Watch this amazing video from the Courier-Journal:
Spurrier called out Ron Morris, a columnist with The State, a Columbia, South Carolina newspaper. Spurrier evidently objected to a column Morris wrote earlier this year that obliquely suggested that Spurrier poached Bruce Ellington, star point guard for the Gamecocks' basketball team, away from Darrin Horn.
Here's a quote from Morris' piece:
Ellington is a superb athlete, probably as talented as any to come out of this state in awhile. He proved himself capable of being an SEC-caliber basketball player as USC’s point guard this past season. The way Steve Spurrier has courted him since the end of the football season makes you believe he is capable of playing that sport at a high level as well.
This is apparently the passage that offended Spurrier, and to be sure, it looks as if Morris is accusing him of recruiting Ellington away from the basketball team. Spurrier denied that to the Post and Courier:
Steve Spurrier is not happy with the notion that he somehow "poached" Bruce Ellington from South Carolina's basketball team, an idea floated Sunday by a Columbia newspaper columnist.
"That statement is false, wrong and totally incorrect," Spurrier said, also using the word "fabrication."
Well. There you go.
The natural question that comes to my mind is why now? Why did Spurrier wait until now to take such umbrage with Morris? The answer is provided in Morris' latest column, in which he criticized Spurrier for what amounts to running up the score on Kentucky:
The Steve Spurrier of old was back, for one afternoon at least. Leading 40-3 with nine minutes remaining, Shaw attempted a pass to the end zone.
The strategy nearly backfired on Spurrier two plays later when Shaw was drilled by a Kentucky defender on a pass attempt, prompting Spurrier to remove his quarterback from the game.
It all added up to some rare fireworks from Spurrier’s offense. But we should wait at least another week before believing all of USC’s problems on offense have been solved.
I'm sorry, Steve. I'm all about you standing up for the truth, but this is just way too convenient. A man of principle would have done this six months ago, and I would have been behind you lock, stock, and barrel. But what this outburst amounts to nothing more than a petulance party.
As for running up the score, I could care less. Football is a game, and the object of the game is to score as many points as you can, and stop your opponent from scoring. There is no mercy rule in football, and there is no whining in football.
Occasionally, though, there is a twist of the knife, and I think that's what Kentucky got for beating him at Commonwealth last year. Fine by me, what's 14 more points in a blowout anyway? Does 40-3 really look better than 54-3?
The Ol' Ball Coach should remember, though, that karma can be a real nasty bitch at times, and the last thing you want is to jeopardize a good season by creating a karmic imbalance against a weak team like UK, even if it does make you feel young again. Add in this cantankerous little outburst, and if I'm a USC fan, I'm wishing Steve-o would dial it back just a tiny bit.