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Why fix it if it ain’t broke? That’s the way Steve Spurrier sees the latest round of conference realignment rumors.
Speaking with reporters Thursday ahead of his induction into the South Carolina Football Hall of Fame, Spurrier was asked about the Houston Chronicle’s report from the previous day that tied Oklahoma and Texas to discussions of expansion in the Southeastern Conference.
“I think somebody just started that rumor on Wednesday or Thursday just to shake up SEC Media Days,” Spurrier quipped. “They can’t find out who said it.”
While the SEC has yet to officially address the report, Commissioner Greg Sankey offered a no comment to reporters Wednesday at SEC Media Days in Hoover, Alabama.
A South Carolina athletic department spokesperson told The State that the school would “decline comment at this time,” regarding the potential additions of Oklahoma and Texas to the SEC.
Oklahoma State, one of the schools that would be left likely in search of a new conference should Oklahoma and Texas depart, released the following statement after the initial report surfaced:
“We have heard unconfirmed reports that OU and UT approached Southeastern Conference officials about joining the SEC,” the statement read. “We are gathering information and will monitor closely. If true, we would be gravely disappointed. While we place a premium on history, loyalty and trust, be assured, we will aggressively defend and advance what is best for Oklahoma State and our strong athletic program, which continues to excel in the Big 12 and nationally.”
Both Texas and Oklahoma were founding members of the Big 12 in 1996, though each school has flirted with departing in recent years over varying disputes. Texas has won three conference titles since the league formed. Oklahoma has dominated in recent years, securing 14 conference titles since 2000.
“I don’t know why they would want to leave,” Spurrier said. “Oklahoma gets in that final four winning the Big 12 every year, and I believe I’d stay there and keep winning the Big 12.”
Beyond realignment rumors, Spurrier was asked about first-year South Carolina head coach Shane Beamer. Beamer spent four years on Spurrier’s staff between 2007 and 2010 in a handful of roles, including special teams coordinator and recruiting coordinator.
“The thing we proved is South Carolina can be relevant in college football,” Spurrier said. “We can be a top 10 program. It’s not easy, but it is possible. So hopefully, Shane Beamer and these guys can get us there.”