Steve Spurrier isn't known as the most tactful or classiest of college-football coaches. However, does he always have to be such an arrogant jerk?
Spurrier has always been an excellent coach for quotes and controversy. His laundry list of insults look more like backhanded slaps to the faces of his opponents than quotables that his team can get behind for motivation.
Sometimes He Is Right to Talk About the Clemson Rivalry...
After winning the game this season versus Clemson, Spurrier was highly quotable as usual. Josh Kendall of The State newspaper in Columbia tweeted a pair of his quotes at his latest press conference:
Steve Spurrier opens with: "It seems like when we play Clemson they don’t play very well."— Josh Kendall (@JoshatTheState) November 25, 2012
In true Spurrier fashion, he goes right for the jugular of the Tigers. While I would personally disagree with the opinions of the Tigers' efforts, he had to make his point after winning in a 27-17 game that was dominated by the Gamecocks from the end of the first quarter on.
After jumping out to a 14-7 lead in the first quarter, Clemson lost big the other three quarters by a combined 20-3 spread. So in this case, Spurrier is right to rip his primary opponent. However, there are times when he goes too far.
...And Sometimes He Needs to Push It to the Side
There are times when going too far can be a good thing. However, the Marcus Lattimore situation earlier in the 2012 season is just not one of them. As reported by Graham Watson of Yahoo Sports, Dabo Swinney was quoted saying this about the excellent Gamecock running back:
"If there is anybody I would bet on it is Marcus Lattimore," Swinney continued. "I know it will be a long process, but I tell you what, I would put my money on Marcus Lattimore in a heartbeat. When he comes to terms with this, he will do everything he can to come back. My prayers go out to him and his family. I have been heavy-hearted for him. He is a winner in every regard. Hopefully we haven't seen the last of him from a football standpoint. He has been a great representative for his family and his university. I will lift him up in my prayers."
That was it. He wasn't crass or corroding on a player who had just gotten hurt for a second straight season. Swinney was complimentary and wishing for the best for one of the top players in the country. However, Watson also reported that the classless Spurrier said this in a retort:
"A lot of quotes came across the country and I read one today from the head coach at our upstate school," said Spurrier, who refused to acknowledge Swinney's name. "You know, that school that used to beat us a lot that doesn't beat us much anymore, that one [South Carolina has won the last three games in the series]. Usually when that coach up there talks about South Carolina it's a bunch of garbage and a bunch of BS usually. But I have to agree with him on what he said the other day."
Steve Spurrier goes from arrogant jerk to classless reject with this quote. While he has been right to hold the rivalry in such high esteem, he forgot to see the forest through the trees here. Swinney was complimenting his guy and showing that the Clemson leader is one of the classier coaches.
Spurrier didn't want to be upstaged. So, instead of putting aside the differences like he should have done, he shoots back with a low blow. Steve, sometimes you just gotta take the high road and show some compassion and class. Otherwise, you'll always be thought of as a total jerk.
His Hatred for Georgia Will Never Die
As a Florida Gator, Spurrier's hatred for Georgia will be everlasting. He was quoted by ESPN's Chris Low about the Bulldogs game this year moving to Week 6 from it's traditional early matchup:
“I don’t know. I sort of always liked playing them that second game because you could always count on them having two or three key players suspended.”
If there's one thing Spurrier knows how to do, it's hit below the belt. This season, the Bulldogs started with all-American caliber safety Bacarri Rambo and three other starters suspended. So, it's not like the "Ole Ball Coach" was lying.
But there is always going to be that little bit of mutual hatred from UGA towards anything Spurrier. After all, Spurrier did go 11-1 against the Dawgs while coaching at Florida and is now 4-4 against the Dawgs as a Gamecock head coach.
Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He covers the Atlanta Falcons, NFL and NFL draft. He is also the Falcons analyst at Drafttek, runs the NFL Draft Website ScarDraft.com and hosts Kvetching Draftniks Radio.