South Carolina star defensive end Jadeveon Clowney missed Saturday’s 35-28 win over Kentucky with a rib injury. Clowney did not practice on Thursday because his ribs were hurting, and he decided at the last second that he would be unable to go against the Wildcats. Gamecocks head coach Steve Spurrier seemed very frustrated by that.
After the win, Spurrier was asked about the status of Clowney’s injury.
“I would just say he told me he couldn’t play,” Spurrier told reporters, via ESPN.com. “That his ribs hurt, couldn’t run, and said ‘I can’t play.’ I said that’s fine, you don’t have to play and we’ll move on. And he may not be able to play next week, I don’t know. But we’re not going to worry about it, I can assure you that.”
Spurrier certainly didn’t sound like a coach who was being supportive of an injured player. The Ole Ball Coach stressed several times that it was Clowney’s choice to sit out.
“If he wants to play, we’ll welcome him to come play for the team if he wants to,” Spurrier added. “But if he doesn’t want to play, he doesn’t have to play. Simple as that.”
Spurrier added that the team was under the impression that Clowney was going to play but was informed the team “right before the game” that he wasn’t suiting up.
Clowney is expected to be one of the top picks in the 2014 NFL Draft. At one point, people wondered if he should considering sitting out the 2013 season to protect himself from injury and wait it out until he was eligible for the NFL. Clowney scoffed at that notion, but Spurrier did little to help the junior prove he is not afraid of getting injured on Saturday.