Steve Spurrier Retiring Exits Without Dignity
There’s a Japanese proverb that goes like this,
“Fall Seven Times Stand Up Eight.”
What attracts people to love, admire and follow leaders, sports figures and football coaches?
Never giving up, never quitting, sheer guts and perseverance are not just wonderful traits, but aren’t they the prerequisites at the core of being a courageous leader? Traits that Steve Spurrier somehow lost along the way.
In the midst of a disastrous South Carolina football season and days following a catastrophic flood of October, 2015, leaving people across his state without homes, transportation or drinking water, Steve Spurrier did what no dignified leader would do, he quit.
Can you imagine Alabama head football Coach Nick Saban doing the same the week following the 2011 tornado, which ravished his state? The week following tornadoes, which crossed 80 miles, killing 64 people and leaving a $2.4 Billion rebuilding cost, Coach Saban and his wife, Miss Terry, immediately joined the civic leadership of Tuscaloosa and became a beacon in the night providing light and hope to Alabamians.
Spurrier had a different approach. He decided it would be fun to go to“The Big House” to watch the Michigan vs Michigan State game and celebrate himself on the popular TV show ESPN College Game Day. A couple days following the LSU game, which was moved to Baton Rouge, because of the disastrous impassible highways in South Carolina from a flood that broke damns and left $1Billion in damages, Spurrier quit his team, coaches, administration and got the heck out of dodge.
Following the Tuscaloosa / Birmingham Tornado, Coach Saban lead the athletic department, The University and the city in student athlete clean-up projects, worked arm-in-arm with the mayor and donated hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Team Up project, Tuscaloosa Tornado Relief, and Habitat for Humanity to help people in his community rebuild their homes and lives. While many South Carolinians were evacuated due to flooding and lives were lost in the days leading up to the LSU game, a week later, Spurrier didn’t even attend the USC home game against Vandy. He wasn’t interested in his coaches, his players or his fans, only in himself.
Spurrier is not the first to retire following a 2 – 4 mid-season win – loss record with losses to Florida and Clemson looming on the horizon. Florida State head football coach Bobby Bowden faced the exact same dilemma. Difference is, Bowden finished his 2009 season before announcing his retirement. Steve Spurrier retired and eluded a fate he was not willing to stick around and coach even though it was his job.
A job, by the way, that paid him $4MIL per year and allowed him to hire his two sons into the USC work program paying Steve Spurrier Jr $380,000 salary for a co-offensive coordinator’s job. The nepotism ended with Steve Spurrier retiring. Interim head coach, Shawn Elliot, who was sharing the offensive coordinator job with Spurrier Jr, knocked him down the org chart to Wide Receivers/Recruiting Coordinator and within 48 hours it was updated on Wikipedia.
Quotes from the Steve Spurrier Retiring Interview on ESPN College GameDay in Michigan,
“We had one losing season, we always won more than we lost.”
Did he drop out mid-season, so he would not have two losing seasons at USC?
“20, 25 years ago I was advocating some kind of playoff, so at least we have 4 teams now, so that’s good.”
Larry Culpepper, the soda vendor in the Dr. Pepper ads also thinks he invented the College Football Playoff. (Now every time you see Larry Culpepper you’ll see a resemblance and think about it.)
“I sorta advocated giving our student athletes some cash, they’re getting about $4,000 a year now, so that’s good.”
If Steve Spurrier wants to take credit for paying the players he should, because he got a head start doing it. His school was found guilty of it in 2011 and 2012 and due to NCAA infractions paid fines, suffered reduced scholarships and reduced recruiting visits in 2013 and 2014.
“Preventing injuries is so important also, the collisions to the head, we’ve wiped that out pretty good right now.”
Wait til the movie ‘Collision’ comes out in theaters and see where this goes.
By Steve Spurrier retiring mid-season, he left the sinking ship with a 2 – 4 record and dodged putting his name on a season that could likely end 4 – 8. That of course is down from the previous 7 – 6 season. What leaves a sinking ship?
He took over a South Carolina team that was 6–5 (4–4 SEC) the year prior to his arrival and left it worse than he got it.
“I planned on going out on the shoulder pads of our players coming out of the Georgia Dome with an SEC title.”
For all Spurrier’s amazing accomplishments in college football covered by this site too, Steve Spurrier retiring mid-season taints his legacy forever.
Somebody should have advised, HBC, formerly OBC and now RBC,
If you can’t go out on top, at least do it with dignity.
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The Something Extra
Maybe instead of retiring Steve Spurrier should have adopted a theme song,
Chumbawamba – Tubthumping
NBC weatherman Al Roker was admonished in social media for taking the October 2015 South Carolina flooding disaster too lightly. Wonder what this tweep thinks of Steve Spurrier retiring days after the flood?
— uranianplutonian (@12thHousePluto) October 4, 2015
Here’s what Mark Packer said about it to us: