: South Carolina joins Tennessee as SEC football bowl game opt-outs

ATHENS — South Carolina has become the second SEC team to pull out of a bowl game, joining COVID-plagued Tennessee, per reports.

Vanderbilt was the only SEC team not to finish the final week of the regular season. The Commodores had players quitting in conjunction with COVID-19 issues, leaving Georgia without a Senior Day game and derailing the outgoing class’ opportunity to become the winningest in school history.

RELATED: Georgia can’t find replacement for Vandy opt-out

The Gamecocks (2-8) were scheduled to play Conference USA champion UAB (6-3) in the Gasparilla Bowl in Tampa, Fla., at noon on Saturday.

The Gamecocks, like the Vols who pulled out of their Armed Forces Bowl matchup with West Virginia on Monday, have players who will be sidelined by positive COVID-19 tests and contact tracing, per TheBigSpur reporter Hale McGranahan.

Only 51 or 52 players practiced on Sunday, the site reported, and member of the South Carolina staff tested positive for COVID-19 leading to much of the staff being quarantined.

A WACH-FOX television reporter is saying that Gamecocks’ players also want out of the game because they do not want to play for interim head coach Mike Bobo.

Per the report, South Carolina held a players-only meeting, after which they went to the school’s athletic director to tell them they did not want to play for the former Georgia quarterback and offensive coordinator.

Bobo had reportedly said there would be no team vote because wanting to play in football games was an inherent expectation in the SEC.

 

Interestingly enough, Georgia head coach Kirby Smart made reference to how unpredictable senior leadership can be when it comes to bowl games.

Smart is one of Bobo’s closest friends, and a former roommate and teammate of the South Carolina interim head coach who stays in touch.

“Anytime you’ve got seniors involved in a bowl game,” Smart said on the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl teleconference on Sunday, “it’s always a concern for you.”

Shane Beamer, 43, was formally named South Carolina’s new head football coach on Dec. 7, but he chose to finish his season as the Sooners right ends coach.

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