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South Carolina Coach Steve Spurrier: “Give Tennessee Credit”

South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier meets the media following the Gamecocks 23-21 loss to Tennessee Saturday afternoon.

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SEC Conference Call: Steve Spurrier Talks Tennessee

South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier talks Tennessee – Week 8 SEC Coaches Conference Call.

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Carolina’s Clowney: “I Haven’t Played My Last Game Here”

jadeveon-clowney-helmet-off-meanAs kerfuffles go, this one seems to have kerfuffled out pretty quickly.

The “Will he or won’t he?” talk about South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and his prospects for suiting up again in the garnet and black can officially be put to rest less than a week after it started.  Last night the junior met with the media to discuss his commitment to the Gamecock program.  This after his coaches were surprised to learn that he didn’t feel well enough to play against Kentucky on Saturday.


“I haven’t played my last game here.  I will be back on the field.  I just don’t know how long it’s going to take me to get back, but I will be back…

Regardless of what people think, I didn’t sit out (the season).  I could have sat out.  I am not looking to sit out.  I am not that type of guy.  I am here for the team regardless, and I am here to work with the team.  When I get back healthy, they know I am going to come there to play and do my job, do what I have to do to take care of business on the field.”


On Saturday, Steve Spurrier said reporters would have to ask Clowney about his commitment to the team because the coach couldn’t speak for the player.  It was hardly a reassuring comment for Carolina fans.

Yesterday, Clowney indeed spoke for himself.  “Am I fully committed?  Always.”

Clowney could miss Saturday’s game at Arkansas with a muscle strain near his ribcage.


Jadeveon Clowney will play again for South Carolina


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Carolina’s Spurrier Tries To End Latest Clowney Furor

gfx - they said itIs he tanking?  Will he come back?  Are the coaches mad at him?  Is he just out of shape?

Steve Spurrier tried to today to toss some cold water on the Jadeveon Clowney situation that exploded in the national media following Saturday’s game.  Clowney didn’t play due to bruised ribs, at least that was the early explanation.  After Saturday’s win over Kentucky, the Ol’ Ball Coach made it pretty clear that he wasn’t happy with how the player handled things.  The story grew when Spurrier told reporters they would need to ask the player about his commitment to the team because he “can’t speak for Jadeveon.

Well today Spurrier said this:


“He was in pain.  It was diagnosed later (as a muscle strain), and obviously we all handled it poorly.  All of us did…

Let me say this about Jadeveon: If he never plays another snap here, we all should be thankful and appreciative that he came to South Carolina. We’ve won 26 games, two 11-2 years, the greatest seasons we’ve had in the history of this school, so none of us need to be upset at Jadeveon, none of us.

I’m all for Jadeveon and his future, and when he’s ready to play, we’re going to put him out there.”


When the story is this or this, you want to walk it back.  Today’s reaction shows that Spurrier knows exactly how to walk back a story.


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SEC Conference Call: Steve Spurrier Talks Kentucky

South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier talks Kentucky – Week 6 SEC Coaches Conference Call.

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SEC Conference Call: Steve Spurrier Talks UCF

South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier talks UCF – Week 5 SEC Coaches Conference Call.

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Bielema’s Contract With Arkansas Released

cartoon-man-with-bag-of-moneyThe numbers are in for first-year Arkansas football coach Bret Bielema… and they’re some pretty big numbers.  The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that Bielema’s six-year deal with the Razorbacks has been finalized and it will pay him about $2.95 million per season.  An additional $700,000 per year is available via bonuses and incentives.

Bielema’s $2.95 million contract places him among the 12 highest-paid coaches in college football.  It all puts him ahead of everyone in the SEC except for Nick Saban ($5.5 million), Les Miles ($3.9 million), and Steve Spurrier ($3.6 million).

Bielema’s buyout stands at $12.8 million through the end of the 2015 season, before starting to decline.  If Bielema leaves Arkansas after this season, he’ll owe the school $3 million.  That total decreases by $500,000 per year through the life of the contract.

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South Carolina Paper Removes Columnist Muzzle: All Topics In Play

FeudThe embargo is lifted but will the hatchet be buried?  South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier and Ron Morris, a columnist for The State newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina have a well-documented feud.  Spurrier once refused to answer questions with Morris in the room.

This week, the blog reported that Morris had been banned from writing about Gamecocks football.  That report got picked up by media outlets around the country and now the newspaper has issued a clarification.  A memo went out to staff and Deadspin got a copy of it.  Here’s part of what it said.


“Please know this today: Ron Morris and other columnists at The State are free to pursue topics and stories as guided by their curiosity, their news judgment, their obligation to readers and our standards for quality journalism. No subject or individual is off limits for examination…

“Moving forward, all topics — including USC football — are in play. As always, this is a newspaper committed to accuracy, fairness and holding accountable the news makers and institutions that serve our community and our state.”


There you have it – “all topics — including USC football — are in play.”  Should be interesting when the columnist decides to aim his keyboard in the direction of Spurrier. And Spurrier’s reaction, as usual, is almost guaranteed to generate even more stories on the topic.

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Bowden On Bama’s Saban: “He Doesn’t Let Up”

gfx - they said itTucked into an interesting feature in GQ Magazine on Alabama coach Nick Saban, former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden praises the uber-successful Crimson Tide coach… while also admitting that successful coaches have a tendency to get a little fat and happy:


“The thing that amazes me about him is that he doesn’t let up.  People start winning, they slack off.  But he just keeps jumping on ‘complacency, complacency, complacency.’  Most coaches don’t think like that.”


The piece — titled “Nick Saban: Sympathy for the Devil” — a good read.  But the Bowden quote stands out as it shows two things.  First, that Saban is different from most other coaches.  (Steve Spurrier can probably be put in that same category.)  Second, that even a legendary coach like Bowden can admit that sometimes winning coaches do grow complacent.

That idea has long been kicked around with regards to numerous SEC coaches who’ve won big only to start winning small.  This writer has found it hard to believe that people geared toward winning ever lose the desire to win.  Instead, I’ve stated — and I still believe — that a bigger problem for successful coaches is the ability to adapt to changes in their environment.  If you’ve had success doing X, why change X?  Even if everyone else is now doing Y.

But Bowden’s comment is an interesting one.  Because it shows Saban’s strength.  And because it shows a potential weakness that successful coaches must fight to avoid.

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Spurrier’s Veiled Message Received By Carolina’s Clowney, Byrd

gfx - they said itYesterday we told you that Steve Spurrier had on Monday gigged three South Carolina starters for not working through their injuries.  The Ol’ Ball Coach suggested that receivers Bruce Ellington and Damiere Byrd and defensive end Jadeveon Clowney might not play in the opener if they don’t get back on the practice field.  “We got a bunch of hurt guys that act like they’re really hurt right now; they may not play,” Spurrier said.

Just for emphasis, he added: “All I’m trying to say, if they can’t play, we got plenty of guys who can play.  So we’re not depending on them.”

Two of the three players Spurrier called out — Clowney and Byrd — were back on the practice field yesterday.  Spurrier then reported that all’s well again in Columbia (which suggests Spurrier views Ellington’s hamstring issues are legit):


“Jadeveon is doing fine.  Bruce is doing fine.  Damiere is doing fine.  We had a communication problem.  They didn’t know they’re going to be out here watching practices.  We had a communication problem and now we’re ready to go.”


Ah, so it was failure to communicate.


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