As of right now, this is just a rumor...but Corey Miller of "1400 The Team" reported on the air that it appears that University of South Carolina basketball player Bruce Ellington may be leaving the program in order to join Steve Spurrier's football team to help the Gamecocks defend their SEC East crown.
This could get ugly in Carolina land, and I for one am not sure how I feel about this. There are a couple of areas that this could impact.
1. This move would destroy USC basketball for the foreseeable future.
As a four star highly recruited point guard (and four star football athlete) Ellington was the crown jewel and main cog in building a contender. As a true freshman, he made the all freshman team and was an electric player.
At times, he played out of control...but there was a great deal of hope in this young man. Any time you watched South Carolina play on T.V., the announcers had something to say about Elington's potential.
If he leaves, the program takes three steps backwards. With no true leader at point guard, and the only electric scorer on the team disappearing, the 14-16 record could easily turn into a sub 10 win season in 2011.
Should Bruce Ellington play football?
It's a sad, sad, day for South Carolina basketball fans if this happens.
2. Bruce Ellington would immediately contribute to the football team, and make a big impact.
This kid coming in would be like picking up a star free agent for next to nothing in the NFL. If you ever watched him play basketball, you know he was one of the most electrifying speed guys in the SEC. He looked like a running back out there.
Ellington would be able to play numerous roles. He could be a runner, wide receiver, and return man.
He would especially be useful as a return man, as he starred as one in high school. The rich get richer.
3. Would this signal the end of the Darrin Horn era for USC basketball?
My guess? Yes. In one week, South Carolina has seen Ramon Galloway, Stephen Spinella, and Bruce Ellington leave the team. Something is off in Colonial Arena.
It doesn't help that the players did not progress positively throughout the course of the season...the team got worse.
Losing your star player, your heart, the guy who won you at least four of the 14 games you won...that probably seals the deal.
4. How will South Carolina football fans embrace Ellington?
In reality, probably really well. Football is still king in South Carolina, and the basketball team usually serves as little more than passing amusement until baseball season, when the national champion Yardcocks start playing ball.
The football fans will be giddy to get another star athlete to add along with Marcus Lattimore, Devin Taylor, Stephon Gilmore, Alshon Jeffery and Jadeveon Clowney.
Adding Ellington to that mix makes them an even more deadly team.
Basketball is a sport I love, and I will be wildly disappointed if Ellington does make this choice. South Carolina won't have a team next year that can compete. It may be time to start from scratch and get a great coach who knows how to recruit.
Whatever happens, good luck to you, Bruce Ellington...at least you are still a Gamecock.