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Spurrier says SEC coaches in favor of paying players

Tuesday, July 16, 2013 | 9:50 p.m. CDT
South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier talks with reporters Tuesday at the SEC football Media Days in Hoover, Ala.

HOOVER, Ala. — South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier thinks it's unanimous among his SEC brethren: Football and basketball players should get paid, and Notre Dame should join a conference for football.

Spurrier opened his quip-filled media days address Tuesday by saying the 28 football and men's basketball coaches were in favor of paying players about $300 a game in football and perhaps a little less in hoops. Spurrier, who has made the pitch before, also said the coaches each indicated at spring meetings they were willing to pony up the $280,000 or so he estimated it would cost.

"This is tiny compared to the money that's coming in now," he said. "I think we all know that.

"I'm going to keep fighting for our guys. If President Obama would say, 'Spurrier, you and those coaches need to quit fighting for your players, that they get enough, they get enough full scholarship,' then I'll shut up about it."

He said that "little bit" — $3,600 or so a year per player, he figures — would give players some pocket money and help their parents attend games.

Spurrier also said the football coaches spoke with BCS executive director Bill Hancock, who told them he was meeting with the commissioners of BCS conferences — and Notre Dame's athletic director.

"We just started trying to figure out why the athletic director of Notre Dame is equal to all the conference commissioners," Spurrier said. "Nobody had a good answer except that's the way it's always been done.

"For whatever reason, all 14 of our head coaches thought that Notre Dame should join the ACC and play football like the rest of us."

The colorful coach added he knows that notion would anger "the Notre Damers" at him and his colleagues but didn't back down.


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