Steve Spurrier hopes the Northwestern ruling pushes bigger conferences into issuing stipends

FILE - In this Oct. 12, 2013, file photo, South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier watches from the sideline during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game against Arkansas in Fayetteville, Ark. Spurrier has received a one-year contract extension and a raise that will pay the coach $4 million annually. The university board of trustees approved a $700,000 raise and the extension Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014 . (AP Photo/Danny Johnston, File)

South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier on Thursday applauded the National Labor Relations Board ruling, which recognized Northwestern football players as employees of the university.

Spurrier has been outspoken on the topic of paying players and the ruling, which will likely be appealed, just reaffirmed his stance that college football and basketball players deserve more than just the cost of tuition, books, room and board.

“I think the Northwestern kids were just trying to show that they work for the university a little bit,” Spurrier said after Thursday’s practice. “They bring in a lot of money to the university. I think that's what they're trying to say. I see their point a little bit. I hope it doesn't come down to where all schools are forming unions. I hope that the NCAA, the BCS conferences especially, can afford to give a stipend."

There are still several steps before Northwestern players are officially paid as employees, including the athletes forming an actual union. Still, this will definitely get the attention of the NCAA and the commissioners and presidents who don’t want to ultimately get into the slippery slope of declaring athletes employees.

"I thought it was interesting. I've advocated giving college football players and college basketball players a stipend,” Spurrier said. “Our commissioners and our presidents and our NCAA people talk about it but haven't done anything at all yet, so we'll see if they come up with a plan here real soon.”

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Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at or follow her on Twitter