South Carolina coach Shane Beamer apologized for his reaction after the school’s end zone Title IX ceremony during Saturday’s game against Georgia.
The school honored its 275 women athletes during a TV timeout at Williams-Brice Stadium as part of the ongoing recognition of Title IX’s 50th anniversary. However, the restart to the game was delayed as the athletes exited the field.
ESPN’s camera panned over Beamer, who was seen shouting “Get off the field” while looking frustrated and gesturing towards the end zone where the athletes were trying to exit. His reaction took off on social media, but on Sunday, he apologized and said he did not know what ceremony was taking place. He revealed that game officials said for teams to be prepared to restart play after the TV timeout.
“We send our offense out there to go for it. They’re on the line of scrimmage. Georgia is able to see the formation that we’re in. We did what we were asked to do and we were not able to snap the football. I look down in the end zone and I see why,” Beamer said to reporters, per The Charlotte Observer. “My first initial reaction was to yell, get off the field. I had no idea who was down there. I don’t meet with game management before games and they clue me in on who’s being honored between TV timeouts and ceremonies and things like that.
“We were so immersed in trying to make a decision on what we were going to do that I didn’t even look down there in the end zone. I was worried about what was going on in our offensive huddle.”
The reaction occurred ahead of a critical fourth down play for the Gamecocks, which resulted in a turnover as the team only gained four yards. It triggered a social media stir as some spoke out about it
“I apologize to anyone that I offended,” Beamer said. “Certainly I know game management has a tough job and a lot of moving parts. I’m sure they feel like they could be better in that situation in regards to when and how we honored those female student-athletes and more importantly how to get them off the field a lot quicker than what we were able to when the ceremony was over.
“I hope people know me well enough to know what an advocate I am for women’s sports. I’ve got two daughters of my own that play sports. I’m at as many women’s athletic events at Carolina as I can possibly be because I believe in them and support them, and anyone that thinks otherwise surely doesn’t know me.”
South Carolina women’s soccer player Jyllissa Harris detailed on social media about how the ceremony should have been done differently and did not criticize Beamer. She tweeted, “All female student athletes were ~asked~ to come to the game to recognize 50 years of Title IX. We were on the field for maybe 15 seconds then screamed at to get off. If you want to honor female student athletes, then do that, not this.”
Harris later quote-tweeted another comment about the matter and wrote, in part, “Coach Beamer however was coaching in the heat of the game and has been nothing but supportive of female sports.”
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