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Spurrier At The Podium

Here’s a rundown of South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier’s comments:

* “South Carolina football, we made some progress last year.  Did some things for the first time ever.  Beat a #1 team, Alabama on October the 9th.  Won our first game ever in The Swamp.  Won the Eastern Division (for the) first time ever.  So we accomplished a few firsts, but plenty more out there for us to go after.”

* “We feel like we’ve probably assembled maybe the best group of players we’ve had in the seven years, now, that I’ve been there.  But time will tell.”

* Spurrier pointed out that his team finished 7th in offense and defense last year.  “So we weren’t great by any means.”

* The coach said one thing that’s helped Carolina is the fact that they have signed “Mr. Football” in the Palmetto State for three straight years.  He said last year’s top signee Jadeveon Clowney will be on the field “early and often.”

* “Our fans there at South Carolina have paid their dues over the years because not much has happened in football.  Or really a lot of sports.  Of course, we’re fired up about our baseball team.  Winning back-to-back national championships is not only super and great for our university but it sort of sends a message to all the other sports — ‘Hey, it can be done at South Carolina.’”

* Spurrier seems much more upbeat than he did at last year’s Media Days.  Winning will do that for a guy.  His grey sportcoat, blue shirt, white collar and pink tie are also the best look for a coach so far today.  For those of you interested in the sartorial side of things.

* Asked about being the likely favorites in the East, the coach said: “Okay, well, you know we lost our last two games last year so we’re not sitting around patting each other on the back too much.  We got clobbered in the SEC game by Auburn and didn’t play when the game was on the line against FSU in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. … We’ve got a long way to go.”

* “We know that Georgia, Tennessee and Florida were down last year, that’s what gave us hope.  And probably (that was) a big reason we won the East last year, those teams were a little bit down.  And whether or not they’ll be down this year only time will only tell.”

* Again using the #7 SEC ranking of his offense and defense as proof, Spurrier said his team last year was “mediocre.” 

* “All summer I’ve said Marcus Lattimore is the best running back in the country and Alshon Jeffery — in my opinion — is the best receiver in the country.”

* Spurrier said Stephen Garcia “has behaved very well.”  He also said there will be a preseason quarterback competition between Garcia and Connor Shaw.

* Asked about raising academic standards for recruits, Spurrier said: “For some reason we want to make it more and more difficult on some of these young men that come from difficult backgrounds and difficult academic settings. … I think the requirements are pretty good where they are right now.”

* “How much longer do I plan on coaching?  That’s a good question.  I always say four or five more.  Maybe I’ll start saying three or four more.  Health-wise I feel about like I did 10 years ago or so.  And we’ve got the best players since I’ve been there.  Our program, I really believe, is headed in the right direction.  If it was going bad and we were getting beat, I’d be gone.”

* Spurrier said his current Carolina staff could be the best staff he’s ever had.  And that’s saying something.

* Asked why he’s stood by Garcia for so long, Spurrier said: “I guess we just don’t wanna kick him out for stupidity.  (Big laughs from crowd.)  Basically we do believe he’s a good kid, a good person. … He’s really made some lifestyle changes to stay there. … We just felt he was worth another opportunity to change his lifestyle and thus far he’s done it.”

* As we noted earlier, Spurrier is more upbeat this year than he was last July.  Asked about that, the coach said: “Most coaches, if they win a lot and win a lot of championships, they do talk a little bit more.  You’ll notice that all around.  I haven’t won enough to be very talkative lately.”

* Spurrier said USC spent $12,000 on recruiting services last year, the lowest total in the league according to the coach.  “We operate pretty cheaply around there, for some reason.  I saw Dan Mullen… Mississippi State’s got a jet airplane out there.  We pulled our little King Air up next to it.  I said, man, they’ve got all kinds of money at Mississippi State now, also.  Everybody’s got a lot money.”

* Spurrier continues to have to defend his decision to stand by Garcia.  “Yeah, if he’d been a tight end, we’d probably try to keep him, try to save him.  Uh, hmm.”  (Garcia might not be the best leader in the world, but he’s not Lawrence Phillips.  Some people need to keep that in mind.)

* Asked if Mike Slive’s suggestion of moving to a multi-year scholarship was a good idea, Spurrier said: “No, that’s a terrible idea, Commissioner.  (Big laughs.)  Do you sportswriters have a two-year contract? … Everyone has to earn their way in life. … Luckily coaches have four- or five-year contracts (more big laughs) and they get paid off if they get canned. … The commissioner and I agree on a lot of things, but not that one right there.”



  1. [...] Read more of “Spurrier ate the podium” on 7.21.11 [...]

  2. News | MrSEC says:

    [...] Spurrier was the only coach willing to shoot down the proposal with both guns blazing.  “No, that’s a terrible idea, Commissioner,” he said to big laughs.The coach himself has even admitted during his mediocre and quiet years in [...]

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