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March 2, 2007

Tickets for the annual Garnet & Black Spring Football game are on sale now, it was announced today. The Garnet & Black Game will be held Saturday, April 14 at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia. Game time is set for 2 p.m. ET.

Tickets purchased in advance are priced at $10 for adults and $5 for students 18 and under. Tickets sold at the stadium on game day will be priced at $12 for adults and $6 for students. Faculty/staff tickets are available for $5 and $2, respectively. University of South Carolina students will be admitted for free with a student ID card.

Tickets are available at the Carolina Athletics Ticket Offices, located at the Colonial Center, and on-line, via Ticket office hours are from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday thru Friday. All tickets will be sold on a general admission basis.

Parking will be available in the reserved area of the Fairgrounds at a cost of $10 per car. Gate #10 on Bluff Road will open at 8 a.m., while Gate #6 will open at 9 a.m. RV parking in this area will be $20 and there is no overnight RV parking available.

The game will be televised nationally on ESPNU.

“We’re excited to have ESPNU put us on for the Garnet & Black game,” said Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier. “We will have plenty of players available to play this year. We had 94 players show up for our first winter conditioning workout, so we should be able to divide the squad and have a good game. We appreciate ESPN thinking highly of South Carolina and look forward to having them here on April 14.”

This will mark the second time in three years that the South Carolina spring game will be nationally televised. The 2005 Garnet & Black Game was televised nationally on ESPN2 and ESPNU in front of nearly 40,000 fans. The Gamecocks made eight national television appearances on ESPN networks during the 2006 football season, seven on ESPN and one on ESPN2, more than any other school in the Southeastern Conference.

In addition, Columbia’s own “Hootie & The Blowfish” will perform a pre-game concert in the stadium beginning at 1 p.m. They will also have an encore performance at halftime of the game.

With the rich, bluesy vocals of Darius Rucker and harmonies of guitarist Mark Bryan, bassist Dean Felber and drummer Jim “Soni” Sonefeld, Hootie & the Blowfish sold over 25 million records world wide after their infectious melodies hit the airwaves in 1994 with hits such as “Hold My Hand,” “Let Her Cry” and Only Wanna Be With You.”

The quartet met when they were freshmen at the University of South Carolina. Mark Bryan heard Darius Rucker singing in the showers of the dorm they shared and was impressed by his vocal ability. Bryan and Rucker began playing cover tunes as The Wolf Brothers; eventually Bryan and Rucker hooked up with Felber, a former high school band mate of Bryan’s, and Jim “Soni” Sonefeld as Hootie & The Blowfish. The unlikely moniker was borrowed from the nicknames of two college friends. Later, Atlantic Records, impressed by their regional draw, signed them and released Cracked Rear View in 1994. The album went to Number One on the Billboard charts the following spring.

At the end of the year, Cracked Rear View and the band won two Grammy’s – Best new artist and Song of the Year by duo or group for “Let Her Cry.” They also took home an MTV Video Music Award for Best New Artist for “Hold My Hand,” a Billboard Music Award for Album of the Year, a People’s Choice Award for Album of the Year and a People’s Choice Award for Best Selling Artist, a feat they duplicated in 1996.

The annual Garnet & Black Game is the culmination of the Gamecocks’ spring practice session. This year’s spring drills are slated to get underway on Tuesday, March 20.