Steve Spurrier wants to pay players $300 a game

South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier talks with a referee during the first half Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010 against the Tennessee Volunteers  in Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, S.C.

Photo by Michael Patrick

South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier talks with a referee during the first half Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010 against the Tennessee Volunteers in Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, S.C.

Georgia coach Mark Richt talks to reporters before SEC's spring meetings

DESTIN, Fla. — All SEC football coaches probably would like to help their players financially. But South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier is willing to do so at his own expense.

Spurrier’s idea: Give players $300 per game for “game expenses.” At 70 players per game for 14 games, that would come to $294,000.

And the money would come from the head coach.

“I think we should do that,” Spurrier said at the SEC spring meetings. “Coaches make so much money.”

Spurrier didn’t just present his plan in the conference coaches meeting Wednesday. He asked coaches to sign a sheet of paper detailing his proposal.

“I told them if they don’t sign, I’d tell the media,” he said.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Spurrier had six other coaches’ signatures on his list: Derek Dooley of Tennessee, Will Muschamp of Florida, Les Miles of LSU, Houston Nutt of Ole Miss, Dan Mullen of Mississippi State and Nick Saban of Alabama.

“It costs money to go down to the Strip and get a burger,” Dooley said. “As long as what we’re paying is reflective of what the market is, we’re comfortable with it. I don’t think anybody is trying to get them more than what they need. But I also know it’s a hot issue because people feel like they get a lot as it is, and they do. They get a lot of benefits.”

Such a proposal would have to be approved by the NCAA as well as the SEC before it could be implemented.

Spurrier wasn’t optimistic about that. Neither was SEC commissioner Mike Slive.

“It’s a nice gesture,” Slive said.

Bell Tolls For MSU: A Mississippi State tradition will be on the line when SEC presidents vote on whether to allow cowbells at the Bulldogs’ home games.

The conference rule currently in effect allows Bulldogs fans to ring their cowbells until the opponent’s offense is at the line of scrimmage. SEC football coaches and athletic directors voted in favor of that rule Wednesday. Now, it’s up to the presidents.

Mississippi State second-year coach Dan Mullen makes a compelling argument on behalf of the tradition.

“I got to understand the tradition and what it means to so many people,” he said.

“I had to bury one of my players (Nick Bell) last year. When they closed the casket, his mom stood up and rang a cowbell.”

Garcia Update: South Carolina starting quarterback Stephen Garcia has been reinstated for summer workouts but is still on probation, Spurrier said.

Garcia was suspended twice this spring, once for a team violation and also by the university for inappropriate behavior. He has been suspended five times in his five years at South Carolina.

Spurrier said Garcia has done everything required of him since the last suspension. The decision whether to permanently reinstate Garcia will be made Aug. 1.

Connor Shaw, last year’s backup, gives Spurrier another option.

“If (Garcia) is not there, Connor Shaw will be ready to go,” Spurrier said. “He’s a good football player.”

Cal’s Kids: Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari keeps sending freshmen into the NBA but doesn’t consider himself an expert on who might be one-and-done.

“If you asked me if Eric Bledsoe would go after a year, I would have laughed and everybody around him would have laughed,” Calipari said. “Or Daniel Orton, who did not play his senior year in high school.

“Or Brandon Knight if you saw him play in Hawaii. I was thinking he might be here four years.”

Bledsoe and Orton both turned pro after their freshman seasons in 2010. Knight also played just one year at Kentucky and is expected to be one of the top five or six players taken in this month’s NBA draft.

QB Competition: Although Tyler Wilson is generally regarded as the replacement for Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett, it’s not a done deal, according to coach Bobby Petrino.

He says sophomore Brandon Mitchell is still in the running and that the starter won’t be determined until preseason practice.

But when he discusses the two players, he doesn’t leave much doubt about the outcome.

“Tyler Wilson is exciting to me,” Petrino said. “He can really throw the football. I thought he showed good leadership and work ethic (in the spring).

“Brandon Mitchell competed with him. He’s young. He showed he can have a good week of practice, then not carry it over to a scrimmage. That’s part of growing up.”

John Adams may be reached at 865-342-6284 or adamsj@knoxnews.com. Follow him at http://twitter.com/johnadamskns.

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Comments » 35

Witch_Doctors writes:

Witch Doctor say Spurrier should have elected to wear the full cap and not just the visor. Witch Doctor say they cant live on that much of a pay cut!!
Bones never lie.

steamboatticket#484773 writes:

Auburn don't need no stinking approval.

VolsToTheWall writes:

they get more than that for per diems for away games, not to mention the thousands of dollars of gifts and cash they get for bowl games. College (football/basketball) players are taken care of.

crutch1966 writes:

more drinking money for garcia!

Witch_Doctors writes:

Witch Doctor say you aint riding on 24"s on 300 a week. Witch Doctor say Spurriers gonna do a presser in underwear one day...mark it down.
Bones never lie.

VOLliven2it writes:

Yeah crutch1966 but that will be the last time, he drinks or curses or does whatever the five things he has done to get suspended. Maybe he was just upset he wasn't being given that $300 stipend all these years. Who knows? But I'll bet he plays.

BigVolFaninSC writes:

Am I the only fan of college football left that thinks that these athletes should be THANKFUL that they're getting a free college education?...and as a bonus, those 4 years serve as a minor league system to the ones talented enough to go on to the NFL! What am I missing here?

jcherrie#219531 (Inactive) writes:

I agree. In these difficult economic times, the Gamecock players should take a salary cut.

LJS1984 writes:

Their scholarship money is already sufficient. They get free food, free housing (in the nicest apartments of their choice), and what they don't spend they get to keep. Major college athletes aren't hurting, they have plenty of money to spend on Escalades, rims for the Escalade, lots of tatoos, earrings, itc. All you have to do is take a look around yourself on an SEC campus during school hours and it's not hard to tell who the athletes are (at least at UTK it wasn't). They are typically the ones with the nicest vehicles, loudest stereo systems, biggest rims, etc. Why do they need anymore money??? Maybe for a new tat or a new piece?

VolinCalif writes:

Well guys I have a little different view. Not that I am against some form of payment to players but remember Income Tax? Once the foot is in the door watch out.

dvhill100 writes:

The athletes are well compensated: free room and board, education if they want it, world class facilities, medical and training. Having said all of that, I don't have a problem with some kind of incidental stipend. These athletes are not allowed to work part time jobs (abused by schools, boosters and athletes), so they are stuck. Academic schollys have a cost of living index, I don't see a problem with that for athletic ones.

bryan14 writes:

in response to LJS1984:

Their scholarship money is already sufficient. They get free food, free housing (in the nicest apartments of their choice), and what they don't spend they get to keep. Major college athletes aren't hurting, they have plenty of money to spend on Escalades, rims for the Escalade, lots of tatoos, earrings, itc. All you have to do is take a look around yourself on an SEC campus during school hours and it's not hard to tell who the athletes are (at least at UTK it wasn't). They are typically the ones with the nicest vehicles, loudest stereo systems, biggest rims, etc. Why do they need anymore money??? Maybe for a new tat or a new piece?

As a former D1 athlete I am here to inform you that all college athletes do not have spending money. Yes, they receive their books, tuition, room & board, fees, etc... but they receive nothing else. Many of these kids do not have enough money to have a date and go see a movie, get a burger, purchase a special occasion card, etc... for family & friends. While my family could provide me with spending money many kids do not have that option due to their families financial situation. Football and basketball players should receive $50.00 per week of after tax dollars.

LJS1984 writes:

in response to bryan14:

As a former D1 athlete I am here to inform you that all college athletes do not have spending money. Yes, they receive their books, tuition, room & board, fees, etc... but they receive nothing else. Many of these kids do not have enough money to have a date and go see a movie, get a burger, purchase a special occasion card, etc... for family & friends. While my family could provide me with spending money many kids do not have that option due to their families financial situation. Football and basketball players should receive $50.00 per week of after tax dollars.

Most of the athletes that I went to school with certainly didn't act like they didn't have any spending money. I guess there are a some, like ALL regular college students that do not have much money. But if you read any of the players tweets, etc., many seem to be doing fine with their expenses. As many post about shopping at the mall and buying an Xbox, etc. I've read it many times. In other words, things could be a lot tougher. They could be working two jobs to get through school, while living in a dump in the fort, and not enjoying all of the glory that comes with being a D1 athlete. That's how it works in the real world for some college students. They don't get free food, free room and board, and the luxury of using multi-million dollar facilities. I love college sports, but cry me a river.

pdhuff#552644 writes:

Possibly they could work at McDonald's for $78.00 a hour.

Maybe not.

budd#207344 writes:

in response to BigVolFaninSC:

Am I the only fan of college football left that thinks that these athletes should be THANKFUL that they're getting a free college education?...and as a bonus, those 4 years serve as a minor league system to the ones talented enough to go on to the NFL! What am I missing here?

You are not the only fan who thinks this is a bunch of BS. What is so sad is to see people who are supposed to be leaders and developing these young men show no regard for the education that they are being provided for free. When we start giving $300 a week to the students who are working part time or full time to get an education, then I will support paying student athletes.

budd#207344 writes:

in response to bryan14:

As a former D1 athlete I am here to inform you that all college athletes do not have spending money. Yes, they receive their books, tuition, room & board, fees, etc... but they receive nothing else. Many of these kids do not have enough money to have a date and go see a movie, get a burger, purchase a special occasion card, etc... for family & friends. While my family could provide me with spending money many kids do not have that option due to their families financial situation. Football and basketball players should receive $50.00 per week of after tax dollars.

And just because , by the grace of God, you had some talent, you should get paid besides getting a free education? what about the students who couldn't qualify for an athletic scholarship? Should they be paid too if they can't afford to go on a date on Saturday night?

jdcdjc writes:

in response to BigVolFaninSC:

Am I the only fan of college football left that thinks that these athletes should be THANKFUL that they're getting a free college education?...and as a bonus, those 4 years serve as a minor league system to the ones talented enough to go on to the NFL! What am I missing here?

You and I are on the same page. I see it the same way you do.

OrangePride writes:

This is an absurd, preposterous idea. These athletes, if on scholarship, already receive free room and board, books, tuition, tutors, and kid-glove handling like no other student at the university! The idea that they should also be paid per game is totally contrary to EVERYTHING college sports was supposed to be about. And every single person knows this kind of thing starts at 300 and then escalates one step at a time to who knows where. Look, if you want an education and to also come and play a sport you supposedly love, then do so; and do it within the rules. If you want to be paid, go to work or be good enough to walk on in the NFL. I'm sick of the whining and "you don't understand the circumstances" nonesense! Both my kids were A students and worked their way thru with some help from mom and dad when we could afford it...no pay, no ride, no nothing. Just loans and hard work. And I bet that's the story for almost every student out there not on scholarship. So KILL THIS IDEA BEFORE IT EVEN SEES THE LIGHT OF DAY!

OrangePride writes:

in response to bryan14:

As a former D1 athlete I am here to inform you that all college athletes do not have spending money. Yes, they receive their books, tuition, room & board, fees, etc... but they receive nothing else. Many of these kids do not have enough money to have a date and go see a movie, get a burger, purchase a special occasion card, etc... for family & friends. While my family could provide me with spending money many kids do not have that option due to their families financial situation. Football and basketball players should receive $50.00 per week of after tax dollars.

Let me tell you something Bryan, I was on no scholarship at UT. My dad paid the tuition and I worked summer jobs for the room and board. When I got here, I had $4. Dates? Movies? Meals out? Cards home? Are you kidding? I finally got a small part time job in my junior year and HALF of that money went back home. And, BTW, there was a bunch of us in the same boat. My dates were to the library or one of the free sports events. So these players, if they don't have a lot of money will survive just fine. They should get NOTHING per week beyond their comfy beds and good meals and an education that will help them make something of themselves and live well later......just like everybody else. Sorry to differ.

knox37932 writes:

in response to LJS1984:

Their scholarship money is already sufficient. They get free food, free housing (in the nicest apartments of their choice), and what they don't spend they get to keep. Major college athletes aren't hurting, they have plenty of money to spend on Escalades, rims for the Escalade, lots of tatoos, earrings, itc. All you have to do is take a look around yourself on an SEC campus during school hours and it's not hard to tell who the athletes are (at least at UTK it wasn't). They are typically the ones with the nicest vehicles, loudest stereo systems, biggest rims, etc. Why do they need anymore money??? Maybe for a new tat or a new piece?

AGREE.....

VOLHEAD writes:

Wish somebody would pay me an extra $300/week.

murrayvol writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor say you aint riding on 24"s on 300 a week. Witch Doctor say Spurriers gonna do a presser in underwear one day...mark it down.
Bones never lie.

Fine, just so he doesn't tweet anybody with a groin shot.

murrayvol writes:

in response to VOLHEAD:

Wish somebody would pay me an extra $300/week.

Like E.F. Hutton VOLHEAD....you have to earn it.

Rocky_Top_Mama writes:

I absolutely disagree with the idea that any athlete should get paid $300 per week, or any amount for that matter. The free education (whether they choose to learn anything or not), room and board, etc. is sufficient enough. It is not fair to pay an athlete if you are not willing to do the same for all other students. My nephew is currently a full-time student, working two jobs to have spending money to "have a date and go see a movie, get a burger, purchase a special occasion card, etc." I don't see where any athlete is any better than him or anyone else. I have an idea for you though, get a job during the off-season, save some of that money and you'll have money to spend.

Prostar writes:

I think it's a bad idea for all of the above and then some. Once you start the money flowing there's no stopping it. Would all players get the same amount regardless of their level of participation? What about the coaches at mid-major or smaller D1 schools that don't make the kind of money to afford a $300,000 hit on their salary? And what about the other schlarship athletes, don't you think they have expenses too? Once you open "Pandora's Box" look out.

volcycle writes:

Hello, people.....!!!!! You've got to look behind this story. This proposal is about recruiting...think about it.

If you're coming out of high school, heavily recruited, where are you going to go? At the school where the coach has signed a paper saying he wants to pay you $300 a week or a school where the coach has not signed anything or worse, is against it.

The NCAA will never approve this. Spurrier is trying to win favor with recruits. The coaches that are smart enough to understand this, signed along with it. Funny thing is, I didn't think Les would be smart enough to figure this one out. Maybe I'm wrong about him....

VOLHEAD writes:

in response to murrayvol:

Like E.F. Hutton VOLHEAD....you have to earn it.

Understand completely.....point is I could get out there and lose, and do it for free.

VolNationPride writes:

in response to Rocky_Top_Mama:

I absolutely disagree with the idea that any athlete should get paid $300 per week, or any amount for that matter. The free education (whether they choose to learn anything or not), room and board, etc. is sufficient enough. It is not fair to pay an athlete if you are not willing to do the same for all other students. My nephew is currently a full-time student, working two jobs to have spending money to "have a date and go see a movie, get a burger, purchase a special occasion card, etc." I don't see where any athlete is any better than him or anyone else. I have an idea for you though, get a job during the off-season, save some of that money and you'll have money to spend.

I don't think they should get paid, but, you can't use the argument that they should go get a job like other students. Because they can't. The NCAA does not allow athletes to have a job if I understand it correctly. So either they get paid or they are allowed jobs. Would only be fair. Other kids on scholarships can have a job.

kman29 writes:

in response to bigorangegoon:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Last I checked, Tennessee was the one appearing before the NCAA for cheating, not UF.

Rocky_Top_Mama writes:

in response to VolNationPride:

I don't think they should get paid, but, you can't use the argument that they should go get a job like other students. Because they can't. The NCAA does not allow athletes to have a job if I understand it correctly. So either they get paid or they are allowed jobs. Would only be fair. Other kids on scholarships can have a job.

Unless Proposition 62 has been modified, it is my understanding that student-athletes can work throughout the year, albeit for a minimum income. If I am incorrect, I apologize. Can someone from KNS clarify?

budd#207344 writes:

in response to VolNationPride:

I don't think they should get paid, but, you can't use the argument that they should go get a job like other students. Because they can't. The NCAA does not allow athletes to have a job if I understand it correctly. So either they get paid or they are allowed jobs. Would only be fair. Other kids on scholarships can have a job.

The NCAA does NOT prevent student athletes from having a job. They just cannot have a job watching a parking lot for $800 an hour or signing autographs at a car dealership. They can have any job that any other student could also get. It is the basis for the NCAA bylaws, that ALL students be treated the SAME. I couldn't sell my intramural football jersey for a tattoo and neither can Tyrell Pryor

VolNationPride writes:

in response to Rocky_Top_Mama:

Unless Proposition 62 has been modified, it is my understanding that student-athletes can work throughout the year, albeit for a minimum income. If I am incorrect, I apologize. Can someone from KNS clarify?

No need to apologize, I read it wrong, or was reading something different. I could see how it would be hard for student athletes to work given their hours for classes plus workout times

I guess I was linking it to where players would be getting preference over someone else for a job.

VolNationPride writes:

in response to budd#207344:

The NCAA does NOT prevent student athletes from having a job. They just cannot have a job watching a parking lot for $800 an hour or signing autographs at a car dealership. They can have any job that any other student could also get. It is the basis for the NCAA bylaws, that ALL students be treated the SAME. I couldn't sell my intramural football jersey for a tattoo and neither can Tyrell Pryor

I agree on not having job that is outlandish like that. As far as selling/trading things, if it belongs to school then I agree they shouldn't be able to do that. But if they wanted to sell something like a championship ring then they should be able to. Since it is actually theirs. Is that against NCAA rules?

budd#207344 writes:

in response to VolNationPride:

I agree on not having job that is outlandish like that. As far as selling/trading things, if it belongs to school then I agree they shouldn't be able to do that. But if they wanted to sell something like a championship ring then they should be able to. Since it is actually theirs. Is that against NCAA rules?

It is against the rules because a regular student wouldn't get a ring for the debate team. But I agree if they want to sell their rings so be it. But would you really want to sell an SEC Championship ring that you worked so hard to get along with your fellow teammates? Are you going to be able to reflect back on that $3K in twenty years? Most likely the $3K is long gone.

VolNationPride writes:

in response to budd#207344:

It is against the rules because a regular student wouldn't get a ring for the debate team. But I agree if they want to sell their rings so be it. But would you really want to sell an SEC Championship ring that you worked so hard to get along with your fellow teammates? Are you going to be able to reflect back on that $3K in twenty years? Most likely the $3K is long gone.

I personally wouldn't. But you know there are some that would. Money can't replace memories.

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