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.