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USC’s Spurrier Stops Answering Questions From The Media

S’up, Coach?  Why so serious?

Steve Spurrier should be a happy man.  His Gamecocks dominated Missouri to win the inaugural battle of the Columbias on Saturday.  Then his team jumped all the way to #6 in the polls on Sunday.  But for the second day in a row, the Ol’ Ball Coach refused to take questions from the media.

After the game on Saturday, Spurrier made an opening statement and then abruptly left the room (which means his comments were really just a “statement” and not an “opening” to anything).  On Sunday’s teleconference he did the same — he gave a statement and then hung up the phone before answering any questions.  “I believe that cover’s it all,” he said before disconnecting.  “I don’t need to take questions.”

The Charleston Post & Courier asked USC spokesperson Steve Fink for an explanation and received the following by way of email:

 

“He’s not interested in taking questions right now.  I’m sure he has his reasons.”

 

The first reason is that the 67-year-old Spurrier’s ego inflates whenever his team’s rankings do the same.  A legendary coach?  Absolutely.  A mature adult who’s grown past teenager-like fits of pouting or chest-pounding after each win or loss?  Absolutely not.

Now, some Carolina fans will defend their coach — did we mention he has the Gamecocks ranked #6 in both polls — and they’ll praise the fact that he’s cold-shouldering the mean ol’ media.  Those who do will fail to realize that Spurrier is dissing them, not the media.  Trust me, the folks who cover South Carolina’s football program wouldn’t be sticking a mic in Spurrier’s face if it weren’t for fans who want to know what their coach has to say after a loss or a big victory.  These guys wouldn’t tape him and then run home and listen to the coach’s words over and over again.  So when Spurrier cuts the reporters off, he’s really cutting off the USC fans.  Any man making millions of dollars a year from a public university should probably answer questions after each week whether he wants to or not and most rational folks realize that.

Another reason Spurrier might not be talking is his ongoing feud with Columbia columnist Ron Morris who suggested in The State last week that playing quarterback Connor Shaw against UAB a week ago was not a good move by Spurrier.  You might remember Spurrier trying to “disassociate” himself from Morris last October, saying that he wouldn’t talk to the media so long as Morris was in Carolina’s press room.  The USC administration wasn’t pleased with the coach’s behavior and Morris was allowed to keep doing his thing.

Whether the reason for the silent treatment is Morris or the fact that Spurrier simply wants to show he’s the Cock of the walk right now is up for debate.  Either way, between the lines the coach continues to be just as masterful as ever.  And off it, he can be just as childish.  As long as the former holds true, many Carolina fans will forgive the latter.

 


15 comments
joshcascio
joshcascio

@fitsnews your book ever coming out?

Marwinny
Marwinny like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

I'm on the SOS bandwagon here. He's always been my favorite coach and with these latest actions he just solidified it more. I love someone that marches to their own drummer and if he can backhand a few media hacks at the same time then more the better. It has my experience that some of these old school state paper people feel like theyre entitled to unfettered access and pout when they dont get it. As an internet age fan, we dont care how it was done back in the day or what unwritten rule your idols followed. We get more information from twitter, facebook, and message boards, usually faster, more accurate and sometimes first hand. So if some ole fart still using white-out is missing out on coach-speak to help perpetuate his agenda I couldnt care less. You old guys need to figure out the rules have changed and the fishwrapper is dead. Btw, I'll keep paying 10 bucks /month for my rivals access but will never pay for access to any newspaper pages.

KWD
KWD like.author.displayName 1 Like

John, I have a couple of points on this. It is fairly irrevelant that he has not taken questions the last 2 times he met with the media. It does not seem as if he is restricting his coaches or players, so information is still coming from the program. I am sure he will answer questions at the SEC teleconference. How different is this than coaches takiing questions but not giving any real answers?. I am not a big Ron Morris hater like some Carolina fans. He was way off base with his article. I am not sure why Spurrier has not taken questions the last few days, but columnist need to be called out on their inaccurracies, as well. I guess I understand why media members do not call out others in the media, but most everything he wrote in that article was proven to be dead wrong. I guess he wrote it based on his perception of how Spurrier operates. Finally, I do not know you personally, but I have read some of your articles, listened to you on the radio, and watched your TV show some. I think you are somewhat like Steve Spurrier. You try to be funny (sometimes you are); and you come across as a smart-alect. Maybe you are a little jealous of Spurrier because he is a better smart-alect than you. This is coming from a fellow smart-alect.

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

KWD...

 

I call out people in the media all the time, so you're going down the wrong road there. 

 

What any of this has to do with me being jealous of Spurrier... I have no idea.  I'm not jealous of Spurrier.

 

Read what I wrote:

 

Spurrier's not talking to the media and he won't say why.  That's a fact.  He has a history of throwing his weight around a bit more when he's winning (as he is now).  That's a fact.  He has a history with a Columbia columnist who wrote an opinion and I think that might be where this is coming from.  That's an opinion.

 

I don't see any Spurrier jealousy there.

 

Thanks for reading the site.  

John

 

 

 

 

USAFMEDIC
USAFMEDIC

Great coach, but has always been a big baby from way back in the Gator days.

83toATL
83toATL like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

As many know, the local Columbia newspaper has made it a habit for decades to "keep USC down"...Coach (like so many of us) just gets tired of it. As much as I enjoy reading his comments, I am thrilled to see him occasionally turn his back to the media (particulary the State newspaper).  

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

 @83toATL 

 

Do you realize that there are those in every fanbase who believe the media in their town wants to "keep School X down?"

 

Why would the local media want to keep a program down?  If the program is up, more people will buy papers which means more ad sales which means more money.

 

I read all of these papers everyday and I just don't see what a lot of folks claim is there.  Typically, hometown writers put forth a lot of puff pieces -- and never get credit for doing so -- they almost always pick the local team to win its next game -- which amuses me -- and there's usually one columnist per town who stirs the pot.  That guy's is an anti-(insert name of school here) blankety-blank and he should be run out of town because he's really a fan of (insert name of rival school here).

 

If folks could just step back and see that EVERY fanbase is almost identical -- ESPN hates us, the local press hates us, the NCAA hates us -- I think some of this nonsense would dry up and blow away.

 

Maybe not.

 

Thanks for reading,

John

83toATL
83toATL

John,

I really enjoy your site...I read it almost every day.

But, in this case i think you are only looking at it thru the lens of a media person. Coach understands that writers will criticize his play-calling, substitutions, etc...heck he is quick to criticize himself in that regard. But he absolutely will not stand for it when writers question his morals/ethics. Kudos to him for taking a stand!! Btw, did you read Ron Morris's column last week regarding Coach's decison to play Connor?

Thanks for all your hard work with MrSEC site!  

Gamecock in ATL
Gamecock in ATL like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 3 Like

 @John at MrSEC  @83toATL John, I agree with you about how every fan thinks the media is biased against them. And personally, I think the Ron Morris thing is overblown - at the end of the day Morris is one of those writers that people read, in part because they hate him. Just look at all of the comments on his page - "Ron, you stink, and your writing is terrible" and yet that commenter reads that page time and time again.

 

However, I will get more specific than "83toATL" did. This isn't just about Ron Morris in general. This, in my opinion, is specifically about the piece that Morris wrote last week (this site linked to it), where Morris basically accused Spurrier of playing a hurt Shaw, causing him to get hurt further, and then covering it up. From the Morris column:

 

"Me thinks Spurrier has adeptly shifted the attention from one of the most ill-advised decisions of his illustrious coaching career"

 

"Despite the injury, according to Spurrier, Shaw could have returned to the game in the second half. And, according to Spurrier, Shaw is “fine” to play Saturday against Missouri. Maybe I missed where USC physicians invented a new cure over the weekend for deep bruises and/or fractures to the shoulder. Or, maybe Shaw is an incredibly quick healer the second time around."

 

"Or, maybe Shaw goes into Saturday’s game with the same questions surrounding his running and throwing abilities as he did against UAB.

My guess is the latter. My guess also is that, because of Spurrier’s poor decision to play Shaw against UAB, USC will be dealing with the quarterback’s sore shoulder for most of the remainder of the season."

 

And then, as we know, Shaw plays every meaningful snap in the game and goes 20-21 passing.

 

I think it's THIS article that peeved Spurrier enough to not want to speak to Morris, or perhaps, to have Morris' fellow journalists goad him into an apology. Like him or not, if there is one thing Spurrier wants in his legacy, it's that he played clean and had integrity. That's why he went to such great lengths to open the program up in the NCAA probe last year. That's why he went off on Morris last year when he lied about Spurrier stealing Ellington from the hoops team. And that's why he's ticked again at Morris with the concept that he put a player's health at risk. Whether he is being a baby or not is for the individual to decide (this site, even though I like it, obviously feels that way) - personally, I think Spurrier is gloating a bit ... letting this one simmer until people read the Morris article and then see Shaw's stat line from Saturday ...

 

Childish or not by Spurrier, you've got to admit that Morris is again out of line.

 

John - you're a journalist - would you write something like the above?

BonzaiB
BonzaiB

 @Gamecock in ATL  @John at MrSEC  @83toATL Dog bites man, man bites dog. Journalists write what they think will interest people. If they get that correct, they make money and provide a service (both good things). There are a number of ways SS could handle this, he chose one a way guarnateed to get journalists thinking "man bites dog."

 

Spurrier could go bonkers at a press conference and attack Morris, which would get lots of negative press, not because Morris is loved, but we expect guys getting paid millions to be "the Coach" to act like him. There are rules. Spurrier could boycott the press, which will get the press thinking, "who do you think we are, our job is to interview you (and it is)."

 

Or, and this would be a novel approach for Spurrier (in that he does not do it very often), would be to take questions from the field, and regardless of the tone of the question, or the questioner, to answer the question dispassionately, and to not have every answer be one that will turn the attention back to Spurrier. 

 

Love watching Spurrier, but contrast his approach to most guys wearing the mantle of "the Coach." Most of the time, they slog through flaws in the question or the reporters approach and make the best of it. The true flaw in SS's approach is there are more of them than you, and collectively, the reach more people than you.

 

 

GeoffDawg
GeoffDawg

@Gamecock in ATL @John at MrSEC @83toATL Spurrier may or may not play clean, his innovations to the game can't be denied, and he's certainly one of the top coaches in the country over the last couple of decades but Tijuana donkeys display more integrity and class than the Ole' Ball Coach.

BonzaiB
BonzaiB

Spurrier is a national treasure, he is more entertaining than most of the backwoods homespun sayings used to describe his sideline behavior. Some enterprising media savy type ought to make a 30 minute documentary with Spurrier's sideline antics, press room statements, etc. We'd all have a blast watching. Why? Exactly because he is the movie Big, a 13 year old trapped in an old guys' body, and the movie does not stop, just pauses from time to time. Now, he just does not have the calm, grandfatherly demeanor you would expect from a guy running a multi million dollar football franchise, or the sense to keep his mouth shut, or the maturity to say things without sounding self absorbed, but he is entertaining, and we watch sports to be entertained. If the Gamecocks want to pay him, the Gamecocks are contributing to my weekly sports amusement.

superflyby1
superflyby1

Could be he has personal or family problems. Don't draw conclusions on things. It will always come back to bite you. Spurrier loves to talk to the media so don't make it what it may not be.

40Capt
40Capt like.author.displayName 1 Like

Unfortunately for SS, if he wont answer questions, and won't say why, then everyone else is free to speculate as much, and as wildly as they choose. If he or his bosses don't want wild speculation, they could preempt it by addressing why. He loves to use the media when it suits him, but if they don't play nice or play by his rules, he pouts, like the petulant baby he is.

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

 @superflyby1 

 

It could be anything, you are correct.  But I'm going to make a guess based on past precedents and years of experience watching Spurrier.  If I'm wrong, I'll write right here.

 

Thanks for reading,

John

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