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Feb. 12, 2004

Columbia, S.C. –

As has been documented, over the past several months the USC Athletics Department has explored the various options that might be available for implementing new turf at Williams-Brice Stadium. Obviously, the condition of the field was not satisfactory in 2003.

The Athletics Department conducted a careful assessment of the new artificial surfaces that are now available – ranging from AstroPlay to FieldTurf. Carolina was impressed with the condition and quality of the field at Ole Miss last season, which featured the AstroPlay surface. Athletics Department officials visited with representatives from several of these companies to examine their product closely at some of the professional and college sites. Earlier this week, USC visited two of the recent installations.

The first criteria that USC was going to base its decision upon was the safety and incidence of injury that applied to these new surfaces. What they discovered was that most of the new information was anecdotal, that is, the studies are still on-going and not conclusive. In short, USC felt that there wasn’t enough sufficient data that confirmed that the incidence of injury was lower on the new artificial surfaces. Perhaps in 1-2 years that information will be more definitive.

Therefore, the decision has been made to re-sod the field at Williams-Brice Stadium with natural grass. There is a plan in place that will provide Carolina with a playing surface that is of high quality and representative of the top facilities in the Southeastern Conference.

The re-sodding will take place after spring practice (Spring Game is April 17) and the initial cost will be approximately $35,000.