Yesterday was a huge day in the NCAA. Three massive stories involving three marquee programs dominated afternoon headlines, and they all broke within 8 hours of each other. The most historically relevant thing that happened yesterday was the extremely sudden retirement of South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier, one of the most successful coaches in college football history. Spurrier almost stepped down at the end of last season. However, they’d enjoyed sustained success over the past five or so years, so he decided to keep with it. But after a 2-4 (0-4 SEC) start, he’s done. His offensive line coach will take over.
A former Heisman winner, Spurrier dominated while coaching at Florida and South Carolina (he also coached at Duke and with the Washington Redskins). He has the most wins in both of those programs’ respective histories. His 135 SEC wins trail only the immortal Bear Bryant. South Carolina had eternally been the red-headed stepchild of the SEC, and had played the little brother role to Clemson. In the last 6 games against the Tigers, Spurrier’s Gamecocks have won five matchups.
I turned on ESPN this morning, and there were tributes upon tributes for Spurrier. Don’t get me wrong, he’s earned it. His retirement is a huge loss for not only Gamecock football, but for college football in general. He was always confident, even borderline cocky. But I can’t help but think something is fishy.
Spurrier was on edge and defensive this year, which isn’t like him. He clearly didn’t like people questioning his age or his effectiveness. But why would the uber-competitive Spurrier walk away six games into the season? If you ask me, something smells fishy. I’m speculating. Let’s make that clear. I have no such evidence to back me up other than the surprising nature that this situation was handled. I think either he was going to get in some sort of trouble due to violations (academic, recruiting, or other) or he’s sick. Those are the only two viable things I can think of. I can’t sit here and have no doubts when it was announced at like 10:30 on a Monday night, the week before a game against Vanderbilt.
Stay tuned on this story. Don’t be surprised if something comes up. That’s all I’m saying.