Here’s a tip for the NCAA: Test that new technology before you actually implement it.
On Thursday, NCAA vice president Dan Gavitt acknowledged that it had let South Carolina know that it had made the NCAA Tournament.
As the leaked bracket on Selection Sunday clearly showed: The Gamecocks were not part of the tournament.
Here is what Gavitt said in a release:
“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 into 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.”
A junior staffer? A new app?
On the bright side, coach Frank Martin is known for his calm demeanor, so this was probably no big deal.*
The Gamecocks finished with a 24-8 record. WIST.com reported that Martin and athletic director Ray Tanner received the text during the bloated Selection Sunday show. Ten minutes later came a call saying a mistaken had been made.
South Carolina was picked for the NIT and lost to Georgia Tech in the second round.