Steve Spurrier will only give up his quest to pay college football players under one condition — if President Obama asks him to.
The South Carolina football coach addressed reporters at the annual SEC coaches meeting on Tuesday, speaking about his support for stipends for student-athletes in basketball and football, the revenue-generating sports for many NCAA schools.
“I’m going to keep fighting for our guys,” Spurrier said. “If President Obama would say, ‘Spurrier, you and those coaches need to quit fighting for your players, they get enough with a full scholarship,’ then I’ll shut up about it.”
Spurrier talked SEC coaches’ unanimous vote on giving stipends to all parents of student-athletes in basketball and football for travel expenses.
With the student-athletes generating mullions of dollars for their schools, they should at least be afforded that minor benefit, Steve Spurrier said.
“We believe those two sports, the income producers, those players — most of them come from lower-income families — that we should provide some expense money so their parents can go to the games — lodging, travel, meals, what have you,” Spurrier said. “We’re only talking about in football like $300 a game, basketball would be a little less, where the players in the course of the year have $3,600-$3,900, depending on how many games you play, just to have a little bit of pocket money and their parents can have money to come to games.”
But this change would not come easily. It would need approval from both the SEC and NCAA, which does not seem too receptive to an idea that appears to outsiders as “pay for play.”
Spurrier had another target during his interview session. The longtime coach talked about Notre Dame, and how it’s unfair that the Fighting Irish are allowed to operate outside of any conference.
“We’re trying to figure out why the athletic director of Notre Dame is equal to all of the conference commissioners, and no one had a good answer except that’s the way it’s always been done,” Steve Spurrier said.