I spoke with Steve Fink, Media Relations Director for University of South Carolina athletics, before the game against Florida, and here are his thoughts on the partnership with Under Armour and the Wounded Warrior Project.
What spawned the partnership with Under Armour for the camouflage football uniforms?
We have been in a partnership with Under Armour for a few years now, as they provide our uniforms and other apparel. They approached us about this idea for the Wounded Warrior Project and we were very receptive. We are honored to be part of this event.
Will anyone from the Wounded Warrior Project be present at the game on Saturday (i.e. soldiers, or military personnel)?
Yes, we have three honorary captains at the game – Steven Diaz, a corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps, Dan Nevins, a staff sgt. In the U.S. Army (Ret.) and Michael G. Williams, a Tech. Sgt. In the U.S. Air Force – all of whom were wounded in the line of duty. In addition, we have given away approx. 250 tickets to the military for this game.
How does the football team feel about being one of the only two schools in the country offered this opportunity?
Here’s what was written in today’s Charleston Post & Courier:
South Carolina’s players seem to be taking seriously the opportunity Saturday to wear camouflage-splashed uniforms to help honor and support the Wounded Warrior Project.
“It’s definitely an honor for me and my teammates,” senior receiver Moe Brown said.
Brown said his uncle is retired from the Army, after stays in Iraq and Afghanistan. His brother, Martez, is in the Navy’s reserve program. [read more]
Are any football players on the team veterans themselves?
Deep snapper Matthew Grooms joined the Gamecocks after serving as a corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps for four years as a mechanic, included a six-month stint in Iraq. Grooms, 26, is the oldest player on the squad. Walk-on freshman linebacker Matthew Ansley, a member of the Army Reserves, spent 18 months in Iraq, working as a gunner for convoy security and route clearance.
Is this partnership something you feel should continue every season and be expanded into other sports?
Certainly something we would consider.