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Spurrier Sounds Off On Academics, Ohio State, Tennessee And More

Last summer at SEC Media Days, Steve Spurrier looked like a shell of his former self.  Gone was the bravado, the rapier wit and sharp tongue.  Instead, an aging coach stood before the media.  Just another aging coach.

Fast-forward through a 9-win, East Division-title-winning season and the Ol’ Ball Coach is back.  Not only was the he #1 hit at last week’s Media Days, but Spurrier’s still talking smack.  And unlike Lane Kiffin — who he spoke of as part of his engagement in Chattanooga on Saturday — Spurrier’s digs are usually pretty funny.

Last week, Carolina’s coach said that coaches who win have more reason to talk.  And while the coach says he still hasn’t won very much in Columbia, he’s clearly won enough to get his tongue wagging again.  Try on these quotes (reported by Mark Wiedmer of The Chattanooga Times Free Press):

On Mike Slive’s proposal to raise academic standards for players — “Some of these guys are not academically capable of raising standards.”  (That’s not exactly brochure material for the University of South Carolina, now is it?)

On the need to get athletes more money — “Marcus Lattimore doesn’t have a car.  He’s probably had a $15-20 million impact on our school.  But he can’t get a car unless a bank qualifies him for a loan.  I told him the other day, ‘Go get a loan.  I think you’re a good risk.”

On Ohio State’s recent rumored issues with a car dealer — “Ohio State has a better car arrangement than we do.”

On former Tennessee coach — and foil — Phillip Fulmer — “They ought to put Coach Fulmer on an NCAA committee (to change college football).  He’s a common sense guy and they need some of that.  We’re really pretty good friends these days.”

On his multiple wins in Knoxville (with Duke, Florida and Carolina) — “If you beat Tennessee in Knoxville, you’ve got to learn how to sing ‘Rocky Top.’  We were fortunate enough to beat them a few times up there.”

On former UT coach Lane Kiffin – “I didn’t think much of him, did you?”

And on Kiffin’s suggestion to then-recruit Alshon Jeffery that he’ll wind up pumping gas if he signs with Carolina (a statement Kiffin denies making) — “Yeah, Alshon was laughing about that when we were getting ready to fly to Birmingham for SEC Media Days.”

It’s been a long while since Spurrier felt confident enough to start throwing jabs.  And that should tell SEC watchers just how good he feels about his 2011 squad.


Vol Guest
Vol Guest

Perhaps my use of the word "personal" portrays the wrong point. No, I don't recall Spurrier slinging personal insults at individuals, but that doesn't mean his comments toward the teams weren't derogatory or insulting to the players, coaches, and fans. They were, in fact, exactly that, and were intended as such. He acted like an immature brat and needed to act like an adult (what a concept), which is especially important considering he's dealing with impressionable young athletes, even teenagers.

I understand the reference to Kiffin is a side point. And I agree there's a difference between Spurrier and Kiffin, and in no way would I ever defend Kiffin. I rooted for him when he first came to TN because he was the coach, but can honestly say I was embarassed by him by the end of the season (capped off by his rude snub of the W. Va. coach after the bowl game). But just because he's worse than Spurrier doesn't mean Spurrier's derogatory comments are somehow acceptable.


Vol Guest
Vol Guest

Lots of people think that Spurrier has mellowed over the years, but here's why that is wrong: Spurrier only runs his mouth when he is winning. The only reason we haven't heard any zings coming from his direction in many years is because he hasn't been at the helm of a winning team (college or pro) & has had large doses of humble pie. But now he wins a mediocre east division one time and he's already warming up.

Maybe Spurrier is wiser than Kiffin in terms of when and how to run his mouth, but that doesn't mean he's not still a jerk. The comments in this article are pretty mild, but his antics at Florida brought an element of personal insult that shouldn't be involved in collegiate (or really any) sports, and is precisely the type of immature behavior Saban condemned in the SEC media days. The media thinks Spurrier is "funnier" than Kiffin, but the sad part is that those same people would have thought Kiffin was funnier if he was winning, too (people seem to gain credibility with the media when they're winning).


Vol Guest...

I can't recall Spurrier making "personal" insults while at Florida. "Free Shoes University" and "Can't spell Citrus without U-T" are the barbs that come to mind.

Kiffin incorrectly accused other coaches of cheating. I see a pretty clear difference there.

But to each his own. I agree that Spurrier is now talking because he's winning, however. That was the point of our initial comments.

Thanks for reading the site,


  1. [...] Steve Spurrier had plenty to say when he spoke on Saturday night in Chattanooga. (Times Free Press) [...]

  2. [...] Spurrier sounds off on Tennessee, Ohio State and paying players. [...]

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