Contestants in the Bohicket Marina Invitational Billfish Tournament will be hoping to build on the good catches made at Georgetown two weeks ago in the first event of the 2015 S.C. Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series, and the good news for participants is that the early weather forecast looks fishable Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Despite Wednesday’s heavy storms, small craft warnings aren’t expected which could cancel fishing. If small craft warnings are posted at 5 a.m., boats are held back until 6 a.m. If small craft warnings are still up, that day’s fishing is canceled. Daily weigh-ins begin at 5 p.m. with weigh-ins ending at 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
The 41 boats that fished the Georgetown Blue Marlin Tournament released 23 blue marlin, six white marlin and three sailfish. The top boat at Georgetown was the Miss Wy, a Georgetown boat owned by Ed Holder and captained by Matt Wilkinson, with three blue marlin releases, all on the final day of the tournament. Miss Wy finished third in the 2014 Bohicket tournament with 600 points based on one blue marlin release. Syked Out was the top boat with 800 points for catching a blue marlin and a sailfish.
Second place at Georgetown went to Petrel out of Toler’s Cove in Mount Pleasant with two blue marlin and one sailfish. Petrel is owned by Harry Johnson Jr. and captained by Thomas Wynne. Another Toler’s Cove boat, Caramba, owned by Bob Faith and captained by Dale Lackey, took third with two blue marlin releases.
Scoring in South Carolina Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series tournaments is based on releases — 600 points for blue marlin, 300 for white marlin and 200 for sailfish — or one point per pound for blue marlin that meet the Governor’s Cup minimum size of 105 inches and are brought to the scales to be weighed.
Two of South Carolina State’s most visible coaches are taking a wait-and-see approach to news that their programs may face significant cuts after a university budget proposed Tuesday showed extensive cost-reduction measures.
“At this point, I’m just waiting to see what the final determination is,” Coach Buddy Pough said Wednesday. “I’m still trying to get the best information. We just have to remember nothing is final at this point. There are some things that the board still has to work on.”
Murray Garvin, head men’s basketball coach, echoed his football counterpart’s thoughts.
“It hasn’t happened yet,” Garvin said. “I have confidence in our administration, and at this point, I’m hopeful things work out for the best.”
The university administration’s proposed education and general budget, which has supported athletics in the past, does not fund any sports programs for 2015-16. The budget sets out to cut spending by 20 percent, including $2.5 million in athletic scholarships.
The spending plan was proposed to S.C. State’s new board at the trustees’ second meeting on Tuesday. A new budget is due before the fiscal year begins on July 1.
The results could be devastating to the football program, which would stand to lose 12.6 of 63 available scholarships if the 20 percent benchmark is in play. The loss of scholarships could jeopardize 2016 dates at Clemson and South Carolina, games that could net the program more than $600,000.
If S.C. State fell below 57 scholarships, Pough said the school wouldn’t be considered a fully funded institution. That would mean potential victories by USC or Clemson would not count toward bowl eligibility, making the Bulldogs a less-attractive opponent.
“If we don’t have the number, they can’t count the game on their bowl record,” Pough said.
Men’s basketball, which is allowed 13 scholarships under NCAA regulations, would lose 2.6 scholarships if a 20 percent reduction is used.
Athletic programs might also face reductions in salary, travel and recruiting under the proposed budget.