Steve Spurrier proposes that coaches pay players out of their own pockets

South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier believes coaches should be able to pay 70 players $300 per game out of their own pockets.

South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier believes coaches should be able to pay 70 players $300 per game out of their own pockets.

DESTIN, FLA. – South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier emerged from Wednesday afternoon’s meetings with SEC athletic directors and fellow football coaches with a crinkled piece of paper in his hand. And with a raspy, Godfather-like voice — he has been hoarse the past two days — he proceeded to tell media gathered here to cover the SEC meetings that he wants to be able to pay his players out of his own pocket.

“I presented a proposal that we give our football players $300 a game for game expense,” Spurrier told reporters in one of the lobbies in the Sandestin Hilton Beach Resor. “They can give it to their parents for travel, lodging, meals. Maybe they could take their girlfriend out Sunday night or Saturday night and so forth.”

For a fleeting moment it wasn’t clear if Spurrier was joking or being serious. Then he raised the piece of a paper from which he made his proposal. At the bottom were dotted lines with the names of the SEC football coaches underneath. Seven of them included actual the coaches’ signatures. Asked who they were, Spurrier read them off.

“The guys that were willing were [Will] Muschamp, Derek Dooley, [Nick] Saban, Les Miles, Houston Nutt, Dan Mullen and myself,” Spurrier said.

“A bunch of our coaches felt so strongly about it that we’d be willing to pay,” he said. “Seventy guys, 300 bucks a game. That’s only $21,000 bucks a game. I doubt it will get passed. But as coaches, we make all the money, as do universities and television, and we need to give more to our players. That was just something we need to get out there.”

Conspicuously absent from the list was Georgia’s own Mark Richt. I asked him about it as he checked out of the hotel to make his way back to Athens.

“The spirit of wanting to get more financial help for our players is unanimous,” Richt said. “But how to go about it, I’m saying that wouldn’t necessarily be the best way to do it. I didn’t sign it because I didn’t want to say that’s how I felt was the best way to get it done.

“In no way shape or form was I saying I didn’t want to help student-athletes. I 100 percent do. Every single coach in that room wants to do that. We all believe that. But how do you do it without hurting amateurism” How do you do it without tax implications? Maybe it’s through the scholarship becoming more valuable.”

Richt’s sentiments more closely matched those of SEC athletic directors, who generally didn’t take Spurrier’s proposal seriously.

“I don’t think you’re going to see anybody give a stipend to an individual,” Florida AD Jeremy Foley said. “I think this cost of attendance conversation is going to continue  and I think that will probably gain some momentum. . . . Coach Spurrier’s desire is part of that conversation. You just couldn’t do it ikndividually in one sport. It will be national legislation.”

The SEC and other BCS conferences are getting behind legislation that would elevate the value of scholarship for student-athletes from just room, board, books, meals and lodging to full cost of living.

Spurrier is realistic in his expectations. More than anything, it seemed like he just wanted to make a point.

“We all make so much money,” he said. “It’s only $300,000 for 14 games. For what us coaches are making nowadays, we’d all love to do that.”

226 comments Add your comment

Jerome

June 1st, 2011
6:17 pm

Wow, Richt won’t part with $21,000 x 12 = $240,000, he makes $3,000,000. That’s flat out stingy. 7 out of 12 coaches were willing to help the kids out. It’s a great idea.

dbalcer

June 1st, 2011
6:18 pm

Jerome Spurrier knew his proposal wouldn’t float. Richt wants to have real conversation so all NCAA student athletes are helped.

EW

June 1st, 2011
6:19 pm

Sounds like a recruiting tactic in disguise to me.

JAWJeRDAWG

June 1st, 2011
6:19 pm

Go back and read the article again, Jerome. Your post is very incorrect. .. Go Dawgs!

Bodda Getta

June 1st, 2011
6:21 pm

$300 a game?

No way would our players agree to that kind of pay cut.

General Mills

June 1st, 2011
6:21 pm

Yep ,he probably pays them already.Just like he hands out suspensions.Gives them, then takes them away according to their play or performance.

Poopdawg

June 1st, 2011
6:21 pm

Spurrier seems to talk from past experiences. I would need six hundred.

thomp

June 1st, 2011
6:26 pm

That would be a pay raise for spurrier since he already has been paying his players hotel, food, etc. The ole ball coach knows how to get it done on the side. Why else would anyone go to south carolina?

[...] speak above a whisper Wednesday. "I lost my voice two days ago," he said, … read full news Published: Thu, 02 Jun 2011 00:32 In category: NewsTags:Spurrier wants to give players money [...]

co dawg

June 1st, 2011
6:34 pm

Apparently, education no longer carries much value. That’s why the United States lags behind other countries. These players get room, board, education and food. Poor college student is part of the experience. If these players feel like they’re not getting a good deal, then find another way to the NFL. It’s possible to do. If they want some extra cash, take out a school loan like the rest of us. Elite college football athletes have a unique opportunity. They leave school and get paid big bucks. I’m not sure of any other profession that offers that opportunity. Doctors, attorneys, architects, engineers…they get to work as interns for years and tend to carry nice size student loans. With an average cost of a four year public degree at around 80k and a private school in the 120k range, that sounds like a really nice return. At times, I think that the majority of these ‘payment’ supporters never went to college and have little appreciation for a good education.

ClinchPanther

June 1st, 2011
6:35 pm

he said that because he is already paying his players more than that. he want to cut it down.

Dawg

June 1st, 2011
6:38 pm

Oh what a great idea, now kids in high will be wanting the same for their part in playing football. Some schools have been doing it for years so they will have to be creative in finding other ways to compensate the players, maybe a cruise or a paid vacation to their destination of choice. Not a good idea.

UGASlobberknocker

June 1st, 2011
6:46 pm

Sounds good but not practical..

but a monthly stipend pd by the athletic dept should be implemented. equal to the number of hours they spend on football times a fair hourly wage. just like the other college kids that work.

bharper4

June 1st, 2011
6:48 pm

co dawg – great comments! With 2 in college I know the $$$ that is not on the plates of the elite football player.

Daddy Newton

June 1st, 2011
6:49 pm

Great idea, Coach..but I think more like, say $15,000 per game..times 12 games thats 180K..yeah that sounds about right

Astropig

June 1st, 2011
6:50 pm

Kudos to the OBC. He’s played this game at a high level (unlike the wankers on this board) and he knows. He’s a Heisman winner. He played in the NFL for a decade. He’s got the standing ,integrity and credibility to address this issue from an intelligent viewpoint. No hypocrisy here- He played back when neither CFB or the NFL were the huge money machines that they are now. And he just happens to be right.

There will come a point shaving / game fixing scandal in big time college football sooner than we would like if the issue of profit sharing is not addressed.( Indeed, the case could be made that the Sugar Bowl was TAMPERED with by event organizers last January by allowing OSU players to play after they had been found to accept impermissable benefits and were clearly ineligible). The day is coming soon when Div-I players won’t feel that the compensation as student athletes is adequate. hen they do, the gamblers and fixers will move in and the sport will be ruined.

It’s better to try it Spurriers way than keep pretending that the system we have is honest.

Remarkable

June 1st, 2011
6:52 pm

What about the swimming coach, the golf coach, the volleyball coach, the baseball coach, etc, who don’t make that kind of money. It’s easy to grandstand if you are in the big money sport, but when push comes to shove is he going to pay some track and field athlete $300. per meet?

mgdawg

June 1st, 2011
6:57 pm

I don’t think people realize how much these players get. First of all a free education, having been to college without an athletic scholarship this can be worth a lot. Next free tutoring, not only do they give them the education they do everything possible to help them pass the classes and get the degree. Free room and board, most of these bigger schools have athletic housing I believe, it may not be the best housing in the world but I bet it is better then the regular dorms. Free insurance, you get hurt they pay the bills. Free food, this isn’t cafeteria food although if they want to go to the cafeteria with non-athlete friends then they can go there, they get better food. I have a friend that went to a big D1 school and every thursday was steak and crab legs day, who had that once a week while they were in college? Not to mention protein bars and shakes for free at the weight room. Free clothing, sure it isn’t jeans or whatever, but they can get school apparel almost at will. If your team is good enough to make it to a bowl game then you get all those gifts.

So in review, they get paid. Maybe they don’t get everything they want, but who does when they are in college. How many of you had ramen noodles when you were in college? Steak and crab legs sounds great. Not to mention how many of these kids would get into these colleges without an athletics scholarship.

UGASlobberknocker

June 1st, 2011
6:58 pm

@co dawg. Good points mostly..but you miss one major point.

Regardless of whether a kid is on a scholarship or not, they need cash beyond what the tuition costs. and while yes, loans are available, that isnt easy or a lock these days. Most kids just get a part time job somewhere to make some extra cash. Thats what I did.

The athletes cant do that because they already have a part time job..playing sports….so I believe a stipend to athletes is fair ..matching up to what they would make if they were working.

DawginMemphis

June 1st, 2011
7:01 pm

I see both sides of the coin:
(a) student loans–these guys wouldn’t be the first college students to be burdened by student debt if they need some walking around money. My wife and I are both lawyers and she has a nice little pile of law school debt that causes us to struggle. A pro athlete, however, could pay off our debt without needing to balance his checkbook.

(b) the counter argument is that your forcing many college athletes who won’t make it to the NFL to be saddled with student debt because the time spent on football is an opportunity cost incurred in not being able to have a job. That doesn’t really fly because if you weren’t playing football, your student loan debt would be much higher because you’d be paying tuition, books, and room and board. Most football players who can’t qualify for Hope probably don’t have much of a chance getting in anyway. So you have another perk that definitely has value. In that regard, its sort of hard to compare apples to apples.

SUGGESTION: what about holding money in trust for players until they graduate, with maybe a defined distribution amount while they’re in college. X money for certain grades, X money for winning games, and then tie it all to graduation. Deduct money for violations of the law and university conduct. Those who leave early presumably don’t need the money anyway and it can go back into the pot.

This way you reward the athletes without an NFL future for spending 4-5 years enduring the most demanding of time commitments by giving them a little financial breathing room to figure out what comes next after football. Remember, these guys haven’t spent their summers networking and getting their names in the job stream.

Dawgbreath

June 1st, 2011
7:06 pm

Spurrier knows exactly what he’s doing. He knew it wouldn’t pass but he has made it an issue and I guarantee that this iwll get NCAA attention one way or the other. As for you clowns saying Spurrier aleady pays his players blah blah. He has more integrity than anyone in the game. Always has.

@codawg

June 1st, 2011
7:06 pm

well codawg, your average “poor college student” isn’t obligated to two a day practices or sacrificing their bodies every day and every saturday, nor are they generating MILLIONS of dollars for other athletic and academic programs, ask yourself why does the Football Coach make more money than the College President and all the professors, student athletes especially football players at Major Division I schools deserve a lot more than $300/game.

gt

June 1st, 2011
7:11 pm

Spurrier’s honesty is refreshing. He out flanks the press even which drive them crazy. They want the truth to be their domain and most coaches assist them in that.

hmmmmmmmm

June 1st, 2011
7:24 pm

Wow, what a JOKE….. Paying college football players…. The beginning of the END!

Dawg4ever

June 1st, 2011
7:28 pm

Typical Richt. He still can’t make a decision. This guy is proving once again why he shouldn’t be a head coach at a major university. He back tracks yesterday on his stance about oversigning, and now he doesn’t vote in favor of helping players.He is getting his lunch handed to him by these rival coaches in recruiting, and they have all been kicking his ass on the field the past 3 season. Please Richt, sell you house, and take the money and build another Noah’s Ark, and sail away, far away.

hmmmm.....

June 1st, 2011
7:30 pm

i think ea sports needs to give out a debt card every year to all the kids they use the likeness of in their games

Hit A Single

June 1st, 2011
8:04 pm

I am not for paying anybody. They are getting a free education. Don’t give me that crap they need spending money. Maybe we need to get back to forcing families help their own kids. Most of these kids parents don’t want to deal with them unless they think they are going pro and they want a piece of the pie.That is why this country is broke now. This kind of thinking. I know many kids that would love to play for nothing. The experience is pay enough.

Indian Dawg

June 1st, 2011
8:06 pm

Sorry, but I disagree with the notion of paying players.
It is NOT a job, just another form of a student activity/organization. It’s just more glorified.
I’m in quite a few organizations myself that demand equal, if not more, of a time and effort commitment. You don’t see me getting paid. Instead you see me slaving away to meet my standards and become a surgeon. The vast majority of us college kids work hard for our degrees, don’t get anywhere near the amount of academic assistance that athletes get, have to live only on what can support us, and are preparing ourselves for a career that is meaningful for the benefit of society. Let’s face it, the majority of college football players are not concerned with their education. They simply want to make it to the NFL, get paid, and get laid. Yes I may be generalizing a bit, but being a student athlete is not the same as having a job title. When filling out their IRS forms, assuming they do that, they do not put “College football player” as their occupation and they do not put the name of their school as their employer. Playing college ball for Georgia is not a job. It’s a privilege and honor.

Hit A Single

June 1st, 2011
8:10 pm

Indian Dawg – I agree 100% with you.

dawgfan

June 1st, 2011
8:12 pm

Indian Dawg, let me know when 92,000 people show up to watch you take a biology test you effing goob. Also, please let me know when CBS offers your professors tens of millions of dollars for the rights to broadcast your test taking. Then you might have some semblance of a point.

Airborne

June 1st, 2011
8:13 pm

I served my country for 4 years and was there for the invasion of Iraq, I now go to school on the GI Bill which I earned. The current scholarships are about the same as the GI Bill. So theses scholarships are good enough for America’s vets but not prima donnas, who get opportunities that most people would kill for. If they need cash take out a subsidized loan for 3 gs a year…..whiners

Worm

June 1st, 2011
8:15 pm

Dementia has set in…Hope Steve remembers his 5-hybrid from his 5-wood…Ron Green took him to task in the Charlotte News Observer today.

j

June 1st, 2011
8:18 pm

Bold move Spurrier, you’ve only got a couple of years left, so it wouldn’t effect you.

Is Spurrier becoming the Jimmy Carter of coaches. Both of you need to sit down and shut up.

j

June 1st, 2011
8:23 pm

Auburns already doing that.

Hit A Single

June 1st, 2011
8:26 pm

Dawgfan – you let me know when all these guys get their degrees. Let’s put some responsiblity back on their families. That is just it, most of them don’t have families that care about them unless they are going pro or ones like Reggie Bush that don’t care about rules. Airborne you are right.

Ex Athlete

June 1st, 2011
8:36 pm

Paying guys to play ball with tuition going up each year for classes…hell to the no….not when most student-athletes and coaches BS their way through classes…not fair decision to the whole student body that coughing up damn tuition money.

pay it up

June 1st, 2011
8:40 pm

$300 per game is chump change for all the millions the schools make. The players should get a bigger cut of the profits, at least $2,000 per game.

Mark $ Richt

June 1st, 2011
8:52 pm

Hey Georgia fans, I can’t afford to pay my players $300 a game. Their legal expenses are killing me now.

James

June 1st, 2011
8:56 pm

How about the student athletes start paying for their classes just like everybody else and then they can get paid for playing sports that sounds fair to me.

Tomb

June 1st, 2011
8:57 pm

How about a stipend for Little League coaches that prepare youngsters for athletic endeavor and spend their own money and gratis time for same?

Gene

June 1st, 2011
9:08 pm

$300 per game – that would be a huge paycut for Auburn players.

AfghanHound

June 1st, 2011
9:12 pm

Disingenious! That’s the same as the school paying the players, since the school pays the coaches. The coaches will just get another raise to cover the players’ pay. Call a spade a spade.

Cleve

June 1st, 2011
9:24 pm

oh yeah… and they can’t get a job even if they want one.

mgdawg

June 1st, 2011
9:24 pm

Chip, junkyard blawg, somebody do an article and figure up how much a player gets for being an athlete at the school. I’m talking education, food, room and board, insurance (including rehabilitation at the school), school apparel, bowl prizes, etc. and figure it out on a per year basis. I think people will be amazed how much these athletes are paid. I think that would quiet a lot of these people arguing that the players should get paid.

BabsTolstoy

June 1st, 2011
9:25 pm

This looks like just another excuse for you sanctimonious dogs and your deified coach to climb up on your soap box. You’re reminding me of Vandy more and more in all sorts of ways everyday. You can’t win so you bail out with this new taking the high road routine, which is fine if that’s what you want to be. I just never figured you guys would roll over so easy. And over in Auburn if you have decided you can’t compete we will be happy to make you look like Vandy every chance we get. We’ll stretch out that series lead as far as you’ll let us, or as far as we want to. Be sure and drop by the Athletic Dept. on your next visit over and view the crystal football. With your coach it’s as close as you’ll ever get.(Unless you go on road games to LSU, Fla., Tenn,, and Bama too., whichever is the shortest drive.)

Cleve

June 1st, 2011
9:28 pm

The time they put in is unreal. The physical abuse they take will affect their quality of life when they are 50. While a scholarship is certainly valuable… it’s not nearly valuable enough.

Look at the return on investment these universities are making. It’s criminal.

WTF??

June 1st, 2011
9:31 pm

They already get enough. A lot more than the average student

Lowcountry Bulldawg

June 1st, 2011
9:31 pm

Well Spurrier can just forgo his $22k a year membership to the Ocean Course in Kiawah if he is really feeling that generous.

AltamahaDawg

June 1st, 2011
9:47 pm

No Jerome, he is just not being a damn fool to suggest that coaches can just start paying thier players. That sounds like a real solid plan right there. What could possible go wrong with that? I speculated earlier that I thought Spurrier had about 2 yrs left before he was going to say the hell with the confines of being a serious coach.. This obviously mocking of the system convinces me even more.

Hey, I know what we shoud do Jerome. How about we to hold your record of personal giving to charity, or helping kids out, up against Richt’s?

jaxdawgfan

June 1st, 2011
9:50 pm

Add requirements for good grades and good behavior and I might support it. It shouldn’t be JUST for sports participation.