Thursday, February 9, 2012

What will lawmakers do to fill the time?

This year's session is scheduled to run through June 7, which means some tough decisions will have to be made now that a very important issue has been taken off the table. What will they do?

The S.C. Legislature will not require USC and Clemson to face off annually in football.

A House subcommittee Wednesday shot down the idea of requiring the teams to play each other every year, saying it is unnecessary government intervention.

“These matters should be handled by the universities and trustees,” said state Rep. Lester Branham, D-Florence, chairman of the subcommittee that voted 7-0 to reject the idea.

"Unnecessary government intervention" was the key to turning over control of university matters to university leaders. I wonder if that would work on legislation unnecessarily micromanaging the work of public schools?

State Rep. Nathan Ballentine, R-Lexington, introduced the proposal because of growing fear that recent expansions and realignments by the Southeastern and Atlantic Coast conferences could one day mean the two teams would not meet -- as they have done for the past 103 consecutive years. It is the second, oldest rivalry in college football history.

“This is important to the state,” Ballentine said during the meeting. “It is something the Palmetto State could be proud of, should be proud of.”

Both universities opposed the measure, saying scheduling is best left to the schools. Officials from both schools also said they cannot imagine a future scenario when they would not play.

Ballentine said he accepts the rejection of his proposal but stands ready to re-introduce it if needed.

“I still think there’s the possibility in the future that the game could be in jeopardy,” Ballentine said. “If that happens, I stand ready to help if the situation changes.”

He's ready, y'all.

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