I’m retiring. Well, the Head Ball Coach has called it a career, and a Hall of Fame career it was. Here are the highlights: Heisman Trophy winner as a player at Florida, one National Championship as coach at Florida as well as building a football powerhouse there. Spurrier also made South Carolina relevant. These all are wonderful accolades, and yet, his sudden retirement is part of the problem with the so called amateur system that is college football.
Spurrier quit. Whether he retired or moved on to another school makes no difference. His contract could have been bought out by another institution and the end result would have been the same: he leaves his players, who don’t have the same option. If a player chooses to transfer, he has to wait a year to be eligible. So now the Gamecocks are left without a true coach. The students he recruited, who were under the illusion they would be coached by the great Steve Spurrier, will no longer have that.
I remember Jadeveon Clowney receiving criticism for taking plays off a few years back. Why shouldn’t he? He’s not being compensated. Let’s not hide behind the scholarship and education debate either. That’s as big a scam there is going right now. How about Marcus Lattimore? He tore up his ACL and the following year his leg was nearly taken off. He could have gone on to the NFL and was ready to be a pro. His body was ready, but a freak accident in college football ended his NFL career before it started. Instead of going to the league, he stayed in college, helped to fill stadium seats and sell tickets all while not profiting from it.
Yet, Steve Spurrier can just quit halfway through a bad season? This retirement is the equivalent of a toddler throwing a tantrum because he’s not getting his way. Coach, things aren’t going your way, what do you do? Persevere? Adjust, adapt, and overcome? Stick to the game plan? Chose any answer and you would bet it’s all coach speak which has been uttered by Spurrier and countless other coaches when addressing their players. Spurrier should have taken his own advice. Finish with some dignity. Don’t quit on your team behind the excuse that it’s time to give someone new a chance.