football

Spurrier: Proposal inaccurately portrayed

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HARTSVILLE-SteveSpurrierdoesn'twanttopaycollegefootballplayers.Buthewouldliketoreimbursethemforsomeoftheirexpensesincurredduringfootballweekendsinthefallsuchaslodgingandmealsfortheirfamilies.
So,portrayinghiswell-publicizedrecentproposalasa"payforplay"schemeforplayersisinaccurateandunfair,heinsists.
"Theplanwecameupwithwasexpenses-relatedmoney,"SpurriersaidTuesdaynightpriortohistalktotheDarlingtonCountyGamecockClubattheHartsvilleCountryClub,amakeupoftherainedoutMay24eventatDarlingtonRaceway.
"Thisisnotplayforpay.Ifitwasplayforpay,wewouldhavesomeguysmakingacouplehundredthousanddollarsperyearwithallthemoneycominginfromtelevisionandotherthings.Thisispurelyexpensemoneyforfootballplayerssotheycanlivealittlebetterthanthewaythey'relivingnow."
Ayearago,SpurrierfirstproposedSECheadcoachesreimburseplayersoutoftheirownpocket.SixotherSECcoachessignedapetitionSpurrierhaddraftedandpresentedatameeting.
Thisyear,hetookitastepfartherbyproposingthecoachesreimburseeachplayerupto$300perweek.Themaximumweeklysumeachcoachwouldbeliableforis$21,000.
The14SECfootballcoachesvotedunanimouslyinfavoroftheplanlastweekattheSECspringmeetingsinDestin,Fla.TheSECbasketballcoachesthendraftedasimilarproposal,Spurriersaid.
"Theirguyswouldalsothroughthecourseoftheyeargetbetween$3,500and$4,000,"Spurriersaid."Underourplan,itwouldbeuptotheheadcoachtodispensethemoney.Guyswhoplayeverygamewouldprobablyget$300pergame,whilethoseguyswhoneverplayeventhoughthey'reonscholarshipmayonlyget$150orso.We'rebelieversthateverythinginlifeisperformance-based.
"It'sreallynotthatcomplicated.Theheadcoachesdecidedwe'llberesponsiblefordistributing$21,000pergame.Themaximumanyplayercouldgetwas$300.Someguyscouldgethalf-sharesof$150ifacoachwantedtogivemoneytomorethan70players.Justkeepitat$21,000pergame.Ifyouplay13games,that's$273,000.We'llbegladtotakethatoutofourcontract."
Walk-onswouldalsobeeligibletoreceivefundsfromthecoachesunderSpurrier'splan.TheproposalnowbeingconsideredbytheNCAAtopaya$2,000"fullcostofscholarship"stipendonlyprovidesforpaymenttoathletesonscholarship.
"Itdoesn'tmakesensetomethatthedealtheycameoutwithlastyear,everybodyonscholarshipgets$2,000,"Spurriercontended."Whataboutthewalk-onguysthatarecontributingmorethanthescholarshipguys."
Spurrieremphasizedhisplanisperformance-based.Theplayerswhoperformthebestwillget$300,whilesecond-andthird-teamersthatdon'tplaymuchcouldgetless.Theheadcoachwoulddecidetheamounteachplayerreceivesonaweeklybasisupto$300.
"Abackupguardcouldget$300fortheweekand(Marcus)Lattimorecouldget$300,"Spurriersaid."It'sbasedonperformance,theguyswhocontributetothesuccessoftheteam(willgetmore)."
Certainly,theSECandtheothermajorcollegefootballconferencesaregettingwealthylargelybecauseoftheeffortsoftheathletesthecoachesseektoreimburseafewhundreddollarseachweek.
Lastweek,theSECdistributed$241.5milliontothe12memberschoolsduringthe2011-12academicyear,anaveragepayoutof$20.1millionperschool.TheBig10distributedmorethan$280milliontotheirschools.
TheyearlytotaldistributedbytheSECtoitsschoolshasmorethandoubledin10years.Thesumof$95.7millionwashandedoutin2002.
"Thewholepoint(aboutthereimbursement)ishowmuchtheybringin,"Spurriersaid."SomeonetoldmethatIdidn'tgetpaidanyextramoneywhenIplayed.Irespondedthatneitherdidthecoachesortheuniversities.Weweren'tevenontelevisionwhenIplayedexceptforonegameayear.It'sawholedifferentscenariobecauseofthetremendousamountofmoneythat'scomingfromfootballandmen'sbasketball."
DoesSpurrierbelievehisplanhasanychanceofbeingapprovedbytheSECpresidents?No.
"Notmyplan.Theywouldnevertakeacoach'splan,"Spurriersaid."Ithinksomethingwillcomeofit."
Inordertobeseriouslyconsideredbytheleaguepresidents,Spurrier'sproposalmustbeformallysubmittedinwritingtotheSECoffice.Atthatpoint,itwouldmovethroughtheproperlegislativechannelsuntilpossiblyreachingthepresidents.
TheSECpresidentsdidn'tdiscussSpurrier'sreimbursementproposalbecauseitwasn'tputontheagendapriortothespringmeetings.
"Thelegislativeprocessstartsbeforethemeetings,"USCpresidentDr.HarrisPastidessaidlastFridayinDestin."Youhavetogetitonthetableandmaketheproposal.Ican'teventellyouifitwasviewedasagoodideaornot.Ihaven'tevenstudiedit,thoughIthinkIunderstandit.CoachSpurriercameherewithsomegoodideas,butIwouldcallthem'firsttimevetted'here.Atsomepoint,ifhethinksit'sagreatideaweneedtostudyitandthenpossiblyproposeittotheconference."
Teambullet
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D. McCallum
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