Saban’s probably calling Steve Spurrier tonight to find out how to pull this off.
In 2011, University of South Carolina football coach Steve Spurrier refused to talk to reporters while Ron Morris of The State — McClatchy’s paper in Columbia, SC — was in the room. The coach complained that the sports columnist was a “negative guy.”
Spurrier did the same thing a year later. “I don’t need any questions today,” he told reporterslast Sept. 22, then left. The coach, according to one sports site, quickly exited because he was feared Morris was planting questions with other reporters after being told by his own paper that he should keep quiet.
The 68-year-old football coach won’t have a repeat performance this year, though, because The State has told Morris he can no longer write about University of South Carolina Gamecocks football…
… Morris declined to talk to me, but others familiar with the situation — including former University of South Carolina and State staffers — described how The State’s publisher, Henry Haitz III, made his veteran columnist agree in writing that he would never again write about Gamecocks football or talk about the USC program on TV and radio shows.
The State hasn’t quit covering Gamecock football. Quite the contrary – the paper has hired a real pro to fill in.
In late August, The State added longtime Gamecocks football reporter and self-described superfan Glenn Snyder to its sports pages. (He’s a contract writer, not a staffer. Snyder previously reported for a publication that’s sent to USC sports booster-club members.)
“I’ve now seen 343 South Carolina [football] games in a row,” the 67-year-old Snyder told me. “I love the University of South Carolina. I love Steve Spurrier. …Coach Spurrier and I have become friends.” (He noted that Spurrier often drops his name during press conferences.)
Spurrier told me that he helped “Superfan” Snyder get his job at The State.
“I did call The State newspaper and put in a good word for him, and they hired him,” the coach said.
Morris may be an ass, but, man, that’s embarrassing all the way around.