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South Carolina AD Search: The Other Candidates

Thus far, the South Carolina AD search has centered around Carolina baseball coach Ray Tanner. Most reports seem to suggest that Tanner wants the job and has significant backing, so my guess is that he'll get it unless he and the university are unable to agree on terms and / or someone in a position of power decides to throw in a lot against the USC skipper. There are, in that case, some other candidates in the running. Our friend Life of a Gamecock has a pretty solid breakdown of some of those candidates. Other than Tanner, the list includes Georgia Tech AD Dan Radakovich, USC associate AD Charles Waddell, Middle Tenn. St. AD Chris Massaro, and Newberry AD Brad Edwards. I'd like to chime in with a few thoughts on each of these guys.

Waddell. Waddell is an up-and-comers in USC's athletics department. I agree with LOAG that he's a fall-back candidate at this point. USC needs someone with more experience or clout.

Edwards. A former football star in USC's defensive backfield, Edwards would bring a little excitement for fans who remember his exploits at Williams-Brice and the in the NFL. Before becoming AD at Newberry, Edwards was an associate AD for a few years at USC and helped with many big projects, including the construction of Colonial Life Arena. He thus has a background that makes him an attractive candidate, but I feel he's still a bit inexperienced for this role.

Massaro. Massaro spent many years in USC's athletics department before leaving for MTSU, where he's been instrumental in successful fundraising and sensibly improving infrastructure at what has steadily become a solid athletics program in the Sun Belt Conference. Massaro also brings along a lot of experience working at USC, where he was for many, many years before MTSU. With this much experience and a recent history of success at an FBS program, Massaro seems like a solid candidate to me, although, if we're not going to go with Tanner, I'd prefer to see us go for someone who has some experience as an AD at a BCS-level program.

Radakovich. To me, this is the candidate who seems most attractive other than Tanner. As LOAG notes, Radakovich, current Georgia Tech AD, has a long history in administration, including a stint as an associate AD at USC in the late 1990s. In that sense, he's got what a lot of people think Tanner lacks, the experience of being a career administrator who knows the ins and outs of managing finances, fundraising, and hiring coaches. That makes him an attractive candidate. Critics might say that his work at Georgia Tech simply doesn't compare to the magnitude of leading an SEC program, but Tech isn't small fry, either, and it should be noted that Radakovich did work a few years in LSU's athletics department, so he has an understanding of the larger scale that big-time SEC programs are dealing with. A more worrisome drawback are the NCAA violations that occurred at GT under his watch. True, Eric Hyman dealt with some of those issues himself, but the difference in the two cases is that Hyman cooperated with investigators and got us a favorable resolution, whereas GT was hammered for trying to cover up their own violations. At the end of the day, I like what Radakovich would bring, but I don't think he could bring the excitement that Tanner offers, and I think that Tanner will be able to quickly learn the in-and-outs skills that Radakovich has. I'd prefer Tanner.