Another day, another coach who has a beef with the media.
Tuesday, South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier finally spoke with his media after two days of giving an opening statement and then refusing to field questions.
What has Spurrier so irked? Apparently columnist Ron Morris — again.
Ron Morris is a columnist at The State in South Carolina and has become Spurrier's nemesis. Last October, Spurrier called out Morris for something he wrote in the spring regarding then-basketball player Bruce Ellington and how Spurrier persuaded Ellington to play football.
This time, according to Saturday Down South, Spurrier seems to be mad about a Morris column that questioned playing quarterback Connor Shaw against UAB. Shaw, who has been nursing an injured shoulder he suffered in the season opener against Vanderbilt, injured the shoulder again against the Blazers.
Shaw should not have started, or maybe even played, against UAB. It was an opponent USC could easily have beaten with Thompson at quarterback. The risk of Shaw re-injuring his shoulder was much greater than that of USC losing to UAB.
Before you claim this to be second-guessing or Wednesday-morning quarterbacking, understand that I believed it was a poor decision when Shaw first ran on the field Saturday. I also am quite confident I was not alone in thinking Shaw was better served with another week of rest.
Maybe I missed where USC physicians invented a new cure over the weekend for deep bruises and/or fractures to the shoulder. Or, maybe Shaw is an incredibly quick healer the second time around. Or, maybe Shaw goes into Saturday's game with the same questions surrounding his running and throwing abilities as he did against UAB.
My guess is the latter. My guess also is that, because of Spurrier's poor decision to play Shaw against UAB, USC will be dealing with the quarterback's sore shoulder for most of the remainder of the season
So, instead of just talking to Morris man-to-man, Spurrier tried the passive aggressive approach, penalized all of the media for two days before finally talking during his Tuesday press conference.
Morris and Spurrier are enemies, we get that, but why penalize the entire media contingent? And why over this? Yes, Morris questions whether Shaw should have played in that game, but I think a lot of people were doing the same. Shaw looked pretty miserable during the bulk of the Vanderbilt game. He sat out the East Carolina game and many thought he should sit out UAB to be ready for the grueling SEC season.
In the end, Shaw's shoulder proved not to be a big deal against Missouri as he completed 20 consecutive passes in a dominating 31-10 win.
So, I guess it's kind of a "See, I was right all along" kinda thing to Morris, but still just another example of childish behavior by a coach toward the media, which seems to be happening far more often this year than in the past.
H/T to Saturday Down South
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