Spurrier’s lament: Team is better academically than on field

Steve Spurrier is 35-28 in five seasons at South Carolina, which is not up to his expectations.

Steve Spurrier is 35-28 at South Carolina, not up to his expectations.

SEC media days, like almost any event with a roomful of reporters, used to be nirvana for Steve Spurrier. Of course, that was back when he was at Florida and had something to brag about.

Now Spurrier shows up at media days and he finds himself upstaged by Alabama’s Nick “Death To Agents!” Saban one day and Vanderbilt’s Robbie Caldwell the next. (Two of Caldwell’s classics from Thursday: “I know the first question you’re asking is, ‘Who is Robbie Caldwell?’” and, “I can still walk in places and nobody knows me. Last night I was opening the door for people and they gave me a tip.”)

But Spurrier admitted Thursday things have not gone as well as he had hoped since taking the South Carolina job in 2005. He punctuated his remarks with this: “I don’t think I’ve won enough games lately to have any outlandish quotes. I’m just another ball coach trying to win a whole bunch of games that we haven’t quite done yet.”

Spurrier is 35-28 in five seasons at South Carolina. He went 122-27-1 with six SEC championships and one national title in 12 years at Florida. So he’s already lost one more game in seven fewer seasons in Columbia.

“We didn’t think we were going to just step in there and start tearing it up at South Carolina,” he said. “Seven wins over five years is 35. In the history of the school, we’ve never had 35 wins in a straight five-year period. So we don’t have tremendous tradition there over the long haul. We’ve not done poorly, but we just haven’t done super.”

In fairness, Spurrier’s dealing with a different caliber of recruit. But he thinks it goes beyond that.

“I think I said [wanted to] change the attitude,” Spurrier said, recalling when he took the job. “Our attitude around there has not changed. It’s not changed to where we hope to be some day. We hope to be a team that can compete for the SEC year in and year out. Can we recruit the caliber of players to do that?”

Spurrier did have a few gems from his press conference. Among them:

♦ “Things are going well, academically. … I never thought I’d get a bigger bonus for our guys graduating than I did for the Bowl game, but that’s what I did this year. I got a bigger bonus for our APR [Academic Progress Rate] improvement and our graduation and so forth. I didn’t even know it was in there until [an official said], ‘By the way, you got about this amount of money coming.”

♦ “I don’t think we’ve had but one player arrested in about two years, and those charges were dropped. That’s pretty good nowadays, as we know.”

♦ “I think [arrests are] more common now because players are getting arrested for everything that, in the old days, they did not get arrested for. I can sort of remember back in our day, if you were out and something happened, they would say, ‘Can you get home? We’ll drive you home,’ to some of my teammates. They did not go into the tank that night. But nowadays you go straight to jail if you’ve broken the law.”

Previous SEC/Georgia posts

Richt’s words, actions haven’t changed ugliness at Georgia

SEC media days: Waiting on Richt as NCAA hovers at Georgia

NCAA inquiry is the last thing Georgia and Mark Richt need

It’s no coincidence Saban suddenly is concerned about agents

SEC media days: Hey, who let the BCS in here?

We’re LIVE at SEC media days (with no shortage of storylines)

NCAA reportedly investigating Florida (but temper excitement)

Can Dogs end Alabama-Florida monopoly in SEC title game?

Listen up, Ole Miss: I’ve got Colonel Reb’s replacement

Follow me on Twitter @JeffSchultzAJC and Facebook.com/JeffSchultzAJC

68 comments Add your comment

A C Chambers

July 22nd, 2010
3:48 pm

How did you get selected to go to Birmingham???Or did you pay your own way???According to dictionary “Schultz” is definition for incompetence…

DawginLex

July 22nd, 2010
3:48 pm

After Richt goes 5-1 against him, SOS will announce his retirement. I hope we beat the crap out of them but I realize it will probably be another close one.

I don’t care, just win.

redeployed dawg

July 22nd, 2010
3:58 pm

It finally happened; I read an article about SOS and I didn’t vomit in my mouth. South Carolina’s mediocrity has even gotten to the Ole Ball Coach. I almost miss hating him so much.

destin dawg

July 22nd, 2010
4:00 pm

I looked up Dumb a$$ on Wikipedia… there was a picture of Jeff Schultz AJC.

Bull

July 22nd, 2010
4:00 pm

Go away Schultz and Bradley.

JayDawg

July 22nd, 2010
4:03 pm

Schultz sucks!

Bryan G.

July 22nd, 2010
4:04 pm

I am always curious about people who apparently torture themselves by reading columnists they do not like. I wonder if they watch TV shows they hate, too?

JayDawg

July 22nd, 2010
4:06 pm

Bryan G. Sucks!

Where's the love?

July 22nd, 2010
4:08 pm

Jeff, judging from these comments, you’d better start sporting some serious dark glasses and a toupee!

voice of reason

July 22nd, 2010
4:16 pm

the key to all of the discussion about off-season problems, wherever they may occur: “I think [arrests are] more common now because players are getting arrested for everything that, in the old days, they did not get arrested for. I can sort of remember back in our day, if you were out and something happened, they would say, ‘Can you get home? We’ll drive you home,’ to some of my teammates. They did not go into the tank that night. But nowadays you go straight to jail if you’ve broken the law.”

The players are 18-21 yo kids doing the same thing most all of their peers are doing. That does not excuse their actions, but the ‘ol ball coach is dead on with his comments.

Delbert D.

July 22nd, 2010
4:18 pm

Yeah, but South Carolina is #2 in percentage of lettermen returning this year. Don’t shed tears for the ol’ ball coach just yet. Plus, Marcus Lattimore will be lining up at RB.

Michael

July 22nd, 2010
4:29 pm

guy is still offensive genious….too bad he cant recruit and he has to try to get them to come to Columbia of all places.

Gamecocked

July 22nd, 2010
4:35 pm

Schultz…….I wouldn’t be too sure if I was U.Spurrier will live and die with Garcia….if Garcia comes through then S.C. might have a chance!

Beast from the East

July 22nd, 2010
4:35 pm

I still beileve Spurrier’s biggest problem as USC is he does not have the horses he had at UF. If he could have the players at USC that are at UF and Bama, he would get the same type results that Saban and Meyer are getting. He’s got pretty good talent at the starting positions, but no depth. That’s one of the main reasons they have started off so strong and faded as the season progressed in the past few years. Don’t underestimate him. He did things at UF that no one had ever done before. He did things in the SEC that no one had done since the “Bear”. Could this be the year for USC? I don’t think so based on their history, but you never know. Their first conference game against UGA will be telling for both programs.

GTax

July 22nd, 2010
4:43 pm

I have been saying it since February, look out for the ole’ ball coach this year SEC. Lot’s of guys coming back on that team and this year, if any year, is going to be Spurrier’s year to make a move.

He’ll beat the dawgs this year. I have said that since February this year too. Arkansas will beat the dawgs too.

Triple Option is a Disgrace to Modern Day Football

July 22nd, 2010
4:55 pm

We can run, we can run, but we cant pass

BravesFan79

July 22nd, 2010
4:56 pm

Id much rather admit im a fan of a school like SC or Vandy that has good athletes that are also good people rather than a school like Tenn that recruits typical thugs that will no nothing more for the world than spread more fatherless kids and diseases in their lifetime. Winning isnt everything. ESPECIALLY in a sport where there isnt even a real champion anyways!

GT BABY

July 22nd, 2010
4:58 pm

GT BABY

July 22nd, 2010
5:00 pm

YALL GEORGIA FANS ARE SO RUDE TALKING TO JEFF LIKE THAT! DONT GET MAD AT JEFF BECAUSE UGA SUCKS B@LLS AT FOOTBALL AND AT LIFE. GET A CLUE YOU REDNECK SOB’S. HOWS THE INVESTIGATION GOING YOU CHEATING LOSERS!

DawginLex

July 22nd, 2010
5:02 pm

We won’t lose to the obnoxious one or to the loser in Fayettenam. We sure won’t lose to the nerd herd.

Bryan G.

July 22nd, 2010
5:03 pm

GT Baby…if UGA sucks at football…and Tech lost to Georgia last year…that makes Tech suck really really really super extra hard?

MatthewH

July 22nd, 2010
5:22 pm

I just find it interesting that he didn’t know he had a bonus for athletes graduating. That seems like something that every coach and school wants to brag about. Last year he didn’t read his ballot, and now he admits he didn’t read his contract. Devil is in the details, coach.

Dawgbreath

July 22nd, 2010
5:36 pm

You will see the old Spurrier this year. Yeah, I know us Dawgs love to hate him but there is no way he just goes out a mediocre coach even at USC. In fact I think they will be good for the next 2 or 3 years. He goes until 70 and he has his day in the sunshine again.

dip

July 22nd, 2010
5:39 pm

The Ole’ Ball Sack graduated 1 player and git the bonus. Is it hockey season yet?

Pi$$onaDawg

July 22nd, 2010
5:39 pm

The SHAW boy can play. His brother could play and left TECH because he was not going to pass Nesbitt. If Garcia has trouble you Dawgs will see connor and he is better than MURRY for sure.

dip

July 22nd, 2010
5:40 pm

Meant “got” Martini got in the way.

ugaclassof2004

July 22nd, 2010
5:44 pm

Spurrier’s problem is his ego. I really believe the problem with South Carolina’s offense is that there is no continuity. Spurrier is constantly switching QB’s up and the offense can’t gel because of it. He could get away with that at Florida because the Gators hand amazing NFL caliber talent on defense with Jevon Kearse, Lito Sheppard, Alex Brown and Fred Weary. They could bail the offense out if need be. But they don’t have that capability at USC.

I also think that the Gamecocks are better at running the ball than people think. They ran the ball right down Clemson’s throat with Kenny Miles rushing for 114 yards on 17 carries. When given the chance, they move the ball really well on the ground.But then in the bowl game vs. UConn, Spurrier only gave the ball to Miles 6 times for 23 yards. Well I’m sorry but when you have a guy who is playing well for you, and helping you win games; you give him the ball! To not give the ball to your play makers is just bad coaching. Spurrier is the kind of guy that would rather lose throwing the ball than win running it. Because he’s had so much success with the passing game in the past, its hard for him to admit that it isn’t working as well as it used to.

And finally, Spurrier will never be able to find a QB who can run his offense the way Danny Wuerffel could. Wuerffel and Spurrier were tailor made for each other. He’s never going to be able to find a guy who has Wuerffel’s intelligence and leadership ability. Not even guys like Doug Johnson and Rex Grossman could run Spurrier’s offense the exact way he wanted it to be run. And the QB’s he’s had at USC have just been idiots on and off the field. Its not that Wade Mitchell or Stephen Garcia aren’t talented guys, they just don’t have a winner mentality. They don’t have any desire or drive to be better than middle of the pack. And when you have to hang your hat on guys like that to lead you team, it rarely leads to success.

jumbeauxtiger

July 22nd, 2010
5:45 pm

Spurrier just does not have the players. All you have to do is look at the QBs he’s had. Garcia has been wildy inconsistant. If he turns it around the Gamecocks will surprise some people.

I still think the Dawgs are in for a tough game in Columbia but any reasonable fan has to agree that it will be for both sides. Critical game for both teams. A win could be a springboard to a solid season for the winner.

ugaclassof2004

July 22nd, 2010
5:49 pm

Enter your comments here

Pi$$onaDawg

July 22nd, 2010
5:51 pm

dip are you hanging with Damon Evans at the bar? I hope you didn’ty wear your panties and can keep your mouth open when needed and shut when necessary.

Delbert D.

July 22nd, 2010
6:14 pm

Connor Shaw is a true freshman this season at South Carolina. He was an early enrollee in the spring. About the same size as Murray at 6 feet, 199 lbs. He passed for 3,100 yards and 30 TDs with 6 INTs and also rushed for 800 yards and 17 scores as a senior.

Another comparison at this point would be with true freshman Hutson Mason (not an early enrollee.) Mason played in a 90% pass shotgun offense based on the Hoover HS (Alabama) offense. His HS coach is OC at Troy starting this year.

dugh

July 22nd, 2010
6:17 pm

carolina’s problem is obvious to anyone with a brain.they have No running game.Mainly from not having the big strong guys up front like most of the sec. maybe latimore can change that but without the strength up front i doubt it.other then that their passing game is decent.but what makes them a threat is their stellar D. Cant wait till september.

Delbert D.

July 22nd, 2010
6:39 pm

Other than Cordy Glenn’s 329 lbs, South Carolina is about as big or bigger on the first unit.

LT 6′5, 310
LG 6′6, 299
C 6′5, 305
RG 6′3, 283
RT 6′6, 304

jim

July 22nd, 2010
7:09 pm

Hope the Ol Ball Coach gets so mad after we wipe them like red-headed step children that he runs the table afterward.

Pi$$onaDawg

July 22nd, 2010
7:34 pm

JIM what is it to wipe a team? Are rict and the dawgs going to do some sanitary wiping of the Gamecocks butts? I think the Gamecocks will Whip the white off RUSS’ butt.

Pi$$onaDawg

July 22nd, 2010
7:36 pm

Jim are Richt and the dawgs going to bring santi wipes to clean UGS’s butts? I know that South Carolina will whip the white off Russ’ butt.

Dawgs Now

July 22nd, 2010
8:07 pm

Look for georgia to blow out south carolina, as usual. USC will be lucky to win 7 games. Spurrier needs to hang it up—his act got old 10 years ago.

Beast from the East

July 22nd, 2010
8:09 pm

Dawgs Now,
That’s like saying Richt needs to hang it up-his act got old 3 years ago isn’t it?

Hillbilly Deluxe

July 22nd, 2010
8:13 pm

But nowadays you go straight to jail if you’ve broken the law.”

Oh, the humanity!!!

Jesse James

July 22nd, 2010
8:17 pm

Pi$$onadawg – You think you are one bad dude. Why you so worried about panties?

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Gabe Correa and UrFamilyLivin, Jeff Schultz. Jeff Schultz said: Spurrier’s lament: Team is better academically than on field http://bit.ly/dayW3Z [...]

buckhead benny

July 22nd, 2010
9:33 pm

Spurrier like him or not is as straight a shooter as there is. Only thing I have against Police Enforcement is they are running it like they are in corporate sales and even though they say they don’t have quotas we all know they do and this towns and even big cities depend on people being arrested to generate revenue. That’s not what it was meant to be. So Spurrier is right about that, over the years greedy mayors and accountants had to think of ways to crawl out of holes they dug themselves into- And I do believe that’s why when you get a speeding ticket or hell even a parking ticket sometimes is 150.00

I am still waiting for Steve Spurrier to sign a Black Quaterback? I think the media is too soft on him for that but he has never had one to my knowledge ever on his roster as long as he has coached.

Evil Genius

July 22nd, 2010
9:34 pm

————————————
… Nesbitt for Heisman …
————————————

cry babies

July 22nd, 2010
10:40 pm

These UGA fans are bashing Jeff…just because he didn’t blow smoke up their @ss like Chip, Tim Tucker, and Bill King. People can say bad stuff about UGA people…grow a pair. I liked your article Jeff it was objective…something the doggies aren’t used to reading on the AJC.

Pi$$onaDawg

July 22nd, 2010
10:45 pm

jesse Panties were yout down fall to Sandra right? You have a bunch of iron between your legs but just a lil fur makes you stupid.

SCTally1

July 22nd, 2010
10:47 pm

How is a mediocre team that was blown out by UCONN going to challenge for the SEC East? They are on their 3rd offensive line coach in 3 years. As great as you COOTS think Lattimore is, he still needs an offensive line to block for him. Yes, they have some players returning that have experience but do they have talent? NO. They have no SEC caliber depth. Look at their recruiting the past three years. Today they are rated at number 54 by Scout. That is better than only VANDY in the SEC! Spurrier is coasting and has been coasting. This is the time of year that Spurrier rescends scholarships to COOT players. These are the COOTS. They will always be the COOTS and that is a synonim for mediocrity.

Urban Meyer

July 22nd, 2010
10:55 pm

I’m the greatest coach in Florida history! Tech folks you can only hope to be in the major leagues one day! Won’t happen! That Little Leaque coach you have with the big mouth and boobs could never win in the SEC!!

TommyJack

July 22nd, 2010
11:25 pm

The OBC needs to just go away.

Bull

July 23rd, 2010
1:02 am

What does it take to put Schultz and Bradley clowns on a hot seat and one way plane ticket out of GA. I’m sick of hearing their crap and tabloid AJC “coverage” about UGA!

Any of you clowns writing about the “inquiry” stop to think for a second that they may be getting feedback about certain agents and not suspecting Green or other UGA players are in trouble.

George

July 23rd, 2010
1:28 am

Jeff,

Will anyone from the SEC media days be at the Select 7 on 7 in Hoover? There are supposed to be some really good recruits there.