South Carolina newspaper bans Ron Morris from covering Gamecocks football

Steve-Spurrier-South-CarolinaA little over two years ago, South Carolina football coach Steve Spurrier went on one of his most epic rants to date when he refused to answer questions during his press conference as long as a certain reporter was in the room. That beat writer was The State’s Ron Morris, and apparently Spurrier no longer has to deal with him.

According to JimRomenesko.com, Morris has been banned from covering South Carolina football by his publisher. Several people who are familiar with the situation reportedly told Romenesko that Henry Haitz III, the publisher of The State, made Morris agree in writing that he would never write about Gamecocks football again or talk about it on television and radio shows. One of Morris’ former colleagues described it as a “journalism restraining order.”

“The publisher of the paper has removed Ron from any coverage of the football program, which down there is akin to the Washington Post not letting Dan Balz write about government,” an ex-colleague reportedly said. “Effectively, he’s being forced out at the behest of the football coach, with the publisher not standing up for him.”

In other words, Spurrier won. At the time of his tirade in 2011, the Ole Ball Coach said Morris was one of two reporters that he has ever had to completely dissociate himself from in 26 years of coaching. Morris had become known for writing columns that were critical of Spurrier’s decisions, and he pushed the 68-year-old over the edge when he wrote a piece accusing Spurrier of stealing a player from the school’s basketball program.

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Steve Spurrier coaches practice with no shirt and no shoes


South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier is winning the college football offseason. Last month, we showed you what we thought would go down in history as the greatest photo ever of the Ol’ Ball Coach. The sunglasses and undone tie inside Arby’s was a phenomenal look, but Spurrer has completely outdone himself.

Spurrier, who has quickly established himself as the king of swag, decided to beat the heat in South Carolina recently the old fashioned why. No shoes, no shirt, no problem. A shirtless, brazen Spurrier even made his way into this video:

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Steve Spurrier tired of all the Jadeveon Clowney talk

Steve SpurrerIt didn’t take Steve Spurrier long to get into a grumpy mood.

The South Carolina Gamecocks head coach is already closing practice in response to the excess attention the football team has received. When the team opened practice on Friday, Spurrier said the first week of practice would be open to the media and fans. But there have been so many fans looking for autographs and taking videos and pictures that Spurrier decided to close things to the public, Josh Kendall of The State reports.

In particular, Spurrier seems perturbed with all the talk surrounding defensive lineman Jadeveon Clowney, who is considered the best player in the country. Spurrier had to yell at Clowney for being slowed by autograph seekers on his way to the practice field recently, and he’s tired of all the media focus being on Clowney instead of the team.

“You know, we have talked about Jadeveon for seven months after that hit,” Spurrier said on Sunday. “He and Johnny Football (Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel), they are the only two guys in America anybody has talked about it seems like — Jadeveon’s hit and Johnny’s adventures all over the country. I think Jadeveon is tired of everybody talking about him. He’s ready for team, and hopefully what our team can achieve this year. We all know he’s a super player, but it’s a team sport.”

“He’s tired of [the questions], and I think I am tired of it. We are just trying to get more into team stuff.”

While Spurrier is tired of all the Clowney hype, the team’s defensive coordinator, Lorenzo Ward, said he is not tired of the Clowney talk and that the lineman deserves the praise.

For his part, Clowney says no attention bothers him.

Spurrier may want to shift the focus away from Clowney and onto the entire team, but he should know the media is all about star players. He has the future No. 1 overall draft pick on his team. That comes with a territory.

Steve Spurrier bossed up at Arby’s after SEC Media Days


South Carolina football coach Steve Spurrier finished up with his obligations at SEC Media Days on Thursday, undid his tie, and headed off to Arby’s. We know this because Gamecocks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney posted a picture of Spurrier on Instagram that is one of the greatest anyone has ever taken of the Ol’ Ball Coach.

Spurrier sells his own wine, so we already knew he had swag. The fact that he’s wearing his sunglasses indoors simply removes any and all doubt. My experiences with “Seinfeld” have taught me to never eat at Arby’s, but damn does Spurrier make it look cool. After seeing this picture, I may have to try it for the first time in my life.

H/T Kegs ‘N Eggs

Steve Spurrier gave two reporters $100 for answering a trivia question correctly

steve spurrierSouth Carolina football coach Steve Spurrier often utilizes the media for his best interests, so maybe he had something in mind when he decided to hand out cash to reporters who answered his trivia question correctly on Saturday.

The Ol’ Ball Coach was in attendance for Saturday’s South Carolina-Arkansas basketball game when he gathered reporters during halftime. He talked to them a little bit about some recruiting news before asking his trivia question.

“I came across a certain statistical trivia that I wanted to ask you guys today,” said Spurrier, via the Charleston Post and Courier. “How many teams in the BCS conferences have won 11 or more the last two years? I’ve got a bonus for you if anybody knows the answer.”

Two reporters correctly identified Alabama, Oregon, Stanford and South Carolina as the teams. Naturally, that was a perfect lead in for Spurrier to pat himself on the back.

“For South Carolina to be in the same neighborhood as Oregon, Stanford, Alabama … that’s sort of neat,” he said. “Somebody gave me that statistic today, so I thought you guys would want to know that. Next time, y’all do some of that work.”

Spurrier went on to answer reporters’ questions for the next several minutes before handing out the presumed bonuses. You can listen to the conversation here around the 1:00 mark via Sports Talk Radio Network.

The Post and Courier says Spurrier reached into his breast pocket inside his jacket, pulled out several white envelopes, and then handed one envelope to each of the two reporters who answered the question. There was a $100 bill inside each envelope.

The reporters who received the money have not been identified so we don’t know what they plan to do with it, but standard journalism practices would dictate that they return the cash.

Spurrier should know better than to try greasing the palms of reporters covering the program! Though, slipping them some cash is at least better than berating a reporter as he has done in the past.

H/T Deadspin

Steve Spurrier still trying to nudge Nick Saban back to NFL

steve spurrierSteve Spurrier is still doing his best to nudge Nick Saban back to the NFL. The South Carolina coach recognizes that his chances of winning the SEC championship are slim as long as Saban is coaching at Alabama. That’s why every chance he gets, Spurrier seems to try to push Saban back to the NFL, whether it’s by using mind games or other tactics.

On Friday, Spurrier continued his sneaky ways during an interview on “The Dan Patrick Show.”

“I don’t know if he’ll take that Cleveland job or not, but I dunno, it’ll be interesting,” said Spurrier, who was referencing rumors that the Browns wanted to hire Saban. “He’s done almost all you can do in college football. Whether or not the challenge to win the Super Bowl hits him — only he knows.”

Patrick then asked Spurrier if he really thought Saban would consider the Browns job.

“Oh I wouldn’t advise him to do anything — he can make his own decisions. But if winning a Super Bowl is something he’d like to do before he hung up his coaching whistle, some job somewhere, he might go for it.”

Patrick recognized what Spurrier was doing and pointed it out, but Spurrier defended his thoughts by saying Saban has already won three championships in college.

“How many do you want to win before you go win a Super Bowl? … If winning a Super Bowl is something down the line on his bucket list, you couldn’t blame him … he’s already done everything you can in college football.”

If you doubt whether Spurrier had a purpose in mind with those comments, I present you this interview from April where Spurrier used similar tactics to try to get Saban to leave Bama.

At least Saban knows Spurrier’s game.

“I think it’s great, I love Steve. I’m always anxious to hear what he has to say — it’s always funny,” Saban said of Spurrier in August.

Saban recognizes what a great gig he has going at Alabama. Maybe one day he might decide to try the NFL again. I just don’t think that’s happening any time too soon.

You can listen to Spurrier’s comments below:

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Steve Spurrier thinks Georgia should have spiked the ball

Steve Spurrier loves to tweak opposing coaches whenever possible. In April, he said he liked playing Georgia early in the season because they were always guaranteed to have a few top players suspended. On Sunday, he seemed happy to point out another misstep by the Dawgs.

Spurrier, like many others, believes Georgia should have spiked the ball before running what ended up being their final play in Saturday’s SEC Championship Game.

“We all know that’s what he should have done,” Spurrier said on Sunday, via The Post and Courier. “Yeah, we all know that. They would have had two plays. But I don’t know. If they had hit a touchdown right there, it wouldn’t have mattered. But we all know you should do that (spike the ball).”

Richt defended the decision not to spike the ball.

“We had the play we wanted. We had a good play,” Richt said after the game Saturday. “The ball got tipped at the line of scrimmage and it fell in the arms of a guy in play. The ball was going to the back end of the end zone, either a catch or out of the end zone.”

Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray said the same thing. Both men agreed that the ball being tipped is what through things off. Spurrier and mostly everyone who saw the sequence disagrees with Georgia, though after watching the replay carefully, I see Richt and Murray’s point.