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August 19, 2014

Spurrier accepts ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

USC head coach Steve Spurrier, his coaching staff and athletic director Ray Tanner took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in a light moment after Tuesday's practice.

The coaches allowed their players to douse them with buckets of icy water to raise money and awareness for the fight against Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.

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Spurrier had two teammates, Gary Lewis and Matt Hazeltine, with the San Francisco 49ers that died from ALS.

"It's a terrible disease, and whatever we can do to help raise some money to fight it, we're going to try to do our part here," Spurrier said.

USC's position coaches were the first to be doused, their players relishing the chance to inflict some torment of their own after 19 days of preseason practice.

Next came Tanner, who challenged former USC and current Texas A&M athletic director Eric Hyman to accept the challenge as well.

Spurrier was last to be splashed, and he got an extra dose of icy water.

"We've got two buckets for the best coach in the nation!" senior quarterback Dylan Thompson shouted before he and Gerald Dixon drenched their head coach.

Spurrier challenged three of his "coaching buddies," Alabama's Nick Saban, Texas A&M's Kevin Sumlin and Oklahoma's Bob Stoops, to accept the challenge as well.

The ice bucket challenge, which has gone viral over the past month, has already had a major impact on donations to the ALS Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to finding a cure for ALS and supporting people with the disease.

As of Tuesday, the ALS Association had received $22.9 million in donations compared to $1.9 million during the same time period - from July 29 to Aug. 19 - last year, according to the ALS Association's website.

"I think it's important that your coach cares about stuff bigger than football," said Thompson. "A lot of people being affected by this, it means a lot to them seeing it, seeing the support. For the whole staff and team to be involved, I thought it was cool."

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