Ray Tanner Q and A Preview, Part I: Spurrier, football scheduling and Clemson

South Carolina athletic director Ray Tanner (right) introduced Chad Holbrook as head baseball coach in 2012. (File/AP)

Gene Sapakoff’s Q and A with South Carolina Athletic Director Ray Tanner will run in Sunday’s Post and Courier print edition with a longer version at www.postandcourier.com

Here is the first of two sneak previews:

Do you get involved with non-conference football scheduling or do you leave that to Steve Spurrier?

I was very much involved in doing the deal with North Carolina for the 2015 opener in Charlotte. That being said, I just went back to Coach Spurrier with another suggestion. Make no mistake, he is very much involved in what we do in non-conference scheduling.

Steve Spurrier, obviously, has been very successful and has quite a big personality. Have you clashed at all or had any disagreements with him?

I really haven’t. The admiration that people have for Coach Spurrier and his decision to come to South Carolina are things our fans will always cherish. He didn’t have to come here, and his intentions are to remain here. He and I have been friends. You hear people say, ‘We’re family’ in athletic departments and a lot of times it’s rhetoric. It’s really true here.

Right now your rivalry with Clemson includes almost unprecedented success in football and a big chunk of your great baseball success has come at Clemson’s expense in post-season play. Do you feel like you’re at the helm of a yacht?

Oh, no. If you look at the records against Clemson in all the sports, especially in the last 15 or 20 years, they’re pretty similar. But it’s a great rivalry. We’ve had some good fortune. It’s hard to sustain it but we’re enjoying the upside and it’s a tremendous challenge to stay there

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