Notebook: Spurrier takes aim at 100 USC victories

USC coach weighs in on pending recruiting rule changes

jkendall@thestate.comJanuary 31, 2013 

The University of South Carolina football team is recognized during halftime at the Gamecocks mens basketball game against Vanderbilt at the Colonial Life Arena. Here head coach Steve Spurrier introduces his team.

C. ALUKA BERRY — caberry@thestate.com

Steve Spurrier could envision himself a 100-game winner at South Carolina.

“That’s only 34 (more wins), three years, four years. Yeah, I think I’ve got four more years in me,” Spurrier said Thursday during a wide-ranging interview with the school’s flagship radio station scheduled to drum up support for the Gamecock Club.

“I do believe we have a chance to win the SEC,” Spurrier said. “Somebody asked me the other day, ‘How are you ever going to beat Alabama or Florida or some of those teams that out-recruit you every year?’ I said, ‘Well, you just have to play better that day. When you play them, you have to play better than they do.’ ”

The Gamecocks went to the SEC title game in 2010 and, in Spurrier’s words, “skunked it up pretty bad” in losing 56-17 to eventual national champion Auburn. The last two seasons, South Carolina has watched Georgia play in the SEC championship game despite beating the Bulldogs in both those seasons.

“Hopefully, we can get back there and have a really, really good game that night,” Spurrier said. “That’s what we hope to do. It won’t be easy, but it’s doable.”

The Gamecocks finished the 2012 season 11-2 and ranked a program-best eighth in the nation. Spurrier became the school’s all-time winningest coach during the season, beating Clemson 27-17 for win No. 65. He later added win No. 66 in the Outback Bowl against Michigan.

Recruiting rules

Recent NCAA legislation that will change recruiting rules effective Aug. 1 has Spurrier concerned, he said. The biggest change is the elimination of restrictions on contact between coaches and recruits. Essentially that means coaches can call and/or text messages recruits as much as they want any time of year. Currently, coaches are allowed only a certain number of contacts at certain times of the year.

“Initially, I didn’t like what I heard that you could recruit all summer and make calls and text messages all year long,” he said. “Some schools are just going to hire 10 or 15 people to call and text all day long, and if you’re not doing it you’re not going to be keeping up I guess. I am past the stage where I am going to be hanging around all summer texting and trying to recruit guys.

“Maybe it’s a good idea, maybe it’s not.”

Alabama again

Spurrier doesn’t expect Alabama to slow down after winning its third BCS title in four years.

“They beat everybody basically with tremendous personnel. I read the other day they are going to be No. 1 in recruiting again this year so they are always going to have generally the best players around as long as Nick Saban is there,” he said. “They do a super job recruiting and are well coached and all that stuff. But there are all kinds of ways to do it.”

The Crimson Tide is not on South Carolina’s regular season schedule this year.

Super Bowl pick

After spending nine years in the San Francisco organization, Spurrier will be rooting for the 49ers against the Baltimore Ravens in Sunday’s Super Bowl, he said.

“Although when they played Atlanta I had mixed feelings because we had four Carolina players with the Falcons, but I have to pull for the 49ers,” he said.

Spurrier considers Baltimore owner Steve Bisciotta a friend, he said. Bisciotta’s son attended South Carolina.

“So if they win, that’ll be fine also,” he said.

Building boom

Spurrier’s interview with the radio station took place at the new Rice Athletics Center, the latest completed project in a massive facilities upgrade at the school.

“Everything is first class. It is so different than when I got here eight years ago,” Spurrier said. “All these new facilities a big part of it.”

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