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Spurrier To Get 2-Year Extension At Carolina

According to reports out of the Palmetto State, South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier will be given a two-year contract extension.  The new deal will not provide a raise for the coach, but it will carry him through the 2017 season.

Spurrier has gone 21-4 the last two seasons, a remarkable achievement considering Carolina’s football history before his arrival.  Since becoming Gamecock coach in 2005, Spurrier has already become the all-time winningest coach in USC history.

No extension has ever been more deserved.

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Slive Not A Fan Of Spurrier’s Plan, But Was Proud Of Arkansas’ Handling Of Petrino Mess

Steve Spurrier’s idea to ignore non-divisional games and just award division championships based on divisional play — something not done in any other major league, conference, or sport — isn’t being met with a lot of positive response.  Not from the media.  Not from fans outside the Palmetto State.  And not even from SEC commissioner Mike Slive.

Speaking to Jon Solomon of The Birmingham News, Slive correctly pointed out the obvious:

 

“We certainly can discuss it, but an SEC football game is an SEC football game.  Sitting here first blush without a lot of thought, it would be very hard to decide some games are more valuable than other games.”

 

Of course it would.  Which is why no one else has ever put forth this kind of proposal.  And if Carolina had reached Atlanta last year over Georgia under similar circumstances, you can be sure Spurrier and the Gamecock Nation wouldn’t be crowing quite so loudly about change today.  About how they really hadn’t deserved to go to Atlanta.

That, of course, is the biggest test to Spurrier’s plan — would he have put it forth if the shoe had been on the other foot?  Most definitely that answer is no.

On other topics, the commish said that the SEC’s new schedule format may not be determined until the league’s presidents get a look at it in Destin at the SEC Meetings (which we suspected all along).  Also, he said that he was “proud of the action taken by the university” of Arkansas once the Bobby Petrino scandal came to light.

In addition, Slive said freshly promoted executive associate commissioner Greg Sankey is now running the daily operations of the SEC office while he focuses on expansion, television and NCAA issues.  For years, many have viewed the SEC’s other executive associate commissioner — Mark Womack — as Slive’s heir apparent.  One now must wonder if Sankey holds the inside track to replace Slive when the current commissioner decides to walk away.

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Lawmakers Won’t Force Carolina/Clemson To Play

A House subcommittee nixed a South Carolina lawmakers attempt to force South Carolina and Clemson to meet on the football field each season.  While the rivalry — which has been played 103 consecutive years — looks safe now, conference expansion and realignment have interrupted other long-standing rivalries (Kansas-Missouri, Texas-Texas A&M, etc).

“This is important to the state,” argued Representative Nathan Ballentine, who sponsored the bill.  “It is something the Palmetto State could be proud of, should be proud of.”

But in the end, his bill was crushed by a touchdown, 7-0.  “These matters should be handled by the universities and trustees,” Representative Lester Branham said.

If Carolina or Clemson ever attempt to end their football rivalry, expect a number of Palmetto State lawmakers to rush to get involved.

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RB Coach Graham Leaves USC For UT

South Carolina running backs Jay Graham is going home.  After serving on Steve Spurrier’s staff for three seasons, Graham will return to Knoxville to take over as running backs coach at Tennessee — a possibility we mentioned earlier today.

“Jay is not only one of the most accomplished running backs in Tennessee history, but he has also proven to be one of the top running backs coaches in the SEC,” Derek Dooley said via press release.  “Jay understands what it means to be a Vol, and we are thrilled to have him on our staff.”

For Dooley, the hire is a sound one.  He takes an up-and-coming coach from an East Division rival, he sends the message that his program isn’t so troubled that other coaches wouldn’t want to come onboard, and he earns some goodwill from the fanbase by hiring an ex-Vol.

For Graham, the decision is a bit tougher to decipher.  Yes, he’ll get to help his alma mater.  Also, you can bet he’ll get a hefty raise.  But while Dooley and his staff will face a hot seat season next year, Spurrier has things on the rise in Columbia.

Be it for his heart or his wallet, Graham might be risking his rear — at least in the short term — by moving from the Palmetto State to the Volunteer State.

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