Wednesday, November 29, 2006


This is what I believe is happening concerning Steve Spurrier at this time:

1. Spurrier or his agent -- I think the actual arrangement is unclear -- have agreed to meet with Alabama AD Mal Moore tomorrow, either in Columbia or Tuscaloosa.
2. Spurrier will be offered the job at Alabama, something that has likely already been discussed. It will be a fat contract, one that USC might not be able to match. It will have lots of perks, though I am suspicious of reports that Spurrier would not report to Moore and instead would report directly to UA president.
3. At the same time, USC is trying to renegotiate Spurrier's contract. The Bama meeting could be a ploy by Spurrier or his agent. Or it might not be.
4. It is quite possible -- likely, I believe -- that Spurrier has turned down Bama at least once. This is not enough for Moore, who will press Spurrier hard at this meeting with an exceptionally good offer.
5. All indications are still that Spurrier is not inclined to take the job. He has told top recruits that he's not going anywhere. If these recruits are everything Spurrier thinks they are, he would not tell them something he knows to be a lie, because his credibility with them -- should he try to draw them to Alabama -- would be destroyed.
6. However, there are no guarantees. If I had to estimate, I would say 60-40 Spurrier stays. That's much worse than odds I would have given just four or five hours ago.

Now, here's the backup info.

First of all, the offer has been made, though one of the stations reporting it has shown why such reports can be scurrilous:

Multiple sources have confirmed to CBS 8 that Steve Spurrier has been offered a contract to coach the Univ. of Alabama football team. ... The apparent offer would also give him the chance to hire his son as offensive coordinator. Last week, The 8 Team reported that Spurrier was on a plane to Alabama. [Emphasis mine.]

I'm pretty certain the whole plane thing didn't happen.

Tony Barnhart -- hey, you'll take information where you can get it at this point -- believes Alabama is pushing hard on Spurrier. They might offer him loads of money and the potential of bringing Bill Oliver to the Tide as AD. This would be a big deal for Alabama, since they and Oliver reportedly parted on bad terms. However, TB's wording is crucial. The emphasis, of course, is mine:

Steve Spurrier will politely listen to what Alabama has to say-or at least his agent, Jimmy Sexton, will. Alabama will give him several million reasons to leave South Carolina and come to Tuscaloosa. They will even float the idea of Bill “Brother” Oliver coming out of retirement to be defensive coordinator. Spurrier has made no secret of his admiration for Oliver. The next 48 hours will be crucial in this process.

Also, the wording some blogs are reporting from broadcasts is that Spurrier is going to "hear him (Moore) out." Again, this sounds like listening without necessarily being ready to go.

Alabama blogs have also reported that Spurrier has been offered before now. I have no reason to doubt this.

However, the Birmingham News -- which has had a mixed track record on this subject so far -- is saying Spurrier won't take the job. If this is true, it's possible Spurrier is meeting with Bama as a favor to Bill Oliver, whom he likes. But that is merely speculation.

South Carolina officials are working to get Spurrier to sign a new contract. They seem rather confident:

The new deal is expected to be finalized within a week or two, according to a source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

And The State finally speaks to a real, live Spurrier. No new denials, though.

Reached by phone Wednesday while recruiting in Florida, Spurrier said he has tried to use the Alabama speculation to the Gamecocks' benefit.
"It's always flattering if somebody thinks that you're a good enough coach to go to one of those kind of programs. That's how we've been using it with our recruits," Spurrier said. "It's a compliment that maybe they think I'm a good enough coach to go to those places. So we're trying to turn it into a positive."
USC received oral commitments Wednesday from a pair of 6-foot-4 wide receivers: Jason Barnes of Charlotte and Joseph Hills of Bradenton, Fla.
Hills said Spurrier recently assured him that he would be back with the Gamecocks.
"He told me all that stuff is false. He's not going anywhere," Hills said. "He basically said that South Carolina felt like home to him, so he's going to stick around for quite some time."
Spurrier would neither confirm nor deny that he had been contacted by Alabama.
"I’m tired of talking about all that. Miami, Alabama, Tennessee," he said. "Let me tell you a good rumor. My high school job is open — Science Hill High School (in Johnson City, Tenn.). And if things go real, real bad for me, I might have to consider that as a last alternative job."

Message boards have broken down and are unreliable, if they were ever reliable to begin with. Bammers (my term for Alabama homers who irrationally believe all good and no bad about the Tide) vehemently say that Spurrier is holding a PC in Tuscaloosa tomorrow. USC homers have been equally vehement in saying Spurrier will stay. There's no way to reconcile these reports, so someone is wrong.

As a final note, there is reason to be concerned that current USC Prez and former UA prez Sorensen could screw this up. He reportedly chased Gene Stallings away from Alabama, quite possibly the dumbest move the Tide has made since ... ever. Matched only by the hiring of Mike Shula, which came after Sorensen moved.

That said, I post this as an open plea to the university: Do whatever it takes. Give Spurrier whatever he wants. Make him co-athletic director with Hyman. Give him a binding agreement in writing that Steve Jr. takes over when he leaves. Throw all the money you have to at him. DO NOT LOSE SPURRIER!!!

Because for many of us, if we lose Spurrier and find out it was your fault, we will never forgive you.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it is counter productive to keep all of this completely undocumented speculation going!
Clearly Spurrier is not motivated by $$$$ alone or he would not have taken a salary below what he was offered by USC in the first place. Second, anyone with a shred of intelligence can see he is motivated by building a program not taking over something already built - Duke, FLA, Washington, USC. Finally, despite that fact that most Spurrier detractors see him as arrogant, fact is he is a very ethical and honest person. Show me one case where Spurrier said one thing and did another. In my book when he said he was not going anywhere the case was closed. I will guarantee he will be as USC for a long time.

8:11 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Roll tide baby !!!!!!!!!!


A friend in Tuscaloosa !

12:53 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Putting any stock in what Spurrier tells recruits is foolish for two reasons.

Let's assume it's true. He's going to 'Bama, it's a done deal, just waiting to sign the documents and hold the press conferences... but he has reason to want to keep this out of the media for a few days/weeks/whatever...

Does he cancel recruiting visits? That would be a sure tip-off that something is going on.

Does he go on the visists and tell them "Well, kid, I'm going to Alabama... you should come with me!" No... the SC lawyers would eat him for lunch.

Does he go to on the visits and then say wishy-washy things? Things that give the recruits some sort of clue that he's not sure where he'll be? Hell no. Might as well tell them you're going to 'Bama instead of spooking them.

Does he go on the visists and tell them "I'm not going anywhere... come to SC!" and then, after it breaks, call them and explain that, look, the situation changed, I couldn't pass up the offer and hope they understand? Yes. That's exactly what happens.

It's the only way to fulfill his contractual obligations AND keep things on the DL.

...doesn't mean he's headed to Tuscaloosa. I don't think he is, despite all of the "insider" stuff I've seen and heard, but you just cannot put any stock in his comments to recruits.

3:22 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just have a gut feeling he's going. I could be wrong, but I think Spurrier's discovered the hard way about how things are done in South Carolina. Just a tough, tough place to be successful.

4:08 PM

Anonymous The Sumter Scalper said...

Man ... Clonny and I could've told you the whole Spurrier-to-Bama junk was bogus a while back :-)

4:13 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

mad mike says a friend down in t-town saw mal moore on the golf course sunday with elvis

5:01 PM

Blogger Brandon said...

Anon No. 3, The reason I put any stock at all in what he told recruits was because it lined up nicely with everything else that was going on. Yes, if he's telling the recruits one thing and the rest of the world another, then it's suspicious. But it's a piece of the puzzle that he's not hemming and hawing. Anyway, it's over now.

9:06 PM

Blogger Brandon said...

Scalper, I actually emailed C a while back ... I just wondered if something had changed ... and it's the whole put $3 million on the table and see what happens that bothered me ...

9:07 PM

Anonymous nick said...

trust me the last thing we here auburn wont is the old ball coach in t-town

5:39 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will be up front, I am a Bama fan. Now thats out of the way. O.K. internet postings just like speculations are without merit. I know you guys don't want to loose your coach, at Bama we went through a bad situation too, remember Coach Fran told our players everything was fine, and in less than a week he left in the middle of the night for Texas A&M without even telling the players or staff bye?
All of that said, my own reasons for holding out hope (yes even after all the denials from CSS are firm). The Power Brokers at Bama know that this is one of the most important hires in the past decade or longer. Rightfully we are looking to acquire a huge name to put some stability and respect back in our program. The Huge name is Coach Spurrier. If we don't we are dead in the water, and the Power Brokers at Bama know that. So this deal HAS to happen in their minds. When it comes to push and shove I believe Bama (for good or bad) can make things happen, especially in these desperate times for us. I think Bama would be willing to let CSS write his own contract and give him as close to absolute power over the program as possible. Basically free reign of a college program.
Did I mention MONEY, I know CSS is not concerned with money, but lets be realistic, even Bill Gates is happy when he makes a deal for 30-40 MILLION dollars. That is A LOT, repeat, A LOT OF MONEY, especially for a football coach. It would make immediate headlines and break all previous records for college football coaching salaries. That is the type of money ANYONE would have to consider.
For the above reasons I think it is still a possibility. My personal opinion 50/50. Oh well, enough with my rants. I just wanted to give you a viewpoint from a Bama fan without being rude and try to explain to you what a lot of us are feeling.
P.S. SC had a hell of a season, and if we end up not getting CSS I will continue to respect and admire him as one of the best coaches ever, and I wish your program even greater success in the future.

10:14 PM


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home