South Carolina is now searching for a new athletic director. Eric Hyman has resigned to take the same post at Texas A&M. Hyman's tenure here was an unqualified success, and he won't be easy to replace. There are no other Eric Hymans out there, so USC is either going to get a better AD or a worse one. Given the fact that Hyman was good, there are going to be a lot more poor candidates than exceptional ones.
Here are some possible candidates who may be considered. I don't have any inside information, so some of these could be completely off the table for one reason or another. If there's one we've missed, let me know in the comments, and we'll give you the run down on him or her.
1.) Ray Tanner
Who is he? He's the head baseball coach at South Carolina.
Why would he be good? It has long been rumored that Coach Tanner would be interested in moving into an upper level administrative role when his coaching career ended. When he was at NC State, before coming to South Carolina, he served as assistant to the athletics director and assistant athletic director in charge of game operations. So, he does have some experience on the administrative side.
Why wouldn't he be good? First, Coach Tanner might not be ready to finish his coaching career. He is only 54 years old and could conceivably coach for awhile longer and then move into administration. Second, while he is a proven success on the baseball field, how he would direct the athletics program from an administrative position? Some say the era when head coaches transitioned into administration is over. On the other hand, some think that if he managed the entire athletic department the way he managed the baseball team everything would be fine.
2.) Ian McCaw
Who is he? He is the athletics director at Baylor.
Why would he be good? He has been the AD at Baylor since 2003. Since then Baylor has enjoyed the greatest success athletically in their history. Football had their banner season last year with RGIII; baseball was a national seed; women's basketball won the national championship, and men's basketball just had 3 players drafted by the NBA. Many attribute that broad success to the work building the base McCaw has done.
Why wouldn't he be good? Well, I don't know if he'd want to come to South Carolina. Not that there's anything wrong with being here. It's an uber-stable conference with great fan support and an excellent stable of coaches. However, until talks are had there's no way to know if he'd like to locate to the southeast. Historically he has spent his time in the northeast and in Texas. If geography isn't an obstacle, he may be a good hire.
3.) Dan Radakovich
Who is he? He is the athletics director at Georgia Tech.
Why would he be good? He is a hot name right now and was on Texas A&M's short list. At Georgia Tech he has increased and overhauled their fundraising and has directed facilities growth an improvement. In the late 1990s he was an assistant athletics director at South Carolina, so he has ties to the school.
Why wouldn't he be good? It appears Texas A&M chose Hyman over Radakovich, so in the Aggies eyes, it seems they preferred Hyman. If so, would our board agree and see Radakovich as a second choice?
There's also the matter of the NCAA investigation into the football team. Last year the Yellow Jackets were given stiff penalties including loss of their ACC championship for relatively minor infractions. A key reason the penalties were so hard was the allegation that Radakovich broke NCAA rules during the investigation. It was alleged that he alerted Paul Johnson, the head football coach, that two of his players were going to be interviewed. The NCAA believed those two players had been prepped for the interviews, and they weren't too happy about it.
4.) Oliver Luck
Who is he? The athletics director at West Virginia.
Why would he be good? He has only been AD at WVU for two years, but he has successfully moved them from the sinking ship that is the Big East and into the Big 12. He worked in the NFL for years, primarily dealing with NFL Europe. He was a leading candidate for Stanford's AD position but pulled himself out of the running.
Why wouldn't he be good? He hasn't been in college very long. He is a West Virginia alumnus and might not be interested in leaving.
5.) Danny Morrison
Who is he? Carolina Panthers president.
Why would he be good? Morrison is currently the president of the Panthers, but he spent most of his career in college before taking this role. He was most recently the AD at TCU, just like our last AD. He as the commissioner of the Southern Conference and AD at Wofford. His South Carolina connection is a 2000 doctorate he earned in educational leadership.
Why wouldn't he be good? South Carolina isn't the NFL in many ways, and its not the smaller schools Morrison has experience managing. Plus many NFL people look down on the college game, and he may not be interested in returning.
6.) Tom Jurich
Who is he? Athletics director at Louisville
Why would he be good? He's brought Louisville from athletic purgatory into the Big East. Rick Pitino was brought in under his watch, and almost every team has had historic highs while he's been at the helm.
Why wouldn't he be good? He's very popular at Louisville and seems content there, so who knows if he'd be interested in leaving.
7.) Brad Edwards
Who is he? Former Gamecock football player and Newberry College AD.
Why would he be good? He is most certainly a Carolina guy and spent time at USC as a student-athlete and administrator.
Why wouldn't he be good? Newberry College isn't exactly a feeder school for administrators looking to move up to the SEC. Besides that, Newberry isn't doing that well. For the academic year that just concluded Newberry finished 130th in the Division II Directors' Cup. It had also been rumored that Edwards didn't leave on the best terms after his last stint in Columbia.
8.) Chris Massaro
Who is he? The athletics director at Middle Tennessee State University.
Why would he be good? He had previously been at South Carolina and is having a good run at MTSU. MTSU has had success on the field, and Massaro has been a great fundraiser.
Why wouldn't he be good? MTSU isn't South Carolina. It's a small school with a much, much smaller budget. It's also his only job as the head man, so there are still some questions as to how his success could translate.
Well, whom would you choose?
Stay tuned for the final decision from USC....