South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier talks when he’s happy. He’s happy when he’s winning. And the last couple of years he’s been winning.
So he’s admitted that he feels a bit more talkative these days, even telling ESPN two weeks ago that it’s “all just a bunch of talk” anyway. He doesn’t understand why people make such a big deal over the things he says. Still, he’s not happy when he feels his words have been misconstrued.
Speaking at a Gamecock booster event yesterday, the Ol’ Ball Coach made it clear that the “pay for play” plan he put forth at last week’s SEC Meetings wasn’t actually a “pay for play” plan as was reported. Instead it was, well, we’ll let him explain:
“This is not play for pay. If it was play for pay, we would have some guys making a couple hundred thousand dollars per year with all the money coming in from television and other things. This is purely expense money for football players so they can live a little better than the way they’re living now.”
So what does that mean exactly? Well, Spurrier’s plan suggested coaches reimburse players up to $300 per week with the maximum sum a coach could pay out each week being $21,000. So somehow, 70 of a team’s 85 scholarship players would get money while the other 15 would not. Here’s guessing there would be 15 pretty ticked off players and families each week.
The league’s football coaches reportedly voted unanimously in favor of the plan, but that’s merely for show. Spurrier knows that he can now tell recruits that he’s pushing to get them some extra cash. The other coaches can say the same. And no coach would want to be the guy who other coaches could point to and say, “He doesn’t want to pay you.”
Also, with there being no chance in the world of Spurrier’s plan passing, it was an easy token gesture for the coaches to make.
But what about the details of Spurrier’s plan? Who would be paid? How much would they be paid?
“Their guys would also through the course of the year get between $3,500 and $4,000. Under our plan, it would be up to the head coach to dispense the money. Guys who play every game would probably get $300 per game, while those guys who never play even though they’re on scholarship may only get $150 or so. We’re believers that everything in life is performance-based.
It’s really not that complicated. The head coaches decided we’ll be responsible for distributing $21,000 per game. The maximum any player could get was $300. Some guys could get half-shares of $150 if a coach wanted to give money to more than 70 players. Just keep it at $21,000 per game. If you play 13 games, that’s $273,000. We’ll be glad to take that out of our contract.”
Well, if you can see the razor-thin difference between “paying for play” and “reimbursing based on performance” you’ve got better vision than I do. But Spurrier is once again on the record as being pro-player which is purely a pro-recruiting move. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
Even if it is just a bunch of talk.