With college football coaches not allowed to meet with their players just yet, South Carolina Gamecocks head coach Steve Spurrier jaunted off to Lake Tahoe to participate in the American Century Celebrity Golf Tournament this past weekend. The Gamecocks are coming off a 7-6 season in which they went just 4-4 in the rugged Southeastern Conference. The ‘Ol Ball Coach joined KLAC in Los Angeles from Lake Tahoe to talk about his golf game (he finished 45th), the direction of the Gamecocks program under his tutelage and the troubling problem of college football players getting in to trouble with the law.
On his golf game:
“Oh, I’m not that good. But I can shoot in the 70s. Not all the time, but I’m capable. But we get a lot of 10, 20 dollar bets from guys like Mike Shanahan, Maury Povich…guys who are pretty close golf wise.
On how he feels the Gamecocks program is doing since he arrived and how he thinks they’re keeping up with the powerhouses in the SEC that are not at all strangers to sustained success:
“Traditionally, we don’t have a lot of success behind us. Actually, qualifying for a Bowl four years in a row – I think that’s the first time that’s ever happened. So we’ve done a little bit, but not near enough as we think we’re capable of. Our facilities have been vastly improved in the last four or five years so we’re heading in the right direction I think.”
On the growing problem of college athletes running in to trouble with the law at programs across the country:
“Yeah obviously a whole lot of athletes have been getting in trouble. At South Carolina, we had a whole bunch arrested and most all of them have been removed or kicked off the team. As coaches, you try to say, well he’s a freshman, he made a mistake, let’s give him another chance. It depends on the degree of the sin, and at some point you have to cut them loose. But it’s a different day. The police, they arrest football players now. Back in the old days, you go home and they’d call it even. But they take them on in. But, you just try to do the best you can and all coaches realize that there’s a limit to how much you can live with, so you just try to do the best you can.”