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University of South Carolina two-sport star Bruce Ellington will give up football to focus exclusively on basketball.

Wait … what?

Didn’t we get that backward?

The Gamecock football team is a Top Ten squad that won 11 games in thirteen tries. The Gamecock hoops squad, on the other hand, finished dead last in the Southeastern Conference – winning just ten games in thirty-one attempts.

Seriously … what is this kid thinking?

Ellington, a 5-foot-9, 197-pound athlete from Moncks Corner, S.C., averaged 10.6 points per game during his second year for head coach Darrin Horn – who most Gamecock fans believe should be fired after three consecutive losing seasons. That’s slightly worse than the 12.8 points he averaged a year ago as a freshman. His assists-to-turnover ratio is also down.

Why the drop-off?

Well Ellington – in a decision that prompted all sorts of recrimination at the University – chose to play football last fall for head coach Steve Spurrier’s team. He would up being an integral component of Spurrier’s offensive attack, too, catching seventeen passes for 211 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 106 yards and another score.

Ellington also returned 20 kickoffs for 463 yards.

We honestly don’t get this decision. Ellington’s already sizable role in Spurrier’s offense was poised to take a major leap forward in 2012 given All-American wide receiver Alshon Jeffery’s decision to declare for the NFL draft.

Why would Ellington give that sort of opportunity up to play for a terrible basketball team in an empty arena?

We hate to buy into black helicopterism, but we can’t help but wonder if this is part of USC athletics director Eric Hyman’s attempt to save Horn’s job.

Pic: Travis Bell, Sideline Carolina