South Carolina’s NCAA tournament snub came in the harshest way possible -- after the Gamecocks had been told they were in.
The NCAA issued a statement Thursday confirming a report by Ron Higgins of NOLA.com, that USC had been told it was in the tournament, only to be told 10 minutes later that it was not. The NCAA blamed it on a junior staff member texting a message to USC when it was meant for another school.
The NCAA apologized to USC, coach Frank Martin and his team.
The NCAA Director of Media Coordination, David Worlock, released a statement from the NCAA VP of men's basketball championships, Dan Gavitt, that stated:
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“Unfortunately, during the selection show a junior men’s basketball staff member mistakenly sent a text to a member of the University of South Carolina athletics department staff via an app we used for the first time during the 2016 tournament. The text was supposed to go to all teams, congratulating them for making the tournament. Regrettably, a text meant for another institution went to South Carolina instead.
“While the Gamecocks were given serious consideration, at no time during the selection process was South Carolina voted in to the field. Ultimately, they were one of the last four teams left out of the tournament. I take full responsibility for this clerical error and apologize to Coach Martin, his staff and team, and the entire University of South Carolina community.”