HOOVER, Ala. – While other coaches talked about their teams, South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier stepped to the podium at SEC Football Media Days with larger issues on his mind.
Before the first question could be asked of him, Spurrier came out swinging Tuesday in favor of paying stipends to college football and basketball players and of finding a fairer way to determine SEC division champions.
While Spurrier has expressed those positions many times before, he did not stop there: Notre Dame, he offered, should play a conference football schedule, presumably in the ACC, as college football transitions in 2014 to a four-team playoff.
Spurrier said he and his fellow SEC football coaches discussed those issues at a meeting earlier this summer. The coaches voted 14-0, Spurrier said, that football and basketball players should receive stipends - spending money - of about $300 per week during their seasons. The coaches also voted 14-0, Spurrier said, that Notre Dame should play a conference football schedule.
Here’s Spurrier on each topic:
• On stipends: “College football and basketball players that bring in an enormous amount of money, a billion dollars in March Madness this year. We should provide some expense money (to them). … Just (for them) to have a little bit of pocket money and for their parents to have money to come to games. We all voted for it – Nick Saban, Mark Richt, Kevin Sumlin, all of our coaches. … This is tiny compared to the amount of money that is coming in. I think we all know that.”
• On determining division champions: “It’s not always fair, and we all know that. Alabama played for the conference championship (last season), and Alabama did not play the three top teams from the East. Georgia did not play the three top teams from the West. So scheduling does make a difference. … How to make it fair, we’re not all exactly sure how to do it. … There was a suggestion that your division games would count for (determing the division champ) unless there was a tie; then you would go to the out-of division games.”
• On Notre Dame: “All 14 of our head coaches thought Notre Dame should join the ACC and play football like all the rest of us. … From those of us that are in a conference, we say, ‘Why aren’t they in a conference?’ It’s sort of hard to figure out why. They’re sort of in the ACC (but not for football). … OK, we all voted 14-0 they ought to be in a conference.”