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 email@example.com. Follow him at http://twitter.com/johnadamskns.