Notre Dame football: Spurrier riled up over Irish

Associated Press
ND Insider

HOOVER, Ala. -- On a day when Southeastern Conference football took center stage Tuesday with the league’s annual media day, South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier had Notre Dame on his mind.

Spurrier said the league’s football coaches spoke with BCS executive director Bill Hancock, who told them he was meeting with the commissioners of BCS conferences — and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick.

“We just started trying to figure out why the athletic director of Notre Dame is equal to all the conference commissioners,” Spurrier said. “Nobody had a good answer except that’s the way it’s always been done.

“For whatever reason, all 14 of our head coaches thought that Notre Dame should join the (Atlantic Coast Conference) and play football like the rest of us.”

The colorful coach added he knows that notion would anger “the Notre Damers” at him and his colleagues but didn’t back down.

Notre Dame officially joined the ACC on July 1 and will maintain its football independence while playing five games a year against schools in the ACC.

Spurrier opened his quip-filled media days address Tuesday by saying the 28 football and men’s basketball coaches were in favor of paying players about $300 a game in football and perhaps a little less in hoops. Spurrier, who has made the pitch before, also said the coaches each indicated at spring meetings they were willing to pony up the $280,000 or so he estimated it would cost.

“This is tiny compared to the money that’s coming in now,” he said. “I think we all know that.

“I’m going to keep fighting for our guys. If President Obama would say, ‘Spurrier, you and those coaches need to quit fighting for your players, that they get enough, they get enough full scholarship,’ then I’ll shut up about it.”

He said that “little bit” — $3,600 or so a year per player, he figures — would give players some pocket money and help their parents attend games.