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March 28, 2008

The first-ever BlackBerry® Gridiron BashTM Ultimate Fan CompetitionTM is entering the home stretch, and South Carolina has jumped from 11th place to a fourth place standing with ticket sales, text and online votes. Alabama is in the lead; Texas A&M and Penn State are in distant 2nd and 3rd places, and National Champ LSU is in 10th place.

Daily school standings are being posted on, as well as information on how to place a vote for your school. Results are also being displayed in weekly national advertisements in both the Sports and Life sections of USA Today.

Fans vote for South Carolina by purchasing tickets, texting USC to 23909, or placing an online vote.

Tied to spring football games and including pep rallies and live concerts with nationally known names at football stadiums, the BlackBerry® Gridiron BashTM fan competition – being billed as the USA TODAY Bash for Cash SeriesTM – will be based 70% on fan attendance at BlackBerry® Gridiron BashTM events and 30% on text in and online votes. (The winning school receives $1 Million; 2nd Place receives $500,000 and 3rd Place gets $250,000.) The roster of participating schools with performing artist match-ups includes: Penn State-Fergie; Iowa-Kelly Clarkson; Utah-Maroon 5; Alabama-Alan Jackson; Colorado-Counting Crows; Texas A&M-ZZ Top; LSU-Kid Rock and Sara Evans; Kansas State-Goo Goo Dolls; Tennessee-Taylor Swift and Montgomery Gentry; Maryland-Good Charlotte and O.A.R.; South Carolina-Black Crowes; West Virginia-Dwight Yoakam; Arizona State-3 Doors Down; Kentucky-Dierks Bentley & Wynonna; Army-John Legend, and Rutgers-special guest.

All except for three of the schools have three weeks to close the gap, as the events are being held April 18th, the Friday before spring games. LSU’s BlackBerry® Gridiron BashTM is April 4th, and Alabama’s is April 11th.

“Alabama’s fans are outshining all others,” says Shawn Garrity, president of MSL Sports and Entertainment (creator and producer of BlackBerry® Gridiron BashTM nationwide). “But that could change quickly as we enter the home stretch of the competition. Some schools are just now really getting into the game. It’s not too late.”