Steve Spurrier loves talking. He is always good for a comment.
Now those comments aren’t so funny.
He once famously called Florida State University (FSU) Free Shoes U in reference to a scandal involving a few Florida State players and a trip to the mall for an “after-hours shopping spree” at a sporting good store.
Oh, but it gets better.
In a 1994 article quoting Spurrier, the coach reportedly said, “We’ve always suspected. They’ve beaten us four out of five years in recruiting.They always tell their fans that the reason they out-recruit us is because they outwork us. Well, that’s their story.”
And Spurrier said even more.
“I believe some coaches try not to find out anything (about violations),” Spurrier said. “I’m not mentioning any names, but some coaches deliberately stay out of the loop. This way, when something happens, they can say they’ve not done anything wrong.”
Spurrier left Florida for the NFL and then returned to college football with South Carolina. Today it was revealed South Carolina’s football program committed alleged infractions including illegal benefits. These illegal benefits came from the Whitney Hotel for football players and from two men who allegedly provided free trips to campus for recruiting visits and a 7-on-7 clinic.
According to the AP, “The NCAA letter received Monday says 12 athletes in football and women’s track received an extra benefit of $47,000 for staying at a local hotel for a reduced rate. The NCAA also says officials with the Student Athlete Mentoring Foundation provided $8,000 worth of impermissible benefits and inducements for South Carolina athletes and prospects.”
According to the NCAA’s Notice of Allegations, South Carolina “did not sufficiently monitor student-athlete housing arrangements at the Whitney Hotel, a representative of the institution’s athletics interests, or the impermissible activities of Kevin Lahn and Steve Gordon, also representatives of the institution’s athletics interests.”
The NCAA also alleged the institution “failed to monitor and investigate the impermissible activities of Lahn and Gordon” even after the school became aware of the potential violations. (read the entire NCAA Notice of Allegations here.)
Free lodging for football players.
Free trips for prospective recruits.
It sounds much worse than free shoes.
That $55,000 illegal benefits number said it all.
What was Spurrier doing while these activities were happening?
Was he supervising his program? Or did he want to be kept in the dark—like he alleged certain other coaches at other schools wanted to be kept in the dark?
What about that recruiting help now? Did it help Spurrier and the Gamecocks?
Is this what it takes to win football games at South Carolina? Or has Spurrier always said one thing and done another?
Or perhaps these days, Spurrier prefers playing golf to rules compliance.